Sunday, February 17, 2008

Scharffen Snap Pie

My grandma used to make the best chocolate cream pie. My grandma made great pies period, but her chocolate was my favorite. I had been looking for a good chocolate cream pie recipe and found one in the Feb 2008 issue of Food & Wine - Chocolate Cream Pie. The whole point of the article was to take a dish and make 2 versions; one upscale, one down home. Hmm....what a novel concept. Their upscale chocolate cream dessert was a chocolate souffle with vanilla creme anglaise. Nice and all, but I wanted an upscale chocolate cream pie. So, I took the basic recipe and twisted it up a bit to make Scharffen (Berger Chocolate Cream Ginger) Snap Pie.

Follow the recipe, making the following additions and substitutions.

-Use ginger snaps instead of chocolate wafers in the crust. I think the combination of ginger & chocolate is really nice, and a bit unusual.

-Steep the whole milk used in the filling with a vanilla bean. Take a 2-3 inch section of vanilla bean and split it down the middle. Add it to the 2 cups whole milk in a pan. Bring just to a simmer, cover and steep off heat for 20 minutes. After steeping, remove the vanilla bean pod and scrape the tiny seeds into the milk and stir. Strain the milk to remove any solids and continue using in recipe as instructed.

-Use really good chocolate. I used Scharffen Berger, which is fantastic. There are really so many good chocolates on the market now that finding one isn't hard; finding one you like is...but what a fun taste-test!

-The recipe calls for 4 ounces semisweet and 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate. I used 2 ounces semisweet, 2 ounces bittersweet, and 1 ounce unsweetened. I threw in the bittersweet because I like a darker, stronger chocolate flavor.

The pie turned out really, really well. I'll definitely be making this one again.

Chris Freeland
cfreeland27 (at)

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