Sometimes I have an idea for a dish that is so grand, so beautiful, and so huge and unhealthy that I while I am possessed by the idea, consumed by it, absolutely dying to make the dish- I have to wait a while because it is too rich, too heavy, too unhealthy, and simply too large to make for just S and myself.
This pie is one of those dishes.
I had the idea to make it about two weeks ago. I was making dulce de leche just because I had the desire to make it and spread it all over fresh baked bread (a delicious use for any you may have leftover), when I started thinking about the rich, thick chocolate custard used in my Chocolate Caramel Custard with Candied Bacon, and how delicious it would taste with dulce de leche. Perhaps cooked a bit longer to further solidify the custard, and then poured into a pie crust? A dulce de leche and chocolate pie. Genius.
I went to Whole Foods pretty much the same day I had the idea and bought a block of Callebaut unsweetened baking chocolate- my very favorite chocolate to cook with. It's a bit more work intensive than chips or easily broken bars, but so, so worth it.
But I held off on actually making the pie. I was concerned we would have an incident like the time I made Pineapple Upside Down cake for this blog and then S and I ate pretty much all of it in one sitting then spent the night lying on the couch moaning in pain due to the amount of butter we had just ingested.
I had waited over a week and still not been presented with an opportunity to make and share this pie, so I took matters into my own hands and threw a dinner party.
I made the pie in the morning and slipped it into the fridge to cool, deciding to make my whipped cream after dinner, right before serving the pie. Then I baked a few loaves of bread, roasted a chicken and some beets, made a beans and bacon dish, and a kale salad. Our guests arrived, the wine and pumpkin beer began flowing, and by the time I made the whipped cream, topped the pie and took my final photos I was a bit tipsy.
The pie was a huge hit, and not just because we'd all had a few glasses of Bordeaux. The chocolate custard is thick and rich, it definitely holds together and stands on its own, the dulce de leche is a bit softer, but it doesn't get crushed by the chocolate, and lends a creamy, nutty sweetness to the not-too-sweet custard.
8 oz net weight- about 2 cups bunny grahams chocolate
2 tbsp brown sugar
5 tbsp melted butter
Dulce De Leche
1 Can (14oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
Spray Oil (I use coconut), or a bit of vegetable oil
3/4 C milk
1/3 C Sugar
3 egg yolks
9 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate- chopped
pinch of salt
6 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 C Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
Dulce de Leche
Preheat the oven to 425 Degree Fahrenheit
Open the can of sweetened condensed milk and pour into a shallow pan and cover with foil. Place this pan inside of a larger pan, and fill the large pan with water until the water level is about 1/2 way up the pan with the sweetened condensed milk in it.
Cook for 1- 2 Hours, until the sweetened condensed milk turns a lovely golden brown and thickens. Remove from oven, take the pan full of dulce de leche out of the larger pan and whisk the dulce de leche well, until it's pretty smooth. Set aside to cool.
You can make the dulce de leche up to a few days in advance, just store it in your refrigerator. Before adding to the pie crust, allow the dulce de leche to come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
Place graham crackers into food processor along with brown sugar, and pulse until all cookies are crushed. Add melted butter and pulse again until well combined.
Butter a pie pan and pour in the graham mixture, press it to the bottom and sides of the pie pan until it forms a crust.
Bake 10-12 minutes, until crumb mixture sets into a solid crust.
Allow to cool before filling.
Once crust has cooled spoon in the room temperature dulce de leche, I spoon in big globs of it and place them in various places in the crust, so it starts out pretty spread out, making covering the whole crust easier.
Take a spatula and spray it with a bit of oil, or wipe a bit on with a paper towel, and use it to spread out the dulce. If it starts to stick, flip the spatula over and use the other side. Put the pie in the refrigerator.
Place egg yolks in a bowl and whisk them well.
Combine milk and sugar in a double boiler and cook over low heat until milk is steaming and all the sugar has dissolved.
Slowly add the milk mixture to the egg yolk bowl while continuously whisking. Once you've added about 1/3 the hot milk to the egg yolks replace the double boiler over low heat and add the egg/milk mixture slowly into the remaining milk in the double boiler, still whisking continuously.
Cook over low heat, continuing to mix, until the egg/milk/sugar mixture has thickened some, about 2 minutes.
Add the chocolate to the egg/milk/sugar mixture in the double boiler and stir well, until chocolate melts, continue cooking over low heat and stirring until the chocolate custard thickens well, about 5-7 minutes.
Remove the custard from heat and stir in the butter, stir well, allow to cool (I stir while waiting to speedup the cooling) for about 3-4 minutes.Take your pie crust with the dulce in it out of the refrigerator, and give it the chocolate more good mix, then pour it into the pie crust, forming a layer on top of the dulce de leche. All of the my chocolate custard fit, but if you have any extra I recommend filling little custard cups with it and chilling them separately for a lovely extra dessert. Place pie in the refrigerator until it is time to serve it.
Immediately before serving add cream, powdered sugar, and extra to a the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high, or use an electric hand mixer. Beat until medium peaks from, about 2-3 minutes.
Spoon over the top of the pie and smooth out, perhaps create a lovely meringue shape. Whatever you like. I shaved a bit of extra chocolate over mine.