Ever since I can remember, chocolate cream pie has almost always been a part of my family's holiday dessert spread. It was one of my grandpa’s favorites and my brother always requests it.
My grandma was the pie-maker in our family and her classic chocolate cream pie made with homemade pudding was the inspiration for this minty version.
This filling for this pie has a pudding-like texture--not too dissimilar from instant chocolate pudding, but slightly more dense and silky. Eating this pie hits all the nostalgia buttons for me but with a boost of deep chocolate flavor and refreshing hit of peppermint.
I switched out my grandma's pastry crust for a chocolate cookie crust. It's made the same way you’d make a graham crust but with chocolate wafers instead.
My filling also has a slighter darker, richer chocolate flavor than my grandma's version because I use high-quality Valrhona cocoa and add a little more than she did. I've also added just a little bit of peppermint for a festive holiday twist.
I like to serve this pie piled high with whipped cream and crowned with a shower of chopped peppermint bark.
Mint Chocolate Cream Pie
- For the crust:
- 38 chocolate wafers (215 grams, I used Nabisco Chocolate Wafers)
- 5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- For the filling:
- 4 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I use Valrhona, but use your favorite)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Pinch of salt
- For the topping:
- Whipped cream
- Chopped peppermint bark, store-bought or homemade
Prepare and bake the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grind the chocolate wafers in a food processor until you have medium-fine crumbs. Add the crumbs to a bowl and stir in the butter, sugar, and salt, mixing until the crumbs are like wet sand and the mixture clumps together when pressed in your fist. Press the crumbs into a 9-inch pie dish and tamp down with the bottom of a measuring cup.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the crust looks and feels dry to the touch, and your kitchen smells like Oreos. Cool on a rack while you make the filling.
Make the filling:
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan to make a smooth paste. (Add a splash of milk if it’s too dry to mix; the idea is just to get these ingredients thoroughly mixed together before adding the rest of the milk and cream.)
Whisk in the milk and cream. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the pudding thickens enough to leave visible tracks from the whisk. This could take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes depending on your stovetop. Don't be tempted to turn up the heat because the pudding can easily start to curdle.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, extract, and salt. Place a strainer over a bowl, and use a spatula to gently press the pudding through to catch any bits of egg that might have curdled.
Fill and chill the pie:
Spread the pudding into the crust. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
Chill the pie for at least 6 hours to set or overnight. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and chopped peppermint bark.