Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rustic Chocolate Pie


This weekend a friend of mine hosted a make-your-own pizza dinner.  Keeping with the theme I decided that a rustic chocolate pie would fit in quite nice.  The pie crust is similar to that of a thin crust pizza, but instead of your typical sauce, veggies, and cheese this crust is topped with a fudgy and gooey chocolate-nut mixture.  I actually made two pies, one with nuts and one without.  Both worked very well, so don't worry about losing taste if you opt to omit the nuts. 

Rustic Chocolate Pie
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens magazine


3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped*
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts**
3 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
   Chocolate shavings (optional)

*I used 3 oz. bittersweet and 3 oz. semisweet chocolate
**I used walnuts and hazelnuts


In a medium bowl mix together the flour and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Cut butter in chunks and add to bowl.  With a fork or pastry blender, cut butter into flour, tossing to coat until largest pieces are the size of pine nuts.  Do not let butter melt.  Drizzle 1 1/2 Tbsp. cold water over the mixture while tossing and mix until moist enough to hold together when pressed.  Add remaining water if needed.  Turn out the dough on plastic wrap and press into a disc.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Let dough stand 30 minutes at room temperature or until pliable enough to roll without cracking.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 14x9 inch oval about 1/8 inch thick, rotating and dusting flour to prevent sticking.  Brush excess flour from dough, fold in half to transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Loosely fold and roll edge, without pressing, to form rimmed crust.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes (my crust took a few minutes longer) or until light golden brown (crust edge will be a little raw inside).  Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.


Melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stopping to occasionally stir.  Once completely melted set aside.

In medium bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the sugar and 1/8 tsp. salt.  Beat until whites are stiff but not dry.  Pour the nuts and melted chocolate over whites; fold with spatula until batter is uniform in color.

Dollop filling on crust.  Spread to about 1/2 inch thick.  Bake about 10 minutes or until surface looks dry and slightly cracked- it will be fudgy on the inside.  Cool on baking sheet on rack.  Serve warm or cool.  Cover and refrigerate after 2 hours or up to 24 hours.  To serve, sprinkle pine nuts and chocolate shavings.

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