I’ve always loved chocolate cream pies. They are arguably my favorite dessert. Seriously, other than macaroni they are they only thing I’m worried about being present during holiday dinners (I’m not much for turkey). This has been a (mild) obsession since I was small. So today I decided to make mini chocolate cream pies.
I was an only child for about three years, and once my siblings were born I had only child syndrome. Basically, I was incredibly jealous. They were cute, but they were noisy. I even took the only printed photo I had of them once they were born and I marked their faces out with red crayon x’s. Let’s just say, I was a HANDFUL. So with that, the tradition of spending time with my maternal grandmother was born.
They sent me to stay with her for two weeks once they were first born and then every summer after that we each got to spend a whole week with her. This meant lots of mod podge crafts, sleeping in, ice cream for any meal of the day and cooking whatever our favorite food was. So we baked a LOT of chocolate cream pies together. The original recipes made two whole size pies and so we always got to drop off an extra pie with someone, usually my great grandfather.
But the thing with this dessert is that once you cut it, even if you cover it, the pudding gets a little weird near where the slice was made. It’s almost like a callus. Even though my great grandfather could eat an entire pie in one day – that’s not doable even for most people with families and it’s important not to waste food. So I thought to myself – let’s make mini chocolate cream pies to solve the problem.
They aren’t hard to make at all and are still a favorite of mine at 21 years of age!
First you need to take care of the pie crusts. I am IN LOVE with these adorable miniature ones! Once you defrost them, you can choose to keep the pie crust edges as they are or make them look a little more homemade with a utensil.
I like to use a fork.
Next, be sure to poke holes in the base of the pie crust so that everything has room to breathe and will bake pretty flat.
You’ll need to bake these for about fifteen minutes. While this is happening, you can start on the pudding. You’ll need to mix the sugar, egg yolks, milk, cocoa powder, salt, flour, butter and vanilla together.
The Cocoa is my favorite part!
Next you can pop it on the stove or in the microwave. (I’m a cheater and so’s my whole family – so we use the microwave). Either way, it needs to boil. If you cook it in the microwave, you’ll need to do it in increments and beat it with an egg beater or hand held blender in between bouts in the microwave.
This is how it looks after 4-5 minutes. It will start to turn lighter once it’s mixed and cooked completely.
While you’re microwaving you can start on the meringue. Start by introducing the egg whites into an electric mixer and the cream of tartar and beat until it’s foamy.
Then gradually beat in the sugar until you have peaks, now beat in the vanilla. Next you’ll just build your pies by taking the baked pie crusts and adding pudding.
I can’t get over how adorable they look!
After this you’ll add meringue.
Shape this with the back of a spoon to create peaks (yours will look better, I took a hiatus in the middle of cooking to do some wedding planning).
(Full disclosure, this is my FAVORITE part.)
Bake until the peaks are beautiful and golden, and enjoy your mini chocolate cream pies!
What is your one dessert you can’t live without? Because mine is most definitely, mini chocolate cream pies!
Mini Chocolate Cream Pies
Mini Dutch Ann Tartlet Shells
1 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
2 c. milk (or 1/2 +1/2 or whipping cream)
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1/6 c. flour
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 c. sugar
3/8 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove Dutch Ann Tartlet Shells from package and place on a baking sheet.
- Puncture base of shells with fork.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Combine 1 cup of sugar, 2 egg yolks, 2 cups of milk (or substitute), 1 heaping teaspoon of cocoa, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/6 cup of flour, 2 Tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
- Mix with egg beater.
- Place in microwave for 4-5 minutes or until boiling occurs. Beat with egg beater or handheld blender. Insert into microwave in two minute bouts beating in between until well mixed and smooth.
- You can also boil this on the stove in a sauce pan if you prefer while mixing until the mixture is smooth.
- Place 2 egg whites and cream of tartar in electric mixer bowl. Beat on high until foamy.
- Begin to beat sugar 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Continue to beat on high until stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy.
- Beat in 3/8 teaspoon of vanilla.
Combine pudding in tartlet shells and top with meringue. Bake pies at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until peaks are golden.
Let cool for 1 hour prior to eating.
Thanks for reading!