Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Boston Dessert Week: Pumpkin Chocolate Pie

While the Rainbow Cake had style, it was a little meh taste-wise. On the other hand, the Pumpkin Chocolate Pie more than made up for the Rainbow Cake’s deficiencies - it was absolutely delicious!!!! Not to toot my own horn…but, well, toot! It was pretty freaking awesome. Definitely in the top 3 at the dessert party.

If you’re looking for an interesting play on the traditional pumpkin pie, this is your recipe! It’s decadent, classy, and delicious – serve it with a dollop of whipped cream on Thanksgiving, I’m sure your guests won’t forget it! The texture is so rich, but not heavy. It almost feels like cheesecake, but much less sinful, if you know what I mean.

It’s a really simple recipe. There are no sparkles/bells/whistles – just straight up goodness. It’s like the kid who is too cool to try: Yeah, what. I’m awesome. Whatever. (Yes, I did just give voice to a pie…)

Anywho, I made this pie the morning of the party. It’s important to make pumpkin pies a little in advance so they can cool and then chill in the fridge before serving (unlike apple pies, the pumpkin variety is not better fresh out of the oven).

Everything in the recipe worked well, except for I think the quantity was a bit off. I crushed up 16 graham crackers and had WAY MORE than enough for the crust. I’m thinking that maybe when Martha says 16 graham crackers, she means squares, not sheets – so one sheet of graham crackers means 2 squares…but I’m not sure…Bottom line is, I had more than enough crumbs. 

The same thing went for the pie filling. I used a 9-inch pie dish…but maybe this recipe is designed for a deep dish pie? I had enough filling left over to make a whole mini-pie in a Le Creuset 7x5” baking dish. So that’s not really a bad thing, but just something to be aware of.

I used 3 ounces of a Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bar (4oz) for the chopped chocolate in the bottom of the pie. For the chocolate inside the pie, I just used the last ounce of that bar, plus semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

I didn’t do the milk chocolate over the top of the pie, just because it didn’t seem super-necessary. If you’re not into graham cracker crust (not sure why you wouldn’t be, but there’s no accounting for taste…), I’m sure this pie would be really good with a traditional pie crust.

So make it, love it, enjoy it!!!

Serves 12
2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao), finely chopped
6 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 55 percent cacao), chopped
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Ground cloves
1 ounce milk chocolate, melted
   1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
 2. Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
3. Make the filling: In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
 4. Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.
5. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Before serving, drizzle melted milk chocolate on top. Serve immediately.