Friday, June 4, 2010

Chocolate Cream Pie

Sometimes you just gotta have it. You lust after it, dream about it. Chocolate Cream Pie
From reading my blog you may think all I do is lay around on silk cushions eating hummingbird tongues and drinking ancient wines out of silver chalices. Not true (only do that sometimes, friends)! I will admit, as the world grows more homogenized I crave the unusual and individual and love looking backward to reclaim original dishes from all that has come before. This works for everything from Roman banquet food to … chocolate cream pie! It was not always a diner food made of plastic and corn syrup. In my mind it is a great thing rich with chocolate and good cream. A luxury… a cool rich chocolate treat when prepared correctly.
The pie probably had its roots in the depression and was served at the Hershey Hotel in Hershey PA., the town and the Hotel that chocolate built… or at least that the founder of Hershey built. Milton Hershey was a community spirited man who built quality affordable housing for his workers who loved him. This is my idea of a great industrialist and a lovely man.
He and his wife had wanted to build a hotel for many years but his initial plan to duplicate the Heliopolis Hotel in Cairo was prohibitively expensive at $5 million (and rather mad for a tiny company town like Hershey PA) The death of his beloved wife Kitty in 1915 put a stop to the plan.
However, when he saw so many out of work in the Depression (even though he kept his factories going and his workers paid) he decided to build a less ambitious hotel (based on one he had seen with his wife on the Mediterranean) for his community in 1932, putting 600 men to work and taking advantage of depression prices on materials. The 2 million dollar hotel opened in 1933. The Hotel still thrives, Hershey PA is still the “Sweetest Place on Earth” (where else can you meet at the corner of Chocolate Avenue and Cocoa Avenue beneath Hershey’s kiss shaped streetlights?) and the Hershey Hotel still serves Chocolate Cream Pie!

Chocolate Cream Pie


1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs or chocolate wafer crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together crumbs, butter, and sugar and press on bottom and up side of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake about 15 minutes, and cool on a rack.

Filling (Based on a King Arthur Recipe)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (sorry Mr Hershey, I used 70% Callebaut)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Drops Jasmine Absolute from Aftelier (optional)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream, divided
2 cups milk

1) Place the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract in a 2-quart mixing bowl; set aside.
2) In a medium saucepan away from heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of cold heavy cream until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of the cream. Whisk in the egg yolks
3) Place the saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in the remaining cream and milk.
4) Bring to a boil, whisking constantly as the mixture thickens; boil for 1 minute
5) Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the reserved chocolate and butter.
6) Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
7) Pass the filling through a strainer into a bowl to remove any lumps.
8) Place plastic wrap or buttered parchment paper on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill thoroughly


1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whip the cream till it begins to form soft peaks, Sift the powered sugar over the cream and add the vanilla and whip to blend

1) Place the heavy cream in a chilled mixing bowl.
2) Whip until the whisk begins to leave tracks in the bowl.
3) Add the sugar and vanilla and whip until the cream holds a medium peak.

Transfer the cooled filling to the cooled crust. Level the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Let it chill thoroughly.
Serve with the whipped cream on the top of the pie or top individual slices with the cream.

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Diane said...

As a chocoholic I loved everything in this post:) Diane

Sarah said...

This looks so rich and delicious. Sadly, I am not a big cream pie eater so a tiny slice would be nice for me. Congrats on getting a cheque! Wow!

Cathy said...

My grandmother used to make the must luscious chocolate pie. I haven't thought about that in years. Isn't it wonderful how food can conjure up very special memories... thanks. Mouthwatering photos.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

My husband LOVES chocolate cream pie! This sounds like a delicious rendition. Praise be to Milton Hershey! And what's wrong with lying around on silk cushions eating chocolate pie?

Gemma said...

In Catalonie we say: this is a delicious addicted-chocolate pie!
And I must admit that I am "addicted-chocolate" number one, je je je...

Rachana said...

I love anything which has chocolate in it... this looks absolutely delicious :-)

funkiefoodie said...

You are sui generis and unmistakeably poiesis. My man has been asking me for a cream pie. Can't imagine what the addition of Jasmine Absolute would do to chocolate. Your recipe begs to be made.

Needful Things said...

So interesting to hear the story behind the scrumptious looking pie. I'd love to try this one out.

Deana Sidney said...

Foodfun>I had such a nagging just for this pie... hadn't made it in ages... why not??? It's just amazingly good!
Allourfingers> I have to admit... I was grateful I had help.. I would have eaten the whole thing by myself! Yes, my first check... well it did take 6 months to make $100 but I was THRILLED that my favorite thing made money too!
Cathy> When I was a teen, I used to eat the frozen version... this is soooo much better!
Savoring> This is a great recipe... simple and good... you can just make it like pudding too! And I agree... there is nothing wrong with the reclining dining on silk... especially with this evil pie! Too decadent!
Gemma> it's not fancy, but it is an American Classic... hope you try it!
Rachana> It really is so darn tasty! Honestly, I bet you could freeze it!

Lazaro Cooks said...


Actually I envision you in library sittting amongst towers of leather bound books. Reading away preparing to dazzle with your next piece.

I am not a sweets person and that chocolate cream pie is talking to me. I would love a silce or four.


Anonymous said...

Oh, my this is super decadent! What a heavenly pie this is!

Diane said...

You said about making cherry jam with my easy recipe. Just check your jam sugar has the same timing as the french sugar. All fruits with the french sugar are 2.2kg fruit to 1 kg sugar but yours may vary. Enjoy. Diane

Mary Bergfeld said...

It is official now. I'll follow you anywhere. This really looks decadently delicious. Thanks so much for the birthday wishes.Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Deanna said...

It drives me insane that my sister's favorite version of chocolate pie is made with jello instant pudding. This is the same girl who won't let me make her a birthday cake from scratch. Can't wait to try yours though!

Deana Sidney said...

Powderate> you thrill me with your compliments.. try some of the rose... it would be brilliant too. I might have used it but gave it up for the contest... to you! Must get more!
Grapefruit> when I read about Hershey, I just had to tell the story... what a wonderful man.. but think about it< a guy that lives chocolate... how cool is that?
Lazaro> WOuldn't that be great... I'm thinking Morgan Library... mmm.
5star> It is such a great pie, honest!
Mylife> thanks for the cherry tip.. everyone should visit your blog to see the great jam recipe!
Mary> whoa...that is cool coming from a master chef like yourself...thanks and great birthday!
Deanna> Like I said on your blog, Dr. Lostpast prefers things out of the box most of the time.. but he lovvved this pie!

Becky said...

Oh YUM! I've been thinking of making chocolate cream pie sometime soon -- now I know where to find a good recipe. :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

This is why I love your site. Because there is history to everything and you unravel it for us :) And I do kind of like to think that you're this otherworldly gorgeous creature eating hummingbird tongues and drinking ancient wines out of silver chalices! :D

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

Love your blog posts filled with the history behind things, this chocolate cream pie is no exception. It brings back memories of my mom's chocolate cream pie. Lovely post.

Federica Simoni said...

wow che delizia!!!!complimenti!!!ciao!

Linda said...

Girlfriend...this pie looks slap your Mama good.
I have been thinking about Chocolate Cream pie after having a few bites of a horrific one that came from a bakery last weekend....
Your version will be coming here very soon!

Sarah said...

My husbands and I favorite pie!!! I think I may need to make one today :)

Megan@Feasting on Art said...

oh yum! and i love that painting at the top!!

tasteofbeirut said...

I was not going to say anything derogatory, but I breathed a sigh of relief when you used Callebaut for your pie!
Now I know I can make it and it will be heavenly.

Deana Sidney said...

Becky> I think it is one of those American desserts that is in our collective unconscious... desire for it just bubbles up every once in a while!
Lorraine> Mr Hershey's story needed telling..thanks for the kind remark... I am lying in bed with my coffee... no dishes on golden plates anywhere near!
Mags> Isn't it in all our pasts? I have such clear memories of eating it as a kid... pudding mix and all and then the frozen as I got older!!!
Linda> it will blow the bakery taste out of your head... it's a great recipe!
SARAH> You go girl... the husband will be so grateful!
Megan> I could write a book on art at pompei... crazy for it. I once painted a bedroom Pomei red... so beautiful!

Deana Sidney said...

TasteofBeirut> If Mr Hershey had still been alive I would have used his out of deference... but it's part of a megacorp now and a girl must have standards. It's a killer chocolate pudding!

