Monday, February 6, 2012

Chocolate Chip Custard Pie

I love chocolate chip cookie themed desserts.  I have seen many chocolate chip pie recipes, but they were all basically cookie dough baked in a pie crust.  To me this seemed like trying to mix a chicken and a crocodile.  They don't end up combining well, and you just get one stuffed inside the other.  Surely there was a better way! 
I dreamed of a creamy, smooth, brown sugary custard with nuts and chocolate chips throughout.  The custard base was easy, I modified my mom's award winning sugar cream pie recipe using brown sugar instead of white, and stirring in vanilla and chopped pecans at the end.  The chocolate chips however, proved problematic.  When you bake a custard pie, it goes in to the unbaked crust hot.  Stirring chocolate chips into the hot custard would not go well...  I decided to try layering the hot custard and chocolate chips in the crust.  Eureka!  I ended up with the chocolate chip pie of my dreams and maybe yours...

Chocolate Chip Custard Pie
crust: 2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. oil
ice water
filling: 1 c. dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
pinch salt
4 Tbsp. butter (also known as half a stick)
1-1/2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
3/4 c. chocolate chips

I used the easiest pie crust recipe I know for this pie because I was tired and didn't feel like dicing butter and shortening and then freezing it and getting out the food processor...  I'm tired again thinking about it. 
 So, all you have to do is whisk together the flour and salt. 
Next, measure the oil in a 1 cup measuring cup. 
Then fill to just above the 3/4 mark with ice water.
Add the wet to the dry and press together until it forms a dough.
Take half the dough and form it into a disk between two sheets of plastic wrap.
Roll it out to fit your pie pan.  Take off the top sheet of plastic and carefully drape the crust over the pan.
Press the crust into the pan and fold over the edges and flute them.
This recipe makes one double-crust pie or two single-crust pies so you are lucky enough to have a pie crust left.  Oh the possibilities!
Now for the custard.  Mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
Melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan.
Measure your milk and cream and add a little to the sugar mixture and stir it up to help dissolve the sugar.
Add the rest to the melted butter.
Then stir in the sugar mixture.
Turn the heat up to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until it's thick like puddin'.
Take it off the heat and add the vanilla and nuts.

Find two sweet little cutie patooties to help you spread 1/3 of the chips on the bottom of your pie crust (be sure you have extra, because some of mine mysteriously disappeared...).
Spread on half of the filling followed by 1/3 of the chips and the other half of the filling.
Top it with the last of the chips.  Bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Now comes the hard part.  Let it cool COMPLETELY.  DO NOT cut it while it is still hot.  It is poisonous and you will die.  Not really, you will just have to eat it with a spoon, which is not all bad.  I speak from experience.  My cutie patooties and I could not wait.  I did refrigerate the rest of the pie so I would have this

beautiful slice to show you how nice it will look if you are patient.  It is a virtue.  Obviously I am not virtuous.

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