This post is sponsored by American Pecans.
Before I met my husband, a card-carrying member of the chocolate cream pie super fan club, I had never had chocolate cream pie, and to be honest, it didn’t seem like much of a pie to me. What was it anyway? Just wobbly chocolate pudding in a plain ol’ pie shell?
Boy was I wrong. Chocolate cream pie—the best kind, anyway—is silky, rich, and decadent; it’s pure and unassumingly elegant; it has a deep cocoa flavor and a buttery crumb crust. Slather the top with homemade whipped cream and you’ve got yourself one incredible pie.
This chocolate cream pie is all of those things and more, with a creamy, satiny chocolate filling, and rather than a traditional pastry pie crust or a straightforward graham cracker crust, it’s nestled inside an irresistible pecan and coconut crust, made with shelled pecans, graham crackers (for added stability), flaked coconut, a little bit of sugar, and butter. The toasty, naturally sweet flavor of pecans is not only the perfect complement to the chocolate, but pecans help provide plant-based protein, fiber and good fats to any recipe.. A 1oz serving of pecans has 3g of protein and fiber, 8g unsaturated fat and only 2g saturated fat. Makes sense that they’re called the Original Supernut :)
Now, there are two crucial steps to making the pecan crust sturdy and uniform. First is using the food processor, which can blitz the pecans, crackers, and coconut into extra fine crumbs that are roughly all the same size. The second is using the flat bottom of a measuring cup (or a drinking glass) to firmly press and pack the buttered crumbs evenly into your pie plate (use the side of the cup, tilted, to press the crumbs up the sides).
For the filling, I use two kinds of chocolate to create the best flavor—semisweet (60% cocoa), for a smooth and balanced chocolate taste, and unsweetened (100% cocoa) for added intensity. Note: you must use a bar of semisweet baking chocolate and you cannot substitute semisweet chocolate chips because chocolate chips have additives that inhibit proper thickening. The filling comes together all in one saucepan in under 15 minutes—no tempering egg yolks required!
I’ll be making this chocolate cream pie recipe for Father’s Day and you should, too!
Chocolate Cream Pie with Pecan Crust
- 3 oz fresh pecans, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 3 oz graham crackers (5 whole cracker sheets), broken into large pieces
- ¼ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- 13.5 oz can of full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (from a chocolate baking bar)
- 1 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- semisweet chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)
- Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a food processor (or high powered blender), pulse the pecans, crackers, coconut, and sugar, until the mixture is fully ground. You want very fine crumbs that are all the same size. Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl, stir in the butter, and stir well with a rubber spatula until evenly combined. Pour crumbs into a 9- or 10-inch pie plate, spreading them with your fingers into an even layer. Use the flat bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass to press and pack the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pie plate, then use the side of the measuring cup to press crumbs into the plate’s sides. Bake until fragrant and golden browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.
- Make the filling: In a large saucepan, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together. Whisk in the coconut milk and whole milk until fully mixed, taking care to scrape all sides and corners of the saucepan (so as not to leave any clumps of cornstarch). Set the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and simmering across the entire surface, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from heat. Whisk in the chopped semisweet and unsweetened chocolate and butter until melted and fully blended. Whisk in the vanilla. Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust. Press a sheet of plastic wrap over the surface of the filling (it should be laying against the filling, touching it) and let the pie cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the filling is firmly set, at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Make the topping: In a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Smooth the whipped cream evenly over your chilled pie, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve.