I got a new toy.
I know it a simple little thing, but up to now I have been mostly working with nothing more then a pastry blender and a rolling pin. (I did have to buy a food mill for the grape pies but so far that hasn't actually been useful for anything else).
I have been wanting an electric blender for awhile; however I am also one of the cheapest people alive (except when buying jeans. You find a great pair of jeans and you better buy them, regardless of the price.) But it turns out you can get this set for under $10! So I went ahead and made the purchase.
In celebration, I had to make something that involved whipped cream. Homemade whipped cream was definitely my primary motivation for desiring the electric blender.
Lucky for me, the Smitten Kitchen blog recently posted a chocolate pudding pie that I really wanted to make.
When I previously stated that I had never been exposed to pie making, that was a BIT of a stretch. Chocolate pudding pie is the only kind of pie I have ever seen my mother "make". By "make" I mean dump some out of a Jell-O box chocolate pudding into a pre-made graham cracker crust.
In contrast, this pie is the from-scratch variety and I couldn't help but wonder how from scratch pudding compares to the box. I put it in a crust I made from pecan sandies. And then I topped it with homemade whipped cream.
Honestly, I can't remember how the Jell-O pudding pie tastes to compare. But this one was delicious. And really not that much more effort then the box kind, cuz lets be serious its constantly stirring the heating milk that takes the most effort and either way you still have to do that.
Do This To Make Your Own:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt 3 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream
Prepared 9" crust, any kind that sounds good to you
Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.
Pour filling into cooled shell and chill, its surface covered with wax paper or plastic wrap if you want to prevent a skin from forming, until cold, at least two hours. (I used plastic wrap and found I needed to re-situate it after about an hour, because it formed pockets of condensation when it was still hot hat I couldn't completely flatten. It still seemed to prevent the skin from forming though.)
Beat cream with remaining two tablespoons sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Now you have homemade whipped cream! Spread it across the top of the pie. (Bonus: this hid the imperfection in my crust edge and pudding top.)
One more pic. Look at those pretty layers.