Chocolate Cream Pie for Dad

chocolate cream pie

My father is one of those people for whom dessert is not really dessert unless it’s chocolate. He used to keep a stash of Hershey kisses in the back of the freezer (he swore they weren’t off limits yet my sister and I could never reach them) and every night after dinner, he would line a bunch of them up on the arm of the sofa and relish them slowly, one by one, while he watched TV. We all have our quirky food habits, right?

Dad 3
My dad at my sister’s wedding last year

This year for Father’s Day, my sister and I are treating him to something a little fancier than chocolate kisses: a decadent Chocolate Cream Pie. With a chocolate cookie crust, silky chocolate pudding center and pillowy whipped cream topping, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream. I’ll be honest, it’s a bit of a project — most pies are — but I promise it’s worth it.

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The first step is to make the filling because it needs time to cool before you assemble the pie. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan and whisk gently until combined. Next, combine the milk and egg yolks. Slowly add the milk mixture to the saucepan, whisking until mixture is smooth.

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Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens.

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Off the heat, immediately whisk in the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla extract.

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The residual heat in the pan will melt the chocolate and butter.

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Transfer the filling to a bowl and cool in the refrigerator.

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Next, make the crust by combining the chocolate wafers, sugar and butter in bowl of food processor fitted with blade attachment. Pulse until the cookies are finely crushed.

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Press the mixture into 9-inch pie pan, then bake for 10 minutes until crisp.

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Spoon the filling into crust and spread evenly. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours or up to one day.

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Finally, make the whipped cream topping and spread over pie.

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Decorate with grated chocolate and serve.

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Enjoy!

Chocolate Cream Pie

Print Recipe
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 28 Nabisco Chocolate Wafers (or 1-1/2 cups finely crushed crumbs)*
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the Filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, best quality such as Ghirardelli
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, best quality such as Ghirardelli
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping

  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, grated or shaved

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make the filling: Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Whisk gently until combined. In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk and egg yolks. Add the milk mixture to the saucepan in a slow and steady stream, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, 6-8 minutes. Immediately turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, for one minute more until thick. (The constant stirring and low heat prevents the eggs from scrambling. Be sure to stand attentively at stove and keep scraping the whisk against the bottom and edges of the pan where the mixture is more likely to overheat.) Off the heat, immediately whisk in the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla extract. Transfer the filling to a bowl. Press a piece of saran wrap directly over surface of the filling to prevent a film from forming; refrigerate until cool, 1-2 hours.
  3. Make the crust: Combine the chocolate wafers, sugar and butter in bowl of food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until the cookies are finely crushed. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan (spread it with your hands first, then use the back of a spoon or bottom of a measuring cup to press and even out). Bake for 10 minutes until crisp. Set on a rack to cool completely.
  4. Once the filling and crust are cooled, spoon the filling into the crust and spread evenly. Cover with saran wrap, pressing directly against surface of filling, and chill for at least 6 hours or up to one day.
  5. Up to 3 hours before serving, make the topping: Place the heavy cream in chilled mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip on medium-low speed until the whisk or beaters begin to leave tracks in the cream. Add sugar and whip until the cream holds medium, silky peaks. Go slowly towards the end; if it gets grainy or curdled, you’ve gone too far. Spread the whipped cream over the filling, leaving some of the chocolate filling showing around the edges. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. *Nabisco cookies available in the cookie aisle at most major supermarkets. Sometimes they can be hard to spot. At my local Giant, they’re on the top shelf near the Oreos.
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  • you described MY father who is now in heaven…but he would say there is NO better than hershey kisses ;)

  • Nor

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful times with us!

  • A tip for the mixture to help eliminate the eggs from cooking is called tempering, which simply calls for some of the hot mixture to be added to the beaten egg yolks slowly while whisking until the mixture gains temperature that is close to hot liquid-check the side of the bowl for temperature.
    Stirring the mixture is still wise as Jenn points out, but this will help stabalize the eggs quite a bit.

  • Yummm! I might need to pass this on to my daughters to make this for me for Father’s Day!! I might eat the whole pie.

  • Sister of the chef

    Dad is looking good! So’s the pie…

  • Jennifer,

    I’ve enjoyed several of your recipes and thought I’d tell you about a work-around I’ve used for the chocolate pie crust when I’ve been unable to find the chocolate icebox cookies. I take Oreo Double Stuf cookies and put them in the food processor, processing until they are crumbled. If the mixture needs a little more moisture, I add a tablespoon or 2 of melted butter. The filling compensates for the sugar and most of the liquid and the cookies are readily available.

  • My dad would have loved this pie! I think I’ll make it and eat every bite — just for him, of course. :) Major droolability on this one.

  • Susan Orton

    I made a chocolate cream pie over the 4th weekend.. I used the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated which called for an Oreo cookie crust as well, but my family prefers a good old fashioned pie crust.. light and flaky. I haven’t made one in years.. and the Ghirardelli Chocolate just can’t be beat for the price range!

