Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie

I have to wonder what is with the cream pies lately – first coconut, now chocolate, am I suddenly becoming obsessed with cream pies?  No, don’t worry – I think after this one I am done for a while, but I have to admit, they are pretty amazing.  So, I have been putting off writing about this for a while…but I don’t think I can hold it in any longer.  My husband is allergic to dairy products – not just lactose, but dairy.  I still am not sure I have completely grasped it – but maybe writing this will help it sink in.  So what exactly does this mean?  It means that I am going to start making more sorbet, and more deserts without dairy.  It doesn’t mean that I am going to stop baking with butter though…I can’t, and my girls would be very upset if I did.  So – from now on, there will be certain deserts that he can enjoy, and certain ones that I will enjoy with the girls.  I have already starting cooking without dairy – using a lot of coconut milk, and even coconut yogurt – and for the most part it has worked pretty well.  Stay tuned…but again, if you are not interested in dairy-free cooking, you will still enjoy my blog, I am definitely not giving it up.  I am completely crazy about all things dairy…and that will not change.

So back to this pie – this has dairy written all over it (I of course used real whipped cream instead of the non-dairy whipped topping the recipe called for) – and I didn’t even try to substitute.  I brought this over to a friend’s house, so I didn’t have to consume the entire pie myself with a little help from my very slender daughters.  The pie (from Cooking Light) was outstanding – the chocolate had a hint of cinnamon (thus calling it “mexican”) and the graham cracker crust was amazing.  It was probably the last chocolate cream pie I will enjoy for a little while, I am just really glad it was so delicious…always nice to end on a high note.

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 cookie sheets), divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons egg white
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Cooking spray

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 3/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare the crust, reserve 1 tablespoon crumbs for topping. Combine the remaining crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring well. Stir in egg white and butter. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 9 minutes or until lightly toasted; cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine 1/2 cup sugar and the next 7 ingredients (through egg yolk) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place the milk in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until milk reaches 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Gradually add hot milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until smooth.

Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 10 minutes or until mixture cools, stirring occasionally. Spoon filling into crust, and cover surface of filling with plastic wrap. Chill for 3 hours or until set; remove plastic wrap. Spread the whipped topping over filling; sprinkle with reserved cracker crumbs.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie

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