Double Chocolate Cream Pie with Almond Cookie Crust

From Susan Purdy's As Easy as Pie cookbook.

1¼ cups finely crushed Italian amaretti cookies
½ cup ground toasted almonds
¼ cup granulated sugar
5 1/3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Double Chocolate Cream Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
4 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp Dutch processed cocoa
¼ tsp salt
2½ cups whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
4 oz best quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted in a double boiler
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly butter a 9-inch pie plate.

Combine cookies, almonds, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add melted butter and gently toss with crumbs to coat.

Press crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of the pie plate using the back of a spoon or your fingers. To make a rim, hold the thumb or forefinger of your left hand horizontally on top of plate rim, while fingers of the other hand press the crumbs up to it, making a firm lip. Bake for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Can be made the day before; chill when completely cooled.

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

In a bowl, whisk the milk and cream into the egg yolks.

Whisk the egg yolk-milk mixture into the dry ingredients, whisking well, making sure all of the cornstarch is picked up from the bottom of the pan and dissolved.

Set the pan over medium heat and cook about 12 minutes, until thickened and brought to a boil. Stir on and off the first 5 minutes, and then stir constantly 7 minutes longer, until the mixture really thickens and reaches a boil, when you see the fat heavy bubbles work up to the surface and burst between stirs. Occasionally use the whisk (instead of the spoon) to remove any lumps. Boil for 1 full minute while stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in melted chocolate, vanilla extract, and butter.

Spoon the hot cream into the prepared pie shell. Cover the top of the hot cream filling with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Set it aside to cool, and then chill for 4 to 6 hours until shortly before serving.

In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks, then add the sugar and vanilla, and whip to stiff peaks. Mound the top of pie with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate curls; or decorate the top of the pie with rosettes of cream piped through a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Chill. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Makes 6 — 8 servings

Allergy Warning: Contains MilkContains EggsContains WheatContains Other Nuts

Click here for a printable version