Rich, decadent and delicious, this baked chocolate pie is the perfect dessert for chocolate lovers. Start with a prebaked pie crust, pair it with a chocolate filling that is incredibly easy to prepare and bake everything together. And for a festive feel, decorate it with Chantilly cream.
- Baked pie crust: You’ll need a 9 inch pie crust. It’s best to bake the pie just before you plan on filling it. Once you take it out of the oven, you can set it aside to cool down slightly while you prepare the filling. I found that the crust had the best texture (crisp, not soggy) when the filling and crust were both slightly warm. Pouring warm filling over a one day old pie crust yielded a slightly soggy crust.
- Liquid: We’ll be using a combination of heavy cream and milk for a rich filling.
- Eggs: The egg proteins will coagulate in the oven and thicken the filling as it bakes. If you don’t add enough egg, the filling won’t set properly. If you add too much on the other hand, the filling might taste eggy and won’t be as creamy.
- Dark chocolate: Use chocolate you really enjoy as it is the predominant flavor. Just make sure it contains enough cocoa butter (at least 65%) to set the filling. If you prefer a filling that is very sweet, it’s best to add more powdered sugar (which will also thicken the filling) rather than use a sweet chocolate (which will make the filling runnier).
- Powdered sugar: To sweeten the filling but also to thicken it.
- Flavorings: My homemade pie crust already contains salt so I don’t add any to the filling. But if you are using a different pie crust without salt, feel free to add a pinch in the filling.
The filling is really easy to prepare. But there are a few things to watch out for to get the best results possible:
- Use a mealy pie dough: When making the pie dough, make sure most of the flour is coated with butter. The mixture should look like coarse meal with small pea-sized chunks of butter. An extra flaky dough will absorb too much moisture and become soggy quickly.
- Blind bake the pie crust: Bake the crust fully then let it cool down slightly before pouring in the filling.
- Seal the crust: Apply a layer of egg wash 5 minutes before the end of the blind baking period. You want to seal any holes through which the filling could seep in.
- Mix the filling gently: We want to avoid incorporating air bubbles which would ruin the texture of the filling. Use a wooden spoon (or spatula) instead of a whisk and strain the filling.
- Don’t overbake the chocolate pie: The pie is ready when the edges are set but it is still wobbly in the center. Don’t wait for it to look completely firm in the oven. It will continue to set after you take it out of the oven from carryover cooking and will firm up even more once chilled.
Preparing the filling
- Heat together the heavy cream, milk and powdered sugar until simmering, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon (or a heatproof spatula) to dissolve the sugar. Tip: Avoid using a whisk so you don’t incorporate too much air.
- Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a large microwavable bowl. Heat in short increments (20-30 seconds), stirring in-between until melted.
- Pour a small amount of the hot liquids (about 1/5) over the melted chocolate. Stir with a spoon in small circles from the center until fully combined.
- Gradually pour the remaining liquid in 4-5 additions, stirring every time to combine. Tip: Don’t pour the liquid too quickly or you’ll end up with a lumpy mixture.
- Set aside for a few minutes to cool down slightly (to avoid cooking the eggs). Add the beaten eggs in two additions, stirring just until smooth. Tip: Briefly use a whisk at the end (if needed) to make sure the eggs are fully incorporated.
- Optional (but recommended): Strain through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a measuring cup to ensure your mixture is completely smooth and get rid of air bubbles. Press down any chocolate or egg remaining on the sieve with a spoon.
Pictured below (right): The liquid was added too quickly to the melted chocolate and the resulting mixture isn’t smooth at all. You can use a fine-mesh sieve to fix this.
Baking the chocolate pie
- Carefully pour into the fully baked, warm pie crust. If desired, skim any foam or air bubbles from the surface with a spoon. Tip: When pouring the filling into the crust pass it through a fine mesh sieve once more to get rid of air bubbles. Don’t pour from a distance so it doesn’t splash and form air bubbles.
- Bake in the middle of a preheated oven just until the edges are set but the center is jiggly (not liquid). A digital thermometer inserted into the center (without touching the bottom) should register between 76-79°C (170-175°F). If you notice a lot of bubbles suddenly forming on the surface, it’s probably getting too hot and won’t be as creamy. Note: If you notice that the edges of the pie are browning too much, cover them with a pie shield or strips of aluminum foil.
- Cool completely on a wire rack (in the pie dish) at room temperature (about 1 hour). Cover and chill until firm enough to slice (about 4 hours).
Decorate with Chantilly cream if desired and enjoy!
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