Yield: 1 9-inch pie
from The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook
from The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook
(Great cookbook! Each recipe is the result of much experimentation, which is explained so you can understand the principles applied as well as the process!)
|16||Oreo cookies (with filling), broken into rough pieces, about 2-1/2 cups||2½ c||half-and-half|
|2 T||unsalted butter, melted and cooled||pinch||salt|
|1/3 cup, divided||sugar (2 x 3 T)|
|2 T||corn starch|
|6||large egg yolks, room temperature|
|6 T||cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces|
|6 oz||semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I use Hershey's Special Dark.)|
|1 oz||unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (love Ghirardelli for this)|
|3 c||whipped cream||1 tsp||vanilla extract|
FOR THE CRUST
- Melt butter and set aside to cool.
- In bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, process cookies with fifteen 1-second pulses, then let machine run until crumbs are uniformly fine, about 15 seconds.
- Transfer crumbs to medium bowl, drizzle with butter, and use fingers to combine until butter is evenly distributed.
- Pour crumbs into 9-inch Pyrex pie plate.
- Once crumbs are in place, line pan flush with large square of plastic wrap, and use spoon or fingers to smooth crumbs into curves and up sides of pan.
- Refrigerate lined pie plate 20 minutes to firm crumbs.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake crust until crumbs are fragrant and set, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack while preparing filling.
FOR THE FILLING
- It is important that the half-and-half be ready to receive the egg yolks as soon as they are ready.
- Bring half-and-half, salt, and about 3T sugar to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occcasionally with wooden spoon to dissolve sugar.
- Hold half-and-half at a simmer while preparing yolks.
- Stir together remaining sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Whisk yolks thoroughly in medium bowl until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle cornstarch mixture over yolks and whisk, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary, until mixture is glossy and sugar has begun to dissolve, about 1 minute.
- When half-and-half reaches full simmer, drizzle about ½ cup hot half-and-half over yolks, whisking constantly to temper; then whisk egg yolk mixture into simmering half-and-half. Mixture should thicken in about 30 seconds.
- Return to simmer, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on surface and mixture is thickened and glossy, about 15 seconds longer.
- Off heat, whisk in butter until incorporated.
- Add chocolates and whisk until melted, scraping pan bottom with rubber spatula to fully incorporate.
- Stir in vanilla, then immediately pour into cooled crust.
- Press plastic wrap directly on surface of filling and refrigerate pie until filling is cold and firm, about 3 hours.
- Just before serving, spread or pipe whipped cream over chilled pie filling.
Lessons / tips
- Don't substitute chocolate chips for the chopped baking chocolates. Chocolate chips have a stabilizer added to them that changes the texture of the pie from creamy to gummy. Very ick.
- Half-and-half is preferable to heavier creams, but if you have to substitute, try to get a cream that is not much fattier than half-and-half and then cut it down with some plain milk. Too much fat in the cream leaves a greasy feel in the mouth.
- I like to use my food processor to chop the two chocolates into tiny bits so they melt easily. I then use the food processor to chop up the Oreos without bothering to wipe it out. It's OK to get chocolate in with the Oreo crumbs, but if I do the Oreos first then I have to wipe out the food processor. An efficiency geek like me hates that!
- I usually mix the cookie crumbs and butter right in the pie plate. Saves washing a bowl.
- The whipped cream is an absolute necessity if you've used good chocolates for this pie. It's so dark and rich, it'll knock you right over if you don't cut it with whipped cream. If you don't have good chocolates on hand, you could try tasting the pie before topping it with whipped cream to see if the chocolate flavor is light enough or sweet enough not to need it.
- If you're out of vanilla, it's not a big deal to make the pie without it.