I’m breaking radio silence to bring you pie. Chocolate plus chocolate. (And no silken tofu.)
Are you ready for another ‘back on the farm’ story? Excellent. My grandma had secret ways with pie, born of dessert necessity. While I might make two or three pies a year, she made two or three pies a week. One of the first things she taught me how to make was pie crust and I made a fresh raspberry pie when I was eight. I guess when you’re working outdoors every day, a piece of pie – or two – can be your typical dessert. My grandpa was skinny as a whippet, despite twice-daily cookie breaks and dessert at every meal.
To get a head start on the selections of pies, Grandma Flo would blind bake two or three pie shells and stash them on the buffet in the dining room. Then, when she wanted to serve pie, she would whip up a hot pudding – butterscotch, coconut, banana or chocolate – put it in the shell, chill it and there you go, pie for supper.
When I saw a beautiful chocolate pie in Best Vegan Recipes (Vegetarian Times) it looked good, but tofu? I love tofu as much as the next yogi, but I’m still not thrilled with tofu desserts, especially when I know I can make a perfectly fine pudding pie, just like my Granny taught me.
For the last word on chocolate pudding I went to David Lebovitz. I veganized his chocolate pudding and added it to a slightly salty graham wafer crust made with coconut oil. Your kitchen is going to smell so good when you make this pie. Like a big Bounty chocolate bar.
The filling uses cocoa (Hershey’s cocoa is excellent and easy to find) and semi-sweet chocolate to make a doubly chocolate pie. For the topping I whipped chilled coconut cream with vanilla and icing sugar to make a vegan Chantilly Cream. I love how fancy that sounds, but I actually liked the pie more without the whipped coconut cream. I thought it diluted the hit of chocolate.
I confess that a phrase like “vegan dessert” used to cause my heart to sink, but I have new hope. And pie.
- Graham Wafer Crust
- 170 g (6 ounces) graham wafer crumbs (about 10 crackers)
- 26 g (3 tablespoons) sugar
- 60 ml (4 tablespoons) coconut oil, melted
- Chocolate Filling
- 15 g (3 tablespoons) cocoa
- 112 g (1/2 cup) sugar
- 30 g (4 tablespoons) cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 530 ml (2¼ cups) non-dairy milk, divided
- 64 g (2.25 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon rum (optional)
- To make the crust
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, with a rack in the middle of the oven. Stir together the crumbs, sugar and salt. Stir in the melted coconut oil until the crumbs are well coated. Press the crumbs into a 9 inch pie plate. I use a small measuring cup and my finger to make the corners and the rim of the pie. Bake the crust about 15 to 18 minutes, until fragrant. Let it cool.
- To make the filling
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the cocoa, sugar, cornstarch, salt and 250 ml (one cup) of the milk. Stir until smooth.
- Stir in the rest of the milk and place the saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir until it comes to a simmer, then turn the heat down and cook it for one minute longer, stirring, while it becomes thicker.
- Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until well combined. Then stir in the vanilla and rum.
- Pour into the pie crust and chill at least two hours to firm the filling.
For non-dairy milk, I used an organic soy milk.
I used Camino Free Trade Semi-Sweet Chocolate. 64 grams equals 12 small squares.
For cocoa, I used Hershey's Dark Cocoa. Great flavour and easy to find.
I used a whisk to stir the filling and it became quite bubbly. I didn't like how the bubbles looked as the pie set, so I'd suggest using a spoon instead.
To make the whipped coconut cream, chill a can of full fat coconut milk overnight in the fridge. Then drain the coconut water and whip the firm coconut cream with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
To make the chocolate curls, I shaved a chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler.
The filling recipe is based on David Lebovitz’ chocolate pudding. I changed the chocolate to semi-sweet, reduced the sugar, increased the cornstarch slightly to make it a little firmer as a pie filling and left out the egg yolks.