Barbara said...

I've been to Hershey, Deana, (not for a long time though) and the entire place smelled like chocolate. I'll never forget it.

I love these comfort desserts. At least that's what I call them. Bread pudding, custard, chocolate pie. The trick is to make them extra special and using the Callebaut chocolate and the drop of Jasmine Absolute does just that. I also love the idea of a graham cracker crust. Usually it's a regular pie crust...which tends to get soggy with cream pies. FABULOUS recipe, as usual!
My mother made a killer butterscotch pie. And she didn't write down the recipe. Been meaning to look into that.....

Tasty Trix said...

Ah, now THAT is a chocolate cream pie! With real whipped cream - not that I would expect anything less of you, my dear! I just love that you can give something as seemingly humble as a cream pie a back story and romance.

Faith said...

This pie looks absolutely luscious. I enjoyed reading about Hershey -- I had no idea they had a hotel!

Fresh Local and Best said...

This is a neat detour into the history of the Hershey hotel.

I love how luscious this pie filling is! Oh my gosh! This post seriously has me wanting dessert now!

pierre said...

this cake is a killer !! thanks for the sharing !! Cheers Pierre de Paris

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef said...

I'll take a piece right now, thanks!

Hmmmm....maybe I will make it this weekend. It looks delicious and it's my favorite type of pie!

Anonymous said...

That pie looks delicious!

Deana Sidney said...

Barbara> oh please share that butterscotch pie with us.. haven't had one in years. I love graham cracker crusts on cream pies... this one stood up for 2 days sans sog. Here's to Hershey... a sweet sweet man!
Trix> well, I don't know about romance... but it is really good and sooo chocolaty!
Faith> I had heard about he hotel but never knew its history ...that it put people to work in a troubled time... good karma, and great pie!
Freshlocal>Yeah it was a little detour... I found out about it by accident and had to share
Pierre> yup... killer pie!
Erika> I won't say favorite but when I made it after so long without it I asked myself... what was I thinking?? This should be on heavy rotation!
Des>It is Des... thanks for stopping by... you do have the coolest pictures on your blog.

Sue said...

I am in heaven, what a super treat! By the way I found a bottle of Rivesaltes Ambre in Tescos of all places - I remember you were interested in sourcing some. It was a half bottle of Croix Milhas and was a silver medal winner (ISCW). Only £5 and I think it would go well with your Chocolate Cream Pie. It was thinner than I thought it would be in the mouth - very much more like a wine than a sherry/madeira and had a burnt caramel after taste. Alas if I make your pie I will have to go and buy some more ;-)

Unknown said...

This is why I love you daaaaahling. We have a lot in common. We love the finer things, but never get so snobbish that we cant enjoy a deliciously simple comfort food. For me its krispy Kreme ;)
*kisses* HH

Magic of Spice said...

This looks delicious!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Well good morning dear blogger! Thank you for this amazing recipe! Cocoa powder is our best friend; we mix it every morning in our Trader Joe's Greek style vanilla yogurt with nuts, oats and frozen raspberries!!!! But this recipe is a must for more decadent moments! And thank you for coming by for a bit of blue heaven; I love the advice of your decorator friend...I must really try the blue silk lining. I just love that special light effect in a room.

CHEERS!!!! Anita

Trissa said...

Wow - a Hershey Hotel - sounds like a lovely place to stay in - am sure all the guests have sweet dreams... heehee... and gorgeous chocolate cream pie - looks silky smooth.

Deana Sidney said...

Sue> Thanks for the brilliant advice... found some here online for ~$19...pricier here!
Heavenly> My friends think it's funny how I can go from the sacred to the profane without blinking.. but hey, good is good, with or without pedigree!
Magic> Thanks for stopping by
Castles> Great advice for the cocoa... the lining is a great idea!
Trissa>The hotel must have just the best karma!

Tania said...

I love this chocolate dessert!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

It never occurred to me that Hershey might have had a hand in the origin of the Chocolate Cream Pie, but it makes perfect sense. What a fun story, and now you've got me craving pie for breakfast!

Deana Sidney said...

tania> it is a treat from childhood...and still good!
TW>well I doubt he had anything to do with it personally... but his sweet self must have inspired the chef who made it!

Plain Chicken said...

King Arthur's recipe is my favorite! Great photos.

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