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I've used the recipe below to make chocolate pie a few times recently:

  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 milk
  • 8-10 oz chocolate
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs

Heat the milk/cream over low heat until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat, add chocolate, sugar, and salt and stir until smooth. Lightly beat the eggs and temper in with the chocolate mixture. Pour into crust (usually graham cracker) and bake 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees until set.

It tastes great, but after the pie cools the filling becomes very dense almost like a fudge. Sometimes this is fine, but sometimes I'd like it to have a lighter texture almost like a pudding. How should I modify the recipe to do this?

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is a basic chocolate custard filling.

The one thing I would suggest is changing out the whole eggs for egg yolks only, at a ratio of about 2-3 yolks per cup of dairy, so 3-4 egg yolks in this recipe. This should yield a more tender and silky custard, as the whites tend to contribute a more rubbery or resilient texture.

Even so, the original proportions do not look that far off. A custard pie like this one should be able to be sliced when cool, and the slices should hold their shape without slumping. That does require a certain amount of strength in the custard.

You might wish to look for recipes based on a mousse filling, which is not baked in the shell, such as this one from Epicurious.

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If you want the texture to be more like pudding, you could try replacing some of the chocolate with cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. When the chocolate cools, the fat will harden again, contributing to a firmer texture. Alternately, you could try either adding more liquid or reducing the egg. For instance, if you used one whole egg and one yolk, instead of two whole eggs, it reduces the amount of egg protein that will thicken the final dish, allowing for a more fluid texture.

If you just want it to be lighter, you could whip either the cream or the egg whites to a foam before incorporating them into the rest of the dish.

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That would be very difficult for a baked custard in a pie shell... –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 8 '13 at 20:11
    
@SAJ14SAJ I'm not sure what you are referring to exactly. Care to elaborate? –  Mien Jul 8 '13 at 20:22
    
If a custard is baked in a pie shell, it would be very difficult to fold whipped cream or meringue into it afterwards, especially without breaking up and disturbing the shell. Making a mousse from custard works best for stove-top methods. –  SAJ14SAJ Jul 8 '13 at 20:33
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the option not yet suggested is to change the chocolate, using some coca powder or hot chocolate mix instead...but that would require trial and error as I have no idea what ratio to suggest

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