Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bry.

It was my joy today to celebrate the first 25 years of life of this man.

Oh, how I love him. And to show him just a small token of my love, I invited some of our friends over to share a slice of birthday pie and just enjoy time together. 

Dear Bryan & brother, forgive me for posting a photo that you were clearly not ready to be in :)

Why pie? It's Bryan's favorite. Since we starting dating over 3 years ago, I've made him a pie for every birthday (and then some...). Cherry, strawberry, key lime. This year he wanted chocolate.

So I grabbed my trusty Pies and Tarts book (yaaay, Martha!) and found a recipe for Chocolate Cream Pie. And let me assure you, Martha did not disappoint. Seriously, this book is gold.

Chocolate Cream Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie

For the Crust
25 Oreos
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt

For the Filling
2 1/2 cups milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large egg yolks (I only had 3)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the Topping
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
(I added 1 tsp. almond extract)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust by pulsing Oreos in the food processor until it becomes fine crumbs. Add the butter, sugar, and salt and pulse to combine. Press into 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Then make for 10 minutes and let cool completely on a wire rack.

2. Make the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine milk and chocolate. Heat over medium-high, whisking occasionally, until chocolate is melted. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together sugar, corn starch, and salt. Add a cup of the milk mixture to the bowl and whisk until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring continually, until bubbling and thick. (The book said 4-5 minutes, but it took me 10. Maybe my burner is weak?)

3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks. Slowly temper eggs by adding a small amount of milk mixture at a time. Return to saucepan and continue cooking custard (while stirring constantly) until thick and bubbles form in the center, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla. Let cool about 10 minutes, stirring 2-3 times.

4. Pour custard into baked and cooled crust. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

5. Before you serve the pie, make the topping. With an electric mixer on med-high speed, whisk cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioners' sugar (and I highly recommend almond extract), and whisk until stiff peaks form. Spread over custard. We served it with fresh strawberries and raspberries. MMMM!

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