My lovely mother has always had a fairly demanding sweet tooth, which made me one lucky little girl. When that hard-working lady had some off-time, she often took advantage of it by baking up something special and sweet. Whether it was cookies, cakes or pies, something delightful was coming. One treat stands out in my memory bank over all the others: Chocolate pudding. Mom would empty out the contents of that little rectangular box and get to work over the stove top. Once the pudding had come together, she would transfer it to the most precious glass serving cups you ever did see, set them in the refrigerator and the waiting game would begin. In all honesty, I could never wait until the pudding was completely chilled through. Patience has never been my strong-suit. Nonetheless, I always thoroughly enjoyed my lukewarm pudding.
A couple of months ago, I began asking around in regards to people’s favorite Thanksgiving pie, and the answer was a bit of a surprise. I fully expected to hear about pumpkin, pecan and apple, however a good majority responded with chocolate. My dear husband being one of those people. Digging a little deeper, it became clear that he too had childhood roots in chocolate pudding. He would stand alongside his grandmother during Thanksgiving preparations and help her to make his favorite pudding pie. No wonder I married the guy.
When I really think about it, it’s no astonishment chocolate pudding pie is favored by so many, especially around the holidays. It is a nostalgic dessert, resurfacing old memories and taking us back to kitchens of the ones we love so much.
In secret, it always bummed me out a little when we would cut into the pie and the pudding walls would come tumbling down like a chocolaty landslide. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’d still gladly eat it, but I wanted a version that could hold its ground…or crust, whatever. So I created one that could stand up on its own. Hence the name “Stand-Up Chocolate Pudding Pie.” In this recipe, chocolate pudding is elevated to a whole ‘nother level. We are going to make it from scratch, starting with real chopped chocolate and ending with a velvety, rich and luscious chocolate pudding.
For those of you who might feel slightly intimidated by the task at hand, here is a little made-from-scratch pudding overview: you’ll start by melting the chocolate in the milk on the stovetop. Move over to the counter and whisk together your dry ingredients. Get the stand mixer going and beat yolks and sugar until a pretty pale yellow, then add the dry stuff. Next, you’ll stream in the chocolatey milk, and transfer the whole thing back to the stovetop to whisk until thickened. Not so bad after all, right?
I chose to use pastry crust because, well, that’s how I grew up eating chocolate pudding pie. And, if you happen to be in the market for a pie crust recipe, TAK’s Perfect Pie Crust is ready and waiting for you at TheAnthonyKitchen.com. However, if you grew up eating chocolate pudding pie with a graham cracker crust, I say go with it. Buy yourself a ticket down memory lane, make the version nearest and dearest to your heart and enjoy every single bite.
9” Pie Pan
Nonstick Aluminum Foil
2 cups Pie Weights or Dried Beans
Stand Mixer or Handheld Mixer
Offset Spatula, optional
TAK’s Perfect Pie Crust, only one dough round needed
2 3/4 cups whole milk
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375° and have ready a 9” pie dish.
To make the pie shell, flour both sides of the dough round and set atop a floured work surface. Begin rolling out the disk until it is about an 1/8 of an inch thick and 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to the pie dish, fold over any overhang and crimp the edges, if desired. Using a fork, poke holes across the bottom and gently press the aluminum foil against the dough, making sure the entire pie shell is covered. Add pie weights or dried beans and bake for 25 minutes. Take shell out of the oven and carefully remove foil and pie weights. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes more or until the crust is cooked through and golden-brown. Set aside on a cooling rack to completely cool.
For the pudding, add milk and chocolate to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir often, until chocolate has melted andremove from the heat. Do not allow to boil. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a small bowl whisk together cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Set aside until ready to use.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (alternatively, use a handheld mixer and a large mixing bowl), beat together the sugar and egg yolks on medium-high speed until thickened and pale yellow in color. Add the cocoa powder mixture and mix until well combined. Turn the mixer speed to low and slowly stream in the milk mixture.
Pour the contents of the stand mixer bowl back into the medium-sized saucepan and place over medium heat. Allow the mixture to simmer, slowly whisking until thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Do not overheat. The pudding will thicken slightly as it cools. Remove from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set aside on a cooling rack until warm to the touch.
Pour pudding into the fully-cooked pie shell, smooth the top with an offset spatula and allow it to remain on the counter until completely cooled. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. Refrigerate pie for at least 3 hours, or until chilled through, but preferably overnight. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy.
Would pair well with:
Dollop of Whipped Cream
Hot Cup of Coffee