A couple of years ago when I did my informal poll of family and friends for their favorite types of pie, chocolate or chocolate cream pie was in a close race for first place, challenged only by apple.
The chocolate pie we always had at our grandparents’ house (the Riley side) consisted of chocolate pudding in a graham crust with fresh whipped cream spread over the top.
Since so many people in my poll referred to it as “chocolate cream pie” I made two layers in mine: one of straight chocolate pudding and one of pudding mixed with whipped cream, and then more whipped cream on top.
My nephew Sam, when trying to think of which pie was his favorite, suggested a caramel pie. That sounded very good to me, so between the two chocolate layers I added a generous amount of caramel sauce and a little pinch of salt since that enhances the caramel and the chocolate so nicely.
His big brother, my nephew Henry cited Chocolate as his favorite, they now both get their favorites together in one buttery, graham cracker shell. (I’m the best aunt ever!!)
If you have never made your own graham cracker shell, you really just should. It’s not difficult at all, adds very little time and it tastes out of this world.
In my experience, the appreciation and awed looks when you tell your hungry fans that you made the crust yourself are so worth the effort!
The recipe is below. And for more chocolatey recipes check these out!
- 9 sheets graham crackers, finely crushed
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 3.9 ounce packages instant chocolate pudding
- 2-3/4 cups cold milk
- 1/2 cup gourmet caramel sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (If you are using a salted caramel sauce, omit this.)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Place the graham cracker crumbs into a medium bowl. Pour in the melted butter. Stir until all the crumbs are moistened. Press the butter-crumb mixture into an even layer over the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie plate.
Bake the shell for 15 minutes until it is a deep golden brown. Remove and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, combine the milk and pudding mixes. Stir for 2 minutes. Pour about half of the pudding into the cooled graham shell. Drizzle the caramel evenly over the pudding layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Place the bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer into the freezer for 15 minutes. When these are chilled, assemble them on the stand mixer and pour the whipping cream into the bowl. Whisk the cream on high. Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar as the mixer is running. Whisk the cream for about 10 minutes until it holds stiff peaks.
Mix 3/4 cup of the whipped cream into the remaining pudding. Spoon evenly to cover the caramel layer. Refrigerate for 2 hours until set.
Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top of the chilled, set pie. Slice and serve immediately.
This recipe was created for the A to Z Challenge, an annual blogfest! Over 2,000 bloggers come together in the month of April and post on every day of the month (Sundays off) whatever theme or subject they choose for each letter of the alphabet. Check out the A to Z Challenge website.