Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie #43

So it seems like an obvious combination, right? Chocolate and pumpkin. I mean who doesn't love a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie every once in a while, or some warm pumpkin bread with chocolate chips? So yes, pumpkin and chocolate seem to be a perfect marriage of delightful indulgence and health (note the vegetable and antioxidant combination).

This pie, however, was not really the symphony of satisfaction that I expected it to be. And as far as the Pumpkin Pie Panel testers went, they rated this one as their least favorite of the non-traditional Pumpkin Pies.

Here's the thing, I don't think it awful. I finished mine and enjoyed it. Also, since there was SO much extra filling left over (really, there is SO MUCH FILLING for one 9 1/2 in pie pan--be prepared to make another small one or maybe just be smart from the beginning and prepare two 9 inch pans), I took a small pie (with a gingersnap crust) to work with me the next day and shared it with some co-workers. It got pretty good reviews there so again, I'm just saying, it's not awful--not at all.

But (and this is a BIG but), it doesn't taste like pumpkin.

That's kind of a problem for a pumpkin pie.

I mean, it's got the spices in there, and yeah, there's a wee stitch of pumpkiness in the flavor, but it just tastes like kind of an interesting chocolate pie.

I don't want to completely scare you away from this pie combination. It can be done. But the pumpkin shouldn't be masked and that's the problem with this pie, at least in my opinion. Hopefully this recipe can be used as a jump start for an even better pumpkin chocolate pie combination, but this, my friends, is probably not it.

(Speaking of putting together amazing pie combinations, did anyone else happen to read this article today? I know it's pie season and all, but YEAH FOR PIE!)

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

Graham Cracker Crust
2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao), finely chopped

6 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 55 percent cacao), chopped
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin (or two cups roasted pumpkin)
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves

Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Filling: In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.

Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.

Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). 

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