Sunday, September 25, 2016

Coffee cream pie

How often do you watch cooking shows and drool over the recipes? But how often do you actually make those recipes in real life?

If you're like me, maybe about 0.0000365% of the time.

But I knew this pie would be at the top of my list after watching Martha Stewart's coffee episode, as coffee + dessert may be the best thing ever (tied with citrus desserts, of course).

Oreo cooking + coffee custard + whipped cream = (no words)

The filling isn't too sweet (why I love coffee desserts) and the custard slices perfectly! Pairing that with the chocolate crust and the light whipped cream, and you really can't go wrong.

Buen Provecho,

Coffee Cream Pie, by Martha Stewart

Notes: The original recipe called for a 9" pie pan, but I was already using my dish for another pie, so I experimented with my 9" tart shell. It was perfect! In fact, I think all pies with cookie crusts could be made in a tart shell--it makes their presentation even prettier. So feel free to use either a 9" pie dish or tart pan, both will work.

Also, Martha is very specific about using instant espresso powder in this pie. Unfortunately I didn't have any, so I substituted with a little less instant coffee (Folgers instant coffee crystals). I thought the pie was still delicious, so while it may be better with the instant espresso, instant coffee works in a pinch.


Chocolate-wafer crust
6 ounces chocolate wafers or Oreo cookies, finely ground (1 1/2 cups; I removed the cream filling from about half of the cookies, but you can leave them in or remove)
2 ounces (4 TBSP) unsalted butter, melted
2 TBSP sugar
Coffee custard filling
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk (I used 2 percent, but I'm sure it's better with whole)
2 TBSP instant espresso powder (or just under 2 TBSP instant coffee)
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup coffee liqueur (Kahlua) or bourbon (my Four Roses single barrel was awesome in this)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ounces (4 TBSP) unsalted butter, softened

Topping (if you want a huge mound of cream, you can whip up to 2.5 cups of cream)
1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
1 TBSP confectioners' sugar
1 tsp espresso powder, optional
1/3 cup dark-chocolate-covered espresso beans, optional (I didn't have these, so I just topped my pie with the whipped cream and used a microplane zester to shave a coffee bean over the cream to make it pretty)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Make the chocolate crust: Pulse the ground chocolate wafers, butter, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until well combined. Pat mixture into a 9" pie dish or tart pan, pressing firmly into bottom and up sides (I like using the bottom of a measuring cup to make the crust nice and even.) Bake until crust is fragrant and darkens slightly, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Make the coffee filling: Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in milk and 2 tablespoons espresso powder, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, about 7 minutes total (about 2 minutes after it comes to a boil). 
  4. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Temper the yolks by pouring in milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until completely incorporated. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it returns to a boil, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, and stir in liqueur and vanilla. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until butter melts before adding next piece. 
  6. Let custard cool in saucepan on a wire rack, whisking occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Strain the custard through a fine-she sieve (in case you have any small bits of cooked egg). The custard will have the consistency of a pudding; it may not seem thick enough to slice, but once chilled the filling will set perfectly. 
  7. Pour custard into chocolate-wafer crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of custard. Refrigerate until custard filling is chilled and firm, at least 4 hours (or overnight). 
  8. Make the topping: With a flat side of a chef's knife, crush espresso beans, 1 at a time. Reserve 1 tablespoon larger espresso-bean pieces. Whisk together cream, confectioners sugar, and 1 teaspoon espresso powder until stiff peaks form. Fold small espresso-bean pieces into whipped cream mixture, and decoratively spread over pie. Sprinkle with reserved espresso-bean pieces, and serve immediately.


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