Monday, March 21, 2016

Cherry Chocolate Pie

Hello there.

Talk about a long time.

I'm not going to say this is me coming back to this space because, well, it's likely not. Things are still crazy and hard and boring all at once. But my sweet friend released a self-published anthology and also asked for this recipe, so, here we are.

I made this originally at Christmas, uncertain how it would work, and have tweaked it a bit since. If you don't want the cherry flavor, feel free to leave the juice out, but it adds a nice depth to the otherwise rich am-I-just-using-this-as-an-excuse-to-eat-melted-chocolate flavor. Most dairy free pies of this style I found used tofu, but I was intimidated to approach that without the knowledge base for it, so instead, we have this coconut milk based beauty, all made in one small pot.

Dairy-Free Cherry-Infused Chocolate Pie
  • graham cracker pie crust (I used Pamela's gluten free graham crackers to make mine)
  • 8 oz. tart cherry juice
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I used Whole Foods brand, brands like Thai Kitchen are fine, too! just make sure it's not the "lite" version)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 T corn starch
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar (cane sugar works fine, too)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped 
  • optional: maraschino cherries and whipped cream for topping
Make your graham cracker crust, if not using a preprepared one. For me, this meant using 6 T melted butter and 4 T coconut sugar, mixing with crushed crackers, and baking at 350 for 10 minutes.

In small pot, heat cherry juice over medium-low heat to a light simmer. Allow it to reduce down to about 1/3 of its original volume, stirring regularly. Watch carefully to make sure it does not past the reduction point towards a jelly-like consistency, because it's harder to come back from that. Remove from heat.

In mixing bowl, combine egg yolks and full can of coconut milk. The coconut milk may have separated into water and cream, but add both components. Whisk to combine.

Pour egg and coconut milk mixture through wire mesh strainer, adding it to the pot containing the cherry juice. Apply medium heat until the mixture comes to one full boil, then reduce heat. Stir regularly, allowing it to simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Add corn starch, coconut sugar, vanilla, and salt to mix, whisking to dissolve and combine. Remove from heat.

Gradually add chopped chocolate, stirring constantly to ensure even melting and prevent any potential scorching.

Once all of the chocolate has been added and the mixture is smooth and evenly silky, pour into the pie shell*, distributing evenly.

Chill pie until filling is set, or overnight. Top with whipped cream and cherries if desired, and enjoy!

*Note: if you have more filling than space, pour the extra into little ramekins or glasses and chill those for a rich, pudding-like experience.

Sending you lots of love and springtime sun.