  • Heidi

    I made this for friends this weekend. Had to use oreos (minus the filling) for the crust and it worked out fine. All I can say was that my guests were speechless, except for the moaning…they were pretty close to heaven. They are still dreaming about it.

  • Sherri

    I was wondering, when you make a traditional pie crust do you use all butter or part butter,part shortening?

    • Jenn

      Hi Sherri, I prefer all butter. Shortening gives you a little insurance that it will be tender and flaky, but as far as taste, butter is the way to go :)

  • Sherri

    I use all butter in my crust to, i have heard of people putting Vodka and cold water in to make a flakier crust any tips for flakiness?

    • Jenn

      Sherri, Ice cold water, keep it dry and crumbly, don’t overwork the dough and always let it rest. Never tried Vodka but heard it works.

  • Sherri

    Thanks for your help! :)

  • Leah

    I’ve been cooking for over 12 years now, but deserts always scare me. I bit the bullet and made this recipe. I’m so happy I did! I think it’s a great beginners desert because it was so easy to make. And the cool creamy chocolate was just what I needed to curb my pregnancy cravings. Thanks for sharing your recipes with us!

  • Hello.

    Here is my owl cake using your chocolate cream — mmm, delicious! Enjoy!
    link to happyhangaround.com

  • Judee

    This is absolutely AWESOME!

  • Rosalinda

    i am loving this recipe! i must try it

  • Susan Pfund

    Jennifer, Since I saw the original post of this recipe, I believe I have made this dessert every month, and in December I made it 8 times for different parties and as take alongs to others homes. It’s silky smooth and delicious. I also always think of your Dad and the love that went into this dish for him. Maybe that’s why it is so wonderful!

  • Rebekah

    I made this for my anniversary feb 26. It was SOOOO good and perfect. I added mini chocolate chips. My hubby loves mini chocolate chips in his chocolate cream pie. I also served it with fresh raspberries. DELICIOUS. TY for this recipe.

  • Mary

    The first time I served this pie it was gone in 5 minutes! I had to make another one the next week so my daughter could experience the wonderful flavors!

  • Mike

    Chocolate decadence at its best.

  • Elizabeth C. in Kansas

    Loved the sweet pic of your happy father. This chocolate pie looks so good. It is going on “the list” of must-makes!

  • This is one of the best pies I have ever tried! Not too difficult to make, either.

  • Gobbie

    I have only made this once. But, it is a big deal for me to make. I’m not that great in the kitchen. But, it was AWESOME! I’m going to try to do it again.
    Make this if you haven’t. Unreal how good.

  • Regina Eberwein

    This is scrumptious. Yet, I did cheat last time and bought a pre-made oreo pie crust. I couldn’t find the cookies. I wiped the crust with egg whites, cooked for 10 minutes, then transferred the crust to a real pie plate to finish.

  • Kathryn

    I just made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! It disappeared so quickly that I wish I had made two – I used Oreos because I couldn’t find the Nabisco cookies and it was delicious.

  • Tricia

    Delicious! I made this gorgeous pie for Thanksgiving Day. I loved the chocolate cookie crust and the pudding was the best pudding I have ever made (even though it could have cooked another minute or two), and using whipped cream. I added banana slices on top of the pudding. My husband and daughter loved it. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I think this may become a holiday tradition!

  • Jeanie

    Thanks for this recipe. I was first attracted to your story because my dad loved chocolate pie. He has been gone for several years, but I know he would have howled at the moon over your recipe. I made it for Thanksgiving with my in-laws and plan to make it for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner with my family. It’s super yummy! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • The best chocolate I had eating since I was a kid many years ago.

  • My family loved this,even my husband who is not a pie eater

  • Ummatul Batool

    hey it is really great recepie..do tell me wat wud b the replacment for cornstarch??i dnt want to put it in the recepie

    • Jenn

      Hi Ummatul, you could try flour…u definitely need something to thicken it up.

  • Gianna

    This recipe is so amazingly simple and delicious. I have to double it for everyone :)

  • Randy

    I made this pie for my wife on her birthday. She has had many chocolate cream pies in her life and said this one was the best she ever had. Absolutely a great recipe! I did use Jumbo yolks instead of large though… :)

    • Jenn

      So glad your wife loved the pie, Randy. This is one of my family’s favorite recipes. My son requests it every year on his birthday :)

  • Linda

    making it now for my hubby who is very non materialistic. Will probably be his best Christmas present- I do not ever add as much sugar as these recipes call for. The sugar is sometimes overwhelming- why add sugar to cookie crumbs? My goal is to make great desserts wo too much sugar. The recipe looks like it will be a hit. TY

  • Sophia

    I replaced the 2/3 cup of sugar with 2/3 cup of liquid fruit concentrate (Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet). I reduced the milk an equivalent amount. I also replaced the sugar in the topping with Fruit Sweet. Works fine. The kids have a hard time waiting for this pie to set up!

  • I couldn’t get my filling to thicken. I cooked it longer than required. I used all the ingredients listed in the recipe. I am afraid to try it again. Any suggestions?

    • Jenn

      Hi Patty, Happy to help you troubleshoot. Did your filling thicken at all?

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