Year of Pies – Chocolate Pudding Pie

February – Chocolate Pudding Pie

So this month I decided to do another non-fruit, bottom-crust-only pie. As it’s February, I thought I could make something sweet for Valentine’s Day. The plan was coming along quite well, and then…well.

The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen’s site – and can be found here.

This recipe was similar to last month’s Maida Heatter and what I liked was how quickly it came together. I busted out my pastry cutter and cut the butter in that way. I even used a frozen pea for reference for size! So the crust, in its unbaked form, was quite good. I did a fancier crimped edge which I hoped would hold the filling in.

PIe Crust with Pea

Pie dough in progress – pea for butter chunk comparison!

Pie crust with butter

Dat butter doe.

Pie crust crimping

The “three-finger” crimp.

The disaster happened when I tried to bake it. It turns out that my new oven’s convection feature heats up the oven about 25 degrees F HOTTER than programmed. I didn’t put a sheet tray under my pie crust so butter dripped down and started to smoke a bit. I didn’t want to risk anything so I took the partially baked crust and decided to “finish” it in the toaster oven (not a good idea) which turned my pie crust into a pie cracker.

Disaster Pie Cracker

So, lessons learned:

  1. Invest in a good oven thermometer as a way to calibrate and accurately gauge your oven temperature.
  2. Put a pan under the pie plate.
  3. When crimping edge, try and have it sit flush on the lip of the pan. The first pie had a bit of the edge roll over which made it difficult to separate from the pan.

Round 2!

I wound up missing presenting this pie on Valentine’s Day but I wanted to make this recipe anyway. I applied my lessons learned and the crust came out a lot better – but I found that a lot of butter wound up bubbling up from the crust and made it rather “wet”. It didn’t turn out to be a very tender pie crust, which was a disappointment.

Pie with chocolate pudding filling

However! The filling was excellent! Highly recommend it and I would even make this pudding (sans pie crust) in the future.Swirled Pie

I wound up serving the pie at a friend’s house – it went over very well!

Some research into the pie crust issue of butter melting out of the crust:

If you’re going to be in the kitchen, you can’t be scared of a little heat. Many novice pie bakers don’t bake their pies at a high enough temperature.The pie ends up stewing in its own liquid and the crust turns almost raw and soggy. What happens is that all the butter in the crust just melts into the dough without evaporating, making it impossible to get a flaky crust. To fix this, start out pies at a high temperature, between 425 and 450 degrees F. Reduce the temperature to around 350 or 375 degrees F after about 20 to 30 minutes and continue baking until the pie is nicely browned and the filling is bubbling. (via Huffington Post pie tips)

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Categories: chocolate, pies, Year of Pies


Communications specialist by day, baker/cook/triathlete/dog-owner by night. I blog about my adventures inside and outside my kitchen. Come take a look - no big whoop!


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