Strawberry Cream Pie with Chocolate

I was on the fence about making a pie for pi day, even though I did three posts for it last year. This week I have made a bunch of desserts (all of which need to still be written about), so did I really need to make a pie? I considered a couple options, then turned to my Tartine cookbook. They have a banana cream pie which sounds good except for the banana part (I don’t like bananas in my desserts). I made a few switches, like using strawberries instead of the bananas, and I also omitted the caramel and whipped cream (I did not think it was necessary).

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Technically I also modified the pastry cream because I accidentally used 1 cup of milk instead of 2 cups. I knew something was off but just thought I had overcooked the cream. Oh well. Now I know better for next time! I used the same pie crust recipe as last time from this book, where I halved the recipe. You could easily double that recipe and make 2 crusts, saving one for later, or going nuts and having two pies for pi day.

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This pie could be made in one day if you start early with the pie dough (it needs a bunch of chilling), or you could use a ready-made crust. The pastry cream is not traditional and is less rich than most, but I liked it. I actually used just under 4 Tablespoons of butter, partly because my cream was getting too cool to melt more butter in it, and partly because I wondered if I could make it a little less unhealthy.

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Happy Pi Day from this math teacher who happens to love baking pies!

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Directions for Strawberry Cream Pie with Chocolate

Adapted from Tartine Bakery 

  • 9 or 10 inch pie crust, fully baked
  • About 1-2 cups sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup melted chocolate
  • Chocolate curls, pieces, or chips
  • 2 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split down the middle
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, slightly softened (not quite room temperature) and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces

Prepare an ice bath for cooling the pastry cream with a fine mesh strainer on top of a bowl. Whisk together the cornstarch and sugar, then whisk in the eggs. Set aside.

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Pour the milk into a (small is fine) saucepan. Scrape the vanilla bean into it, and add the bean. Also add the salt to the pan.

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Heat it over medium heat, and bring to just under a boil (around 170 degrees F), stirring occasionally.

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Ladle 1/3 of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the milk pan, still whisking.

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Bring the milk and egg mixture to a temperature around 180 degrees so that the mixture will thicken and have a few slow bubbles. Do NOT boil it.

Immediately remove it from the heat and pour it through the strainer into the bowl sitting in the ice bath (discard the vanilla bean). Let it cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so a skin will not form on top.

Yours will probably look different than mine since I misread and used 1 cup of milk instead of 2...oops!

Yours will probably look different than mine since I misread and used 1 cup of milk instead of 2…oops!

Next, whisk in each tablespoon of butter one at a time.

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Cover the pastry cream with clear wrap, pressing directly onto the surface, then chill until cold. Take the pie crust and pour the melted chocolate on top, spreading into a thin layer. This layer will keep the crust from getting soggy.

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Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens.

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Spread the pastry cream on top in an even layer, then place the strawberries and chocolate pieces.

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Directions for Strawberry Cream Pie with Chocolate (without pictures)

Adapted from Tartine Bakery 

  • 9 or 10 inch pie crust, fully baked
  • About 1-2 cups sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup melted chocolate
  • Chocolate curls, pieces, or chips
  • 2 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split down the middle
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, slightly softened (not quite room temperature) and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces

Prepare an ice bath for cooling the pastry cream with a fine mesh strainer on top of a bowl. Whisk together the cornstarch and sugar, then whisk in the eggs. Set aside.

Pour the milk into a (small is fine) saucepan. Scrape the vanilla bean into it, and add the bean. Also add the salt to the pan. Heat it over medium heat, and bring to just under a boil (around 170 degrees F), stirring occasionally. Ladle 1/3 of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the milk pan, still whisking. Bring the milk and egg mixture to a temperature around 180 degrees so that the mixture will thicken and have a few slow bubbles. Do NOT boil it.

Immediately remove it from the heat and pour it through the strainer into the bowl sitting in the ice bath (discard the vanilla bean). Let it cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so a skin will not form on top.

Next, whisk in each tablespoon of butter one at a time. Cover the pastry cream with clear wrap, pressing directly onto the surface, then chill until cold.

Take the pie crust and pour the melted chocolate on top, spreading into a thin layer. This layer will keep the crust from getting soggy. Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens. Spread the pastry cream on top in an even layer, then place the strawberries and chocolate pieces.

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8 thoughts on “Strawberry Cream Pie with Chocolate

  1. Pingback: Topic-Changing-Thursdays It’s Been 1 Year!? | fudgingahead

  2. Pingback: Berry Clafoutis (Baked Custard) | fudgingahead

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