Every year I get put in charge of the pies for Thanksgiving. I don’t mind because I enjoy making desserts as much as I enjoy eating them, which is rather significant. 🙂 However, I come from a large family as does my sweetheart which means that no matter where we go visiting there are a lot of pies to make. My biggest year I made 26 pies…and they pretty much all got demolished. Go family!
One of the keys to making pies enmasse is to combine your efforts. For example I make one batch of chocolate custard and break it half to create a chocolate cheesecake pie and a chocolate grasshopper pie. Here’s how it works.
2 chocolate graham cracker crusts
1 batch chocolate custard (recipe follows)
1 batch cream cheese filling (recipe follows)
crushed grasshopper cookies
Stabilized whipping cream (recipe follows)
To assemble: Split custard and cream cheese filling batches. Layer cream cheese filling on the bottom of the graham cracker crust. To one half of the chocolate custard add 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. Layer chocolate batches over cream cheese filling. Garnish with whipping cream, cookies or curls as appropriate. Two pies all at once. 🙂
You may have a bit of left over custard. Don’t let it go to waste! It’s lunch!
3/4 cups sugar
5 Tbl Thick Gel (you can substitute cornstarch, but it won’t hold in the fridge over night the way Thick Gel will)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2.5 cups cold milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 Tbl butter
1 tsp vanilla
Combine sugar, Thick Gel, salt and cocoa powder in a medium pan. (I like my non stick pan.) Add milk and cook at medium heat until it thickens, remove from heat. Add 1/4 cup hot mixture to egg yolks and mix well. Add a second 1/4 cup hot mixture to eggs and stir to combine. Add egg mixture back to custard and mix through. Return to heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter.
Cream Cheese Pie Filling
8 ounces light cream cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Ultra Gel
Whip together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined. Slowly add whipping cream and Ultra Gel and beat until thick and smooth. Add milk and continue beating until thick and smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before pouring into pie shells. This is also good in cream puffs, crepes and anywhere else you want a killer cream cheese filling.
If you don’t have Ultra Gel omit the Milk and increase the whipping cream to two cups.