BLT Wedge Salad with Charred Corn
Summer calls for an update to my favorite crispy salad!
Today in the office, we were all enjoying a delicious slice of cake from Palace Cakes, and discussing our favorite desserts. It’s a Very Important Discussion, of course, and I had a life-changing realization. I realized that my favorite is pie.
I think for a long time I’ve thought cookies were my favorite. I have always known it’s not cake (no offense to cake – it’s just not my very favorite). And I’ve always known it’s not ice cream. Which sounds crazy, I know (and I do *love* ice cream, just not as much as pie).
Somehow it feels like pie is a more concentrated degree of indulgence. In cookies and cake, you have a ratio of mix-ins/frosting to dough. Most of the time, the dough is about 80 percent of that mix. Pie is the opposite. More of the goodies, less of the dough. A clear victor.
We made this chocolate cream pie for a Labor Day barbecue with friends, and I still have two pieces in the fridge.
I might be hoarding them.
I remember realizing this with banana cream pie once: homemade pie is great. Homemade cream pie is the food of the gods. It’s more work, but it’s worth.
Cooking is all about the payoff, right? This payoff is where it’s at.
Warning! This takes a lot of time for things to cool, chill, and set up in the fridge. Plan at least 5 hours between starting and eating.
Here’s what you need:
1 pie crust
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
For the topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out the pie crust to fill a 9 inch pie pan. Trim the edges and use a fork to poke little holes all over the inside of the crust. Be liberal with this – there should be LOTS of them to prevent air bubbles. Lightly line the pie crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans/lentils.
Bake the pie crust for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Allow to cool. (You can start the filling anytime, though, it will take longer than cooling the pie shell).
For the filling, mix the chocolate, butter and vanilla together in a small bowl and set aside.
In a saucier or saucepan (off the heat), whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt, Whisk in 1/4 cup of the cream until the mixture is smooth. Follow with another 1/4 cup of cream, whisking until smooth. Finally, whisk in the egg yolks – again until smooth.
Place the pan over medium heat. As you gently heat, add in the rest of the cream and milk. I did this in 3 batches, but did not wait for a specific temperature to add.
Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. When it reaches a boil, set a timer for 90 seconds. Keep stirring.
At the end of the 90 seconds, remove from the heat and pour into the bowl with the butter and chocolate. Whisk until everything has melted and the mixture is once again smooth. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, then cover with greased plastic wrap right on the surface of the custard. Chill completely. This will take a while. I suggest using the freezer to speed things up. Basically, the bottom of the bowl should be cold to the touch before you move on.
Pour the cooled filling into the pie shell and smooth with a spatula. Put back in the fridge, covered once again, while you whip the sugar and cream into a whipped cream (beat in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until soft peaks form). Spread or pipe the whipped cream onto the top of the pie and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. The more time it has to set up, the better. I recommend an additional two hours after you transfer to the pie shell.