Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The season of pumpkin spice everything is here.
Lattes, cookies and a host of other super-sweet treats are pretty much everywhere you look. Are you ready for the dark side of dessert? This pie has the mild sweetness of your standard pumpkin pie, but with a smoky cocoa kick. Gather your ingredients and follow along at home!
For the crust
2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers
1 half cup butter, melted
1 third cup sugar
For the filling
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup sugar, separated
2 large eggs
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 half cup baking cocoa
Heat your oven to 425 F. This is a takeoff of a basic pumpkin pie recipe; if you’ve made one before, a lot of this will be familiar territory.
Mix the crust ingredients thoroughly, just until the crumbs hold together when squeezed. Squish the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 1/2-inch pie pan. Smooth out any bumpy places. Resist the temptation to eat the crumbs.
Dump the pumpkin into a medium-sized bowl; add the 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 of the cup of the sugar. Stir until the eggs are, to use the fancy cookery term, well-incorporated into the pumpkin mixture. Slowly add the evaporated milk, whisking all the while.
Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pumpkin mixture. To what’s left in the bowl, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. Whisk well, squishing any lumps. Pour the pumpkin into the pie crust.
To the reserved mixture, add the vanilla, remaining sugar and cocoa. This will take some vigilant stirring because cocoa loves to lump up on you. Once it’s reasonably homogenized, spoon the chocolate mixture carefully over the entire surface of the pumpkin mixture.
Now that the crust is filled with future yumminess, you can waltz that dude right over to the stove and chuck it in. Gently, of course. Spilled pumpkin in the oven means burning pumpkin, which will reek up your kitchen for days. Set the timer for 15 minutes. When it goes off, drop the oven temperature to 350 F and bake for a further 45 minutes.
When the center of the pie no longer does the shimmy while your kids clomp through the kitchen, it’s done. Set the pie on a rack to cool for an hour or so before sticking it in the fridge to chill. You can eat this pie as soon as it’s cool enough to cut, but I’ll give you a little advice: let it sit in the refrigerator overnight before you eat it. The extra sitting time will give the flavors time to blend and intensify.
Waiting also ensures that the layers won’t mash together during slicing, giving the pie a nice visual impact. Set off the colors (and the taste) with a glop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, and be sure to store any leftovers in the fridge.