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Nov 25, 2013

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cream Pie {dairy + gluten free}

When I was a teenager, my mom and I spent weeks trying to make the *perfect* pumpkin pie recipe. We tried several variations and finally found THE ONE. I still have that recipe and have made it nearly every Thanksgiving since then.

This year, while planning my (dairy & gluten-free) shopping list/menu for two family get-togethers, I actually left the pumpkin pie out of my plans. I still love it, don't get me wrong. But I was in the mood for something different this year.

Immediately I knew I wanted to make Chocolate Cream Pie. Not just the chocolate-pudding-and-cool-whip-in-a-graham-cracker-crust kind of pie. Real, actual, old-fashioned chocolate cream pie. Dairy- and gluten-free, of course! :) 

I started with a gluten-free pie crust recipe from King Arthur Flour. It called for ClearJel, which I didn't have, but also said it was optional. 

Pie Crust {dairy + gluten free}

1 1/4 cups  gluten-free all purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold dairy-free butter substitute
1 large egg
2 tsp lemon juice

I followed the directions to a T on this one. If you know me well, you know I don't follow recipes all that often. This was tricky but I knew it was important if I wanted this to work. (I've learned a lesson or two with this gluten-free baking stuff. ;)

I ended up with some issues keeping the dough together while transferring it into my pan, but made due by pressing the broken parts back together once placed in the dish. It actually ended up looking just fine.

I recently read that when blind-baking pie crust, you should line it with a circle of parchment, then place pennies in an even layer in the middle. The weight prevents the crust from bubbling and the copper assists in even baking. I tried it and I think they may be onto something with this one... just don't pick up the pennies as soon as you're done baking. Ouch! 

While the crust was baking, I moved on to my filling. This recipe also originated from King Arthur Flour and only had to be slightly adapted to be milk-free. 
#glutenfree #dairyfree #chocolate #pie

Chocolate Cream Pie {dairy + gluten free}                                            

(as adapted from King Arthur Flour)

2 Tbsp dairy-free butter substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
2 cups Silk Original Creamer (or other dairy-free creamer)
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

Place the butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and set aside. 

In a medium saucepan (not over the heat yet), whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, espresso powder and salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of creamer until all lumps are gone. Add another 1/4 cup creamer and continue to whisk. Once the mixture is combined, whisk in the egg yolks. 

Place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Whisk in remaining creamer and almond milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Allow to boil for one minute.

Remove from heat and pour mixture into the bowl with the butter, chocolate and vanilla extract. Stir constantly until all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture is combined.

The original recipe said to strain the mixture to remove any lumps. I skipped this step and just placed plastic wrap on top of the chocolate, pressing it onto the top to prevent a skin from forming. I then placed the bowl in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to cool.

Once your pie crust has baked and cooled, and your chocolate is cooled, pour chocolate into the pie crust. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. 

This pie went over very well with adults and kids alike. It was super rich and decadent. The crust was flaky and crumbly, which is fine but did make it a little tricky to cut and still have pretty slices for pictures. I think I will be adding this recipe to my list for future holiday gatherings for awhile too!
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