My perfect pie crust is baked to perfection and then filled with a chocolate pudding filling and topped with a fresh whipped cream that is sure not to wilt due to my special ingredient.
For the pie crust*:
For the filling:
3tablespoonsunsweetened cocoa powder
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
For the whipped cream topping:
2cupsheavy whipping cream
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
unsweetened cocoa powderfor dusting
For the pie crust*:
Add flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Cut the cold butter into cubes. Add to the flour mixture along with the vegetable shortening. Turn processor on and let run for 5 seconds. Then, drizzle in cold water. Keep processing until mixture begins to clump.
Pour dough mixture onto a clean surface. Using your hands, pull the dough together into one ball. Cut ball in half and form two discs of the same size and shape. Cover each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. (see * note below for what to do with the second disc of dough).
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes to soften up. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Once dough is ready, roll it out into a disk using a rolling pin. The dough should be 10½ to 11 inches in diameter. Gently fold rolled dough in half and place onto 9-inch pie pan. Unfold the dough so that it is covering the dish completely. Let the dough lay into the dish so that it is not stretched or pulled. Fold over excess edges and press into a smooth or fluted edge, ensuring that the whole outside edge is the same thickness.
Line pie shell with a loose piece of aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil with weights/beans. Continue to bake for another 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely. In the meantime, prepare the filling. Turn the oven off.
Fill the pie:
Place milk in a large sauce pan and heat over medium heat just before boiling. While it's heating, whisk eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together in a medium bowl until light in color, about 1 minute. Sift in cocoa powder and cornstarch. Whisk until combined.
Once the milk has heated up, turn off heat and very slowly whisk 1/4 cup of hot milk into egg mixture. Then, slowly mix the rest of the hot milk into the mixture. Pour combined mixture back into sauce pan. Place pan on stove and heat to medium.
Whisk mixture consistently until it begins to boil and thicken. Once you feel it start to thicken, cook and continue whisking for 3 more minutes. Then turn off heat. Let mixture cool for 5 minutes, whisking every minute to allow steam to escape.
Whisk in vanilla extract, salt, and chopped chocolate until the chocolate has melted completely. Pour pudding into baked pie crust and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Add the topping:
Once the filling has set, it's time to make the topping. Add 1 tablespoon of water to 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin. Stir to combine. Let it sit for 5 minutes to let it firm up. Then, microwave for 5-10 seconds to melt it into a liquid. Set aside.
Add whipping cream, vanilla, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixture and whip on medium-high until soft peaks form. With the mixture on low, drizzle in the melted gelatin. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
Top set pudding with whipped cream. Dust with a little unsweetened cocoa to finish it off. Serve immediately or place in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
* This dough recipe makes two crusts. You'll only need one for this tart. The other can be frozen and kept for up to 6 months to be used in another single-crust tart or pie.