This holiday season we’ve partnered with some of our favorite bloggers who will be showing you new and inspirational ways to bring the holidays home.
Thanksgiving dinner just isn’t complete without a homemade pie. We’ve partnered with Naomi Robinson, founder of Bakers Royale, to put a mix-and-match spin on two classic recipes.
Fall is my favorite time of year—the food, the holidays—what’s not to like? Admittedly, growing up, fall was actually my least favorite because it always gave way to shorter days, cold weather and gatherings filled with adults that, in my opinion, just “didn’t get anything.” But somehow, somewhere along the way and through the years, all those aforementioned things turned into expected traditions that I now look forward to.
Pies are a must for any holiday gathering. Find and make the right kind, and adults and kids alike will be scraping their plates clean. Of course there are all kinds of pies: hand pies, sheet pies, fruit pies, cream pies, custards pies and so much more. But today I’m sharing custard-based pies with a little cake decorating persuasion.
These chocolate cream pies do take some time to make, but I promise everything comes together easily if you plan ahead and have everything in place. Once the components are completed you have the building blocks for two different pies: German Chocolate Pie or Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie.
Think of the German chocolate pie as the cousin to the traditional German chocolate cake.
As for the chocolate coconut cream pie it’s a what would happen if a French silk pie collided with a coconut cream pie. See the theme here?
Mix and match and choose your own pie-making adventure. Whatever way you go and however you mix these components, have fun and get to it!
Pie Two Ways: German Chocolate Pie or Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie
Yields one 9-inch pie; approximately 10-12 servings
Brown Sugar and Pecan Crust
Makes one 9-inch crust
- 2 ounces toasted pecans
- 1 ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt (3/4 teaspoon if using table salt)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced to ½ inch pieces and chilled in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to use
- 2 tablespoon shortening, chilled in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to using
- 3 tablespoon water, chilled
- 1 tablespoon vodka, chilled
Place pecans into a food processor with 1 tablespoon of flour and pulse until finely ground. Add the flour, sugar and salt, pulse two to three times in five-second bursts. Add the butter and pulse until mixture looks like wet sand and pea size crumbs are formed.
Combine water and vodka in a small cup. Pour mixture into feed tube and pulse in three-second bursts until mixture looks shaggy. Dump mixture onto work surface. Bring dough together to a flattened disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight before rolling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Unwrap chilled dough and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten and roll dough to 12 inches in diameter. Fold dough into quarters.
Place folded dough in a 9-inch pie pan and gently unfold. Lightly press dough into pie pan. Trim the excess dough to a 1-inch overhang. Fold overhang under (towards the inside of pan). Finish pie crust edge as desired. Line crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, sides will start to brown. Remove pie crust from oven and remove paper and beans.
Return pie crust back into the oven and bake until bottom is browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling
Chocolate Filling Recipe
Makes about 4 cups
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Place both chocolates, the honey, vanilla extract and salt in a blender.
Place egg yolks and egg in a bowl and whisk until pale and light, about one minute. Set aside.
Place milk, heavy cream and cocoa powder in a heavy bottom saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook and whisk until mixture comes a boil. Remove pan from heat. Add ¼ cup of cream mixture to egg mixture while whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Now add the tempered egg mixture into saucepan with remaining cream mixture. Place over medium heat; cook and stir until mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon, about four to six minutes.
Pour heated milk and egg mixture through a mesh sieve over the blender. Push mixture through. Blend mixture until well combined, about one minute.
Coconut Cream Filling Recipe
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 ¼ cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon if using table salt)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
Place milk, coconut milk and shredded coconut in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until mixture comes just to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a bowl whisk together eggs, sugar and flour until well combined. Temper the egg mixture by adding in ¼ cup of the heated coconut milk mixture while whisking. Add a second ¼ cup of coconut milk mixture and whisk until eggs are tempered. Now pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining coconut milk mixture.
Place saucepan back over medium-high heat until mixture begins to bubble, about 20 minutes. Keep whisking until mixture thickens, about another four to five minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in salt, butter and vanilla extract. Transfer finished filling to a chilled bowl and stir occasionally until cooled. Place plastic wrap directly on top of surface and refrigerate until completely chilled. Filling will continue to thicken as it cools. Filling can be prepared up to two days in advance.
Chocolate Cream Recipe
Makes about 2 cups
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon if using table salt)
Pour both chocolates into a heat proof bowl and place over a saucepan with simmering water over medium heat. Heat and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Place butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about three to four minutes. Scrape the bowl down and beat in sour cream until incorporated. Scrape the bowl down one more time and beat in cooled chocolate, vanilla extract and salt until incorporated, about one minute. Filling can be prepared three days in advance and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.
Whipped Cream Recipe
Makes about 2 cups
- 2 cups heavy whipped cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a chilled stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks form.
Fill crust with chocolate filling and then layer with coconut cream filling. Press chopped pecans on top. Fill a pastry bag with chocolate cream or whipped cream and pipe onto top of pie as desired.
Want more baking ideas perfect for fall? Get the recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls from Adventures in Cooking.