Homemade chocolate pudding is one of those comfort desserts that we crave in our household. It’s so rich and creamy that it can definitely stand on its own. But when you transform it into a homemade chocolate pudding pie, you have just taken it to another level where the ordinary becomes extraordinary. This velvety smooth pudding contrasts so well with the thin crunchy sweet pastry. The overall look of this pie has such a retro feel to it. Don’t you just love how the swirls of whipped cream, topped with shaved chocolate and maraschino cherries take you back to another time?
The decoration includes whipping cream, or technically Chantilly cream. Homemade whipped cream is not only easy, but it’s also way better than the canned stuff from the store. There is a difference between just whipped cream and Chantilly cream. Whipped cream is simply whisked until stiff; Chantilly cream is the same, but also contains vanilla and sugar to add more flavor. You can do either one for this pie.
Make sure the pie is well chilled before you slice it. This results in an extra-clean cut, making it that much nicer!
For the Pastry
For the Pudding
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream (Chantilly Cream)
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Few drops of vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
For the Decoration
- 6 maraschino cherries with stems
- 1 tsp. of shaved milk chocolate
To Make the Pudding
- Combine the milk and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan and bring to just below a boil over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally.
- While the milk is heating, use an electric hand mixer to beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until it is a pale yellow. Then add the cornstarch and whisk until thickened and well combined.
- When you can’t touch the hot milk, it’s ready. Remove from heat, then pour the milk into a 4 cup glass measuring cup, and let cool for 30 seconds.
- Temper the egg mixture by pouring a little of the hot milk into the bowl with the egg mixture, whisking all the time. Gradually add the rest of the milk, whisking continually. It’s nice to have a kitchen helper to help with the pouring.
- Pour the mixture into the saucepan again, and bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, whisking continually.
- Lower the heat to medium-low, continue to whisk until the pudding has thickened.
- Flavor the pudding by removing the pudding from the stove top and stir in the vanilla.
To Assemble the Pie
- Pour the hot pudding into your cooled sweet pastry shell.
- Let the pudding cool uncovered in the pastry shell and set in the fridge before decorating. This will take 3 to 4 hours.
- If you have any extra pudding, pour into a bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap right on the surface of the pudding. This will prevent a skin from forming.
- Make the whipped cream (Chantilly cream) and put in a piping bag that has a 1 cm-round tip.
- Pipe 12 swirls around the edge of the pie.
- Place the maraschino cherries with stems on every second swirl.
- Sprinkle shaved chocolate on the remaining swirls.
- Chill the pie until ready to serve.
Use whole milk in the pudding to have a rich, creamy texture.
Alternative dairies don’t boil well because they separate and don’t thicken.
To make an egg-free pudding, just add 1 Tbsp of cornstarch, but realize it will be less thick and rich.
Optional: At the very end, add two pats of butter for a little more silkiness and flavor. Stir until it is well blended.