How To Make the Easiest Chocolate Pie

updated Nov 11, 2020
christmas
How To Make Easy Chocolate Pie

Step-by-step guide to making an easy, yet decadent, chocolate pie.

Serves8 to 10

Makes1 (9-inch) pie

Prep15 minutes

Cook5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Easy chocolate pie with slice served out.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

My mother-in-law isn’t a baker, but she has a serious sweet tooth. When she pulled out a chocolate-smudged cookbook on our first shared Thanksgiving holiday, she turned straight to the chapter on pie — and specifically, a recipe for whipped cream-topped chocolate pie. Ever since, I’ve accepted chocolate pie as a welcome addition to any holiday spread.

The version I’m sharing here is one I know she’d be proud of. It’s decadent yet easy enough for novice bakers, and can even be made completely without an oven. If you’re looking for a fuss-free way to incorporate chocolate into your Thanksgiving spread, this is the pie for you.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Pick Your Pie Crust (Anything Goes!)

The great thing about chocolate pie is that you can use any crust you like, from a classic pastry crust to a chocolate crumb crust to a graham cracker cookie crust. To prep the pie in a pastry crust, start with a homemade one, a pre-made refrigerated one, or a frozen one. Then blind bake it: Line the crust with a sheet of parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or granulated sugar. Bake until the crust is dry and firm, then return the empty crust to the oven to brown and finish crisping.

If you prefer a crumb crust, you can also go the homemade route or grab a store-bought shell from the baking aisle. There’s no need to bake crumb crusts before filling.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Marshmallows Are the Secret to the Easiest Chocolate Filling

Mini marshmallows add sweetness and structure (in the form of gelatin) to this pie without the fuss of blooming gelatin. All you have to do is melt them with heavy cream, stir in the chocolate, then fold in whipped cream.

Mini marshmallows are the easiest to measure and melt, but you can use full-size ‘mallows or even sticky marshmallow creme if you have it. The sweet vanilla flavor offsets the chocolatey bitterness of dark and semi-sweet chocolate without making the filling too sweet.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Whipped Cream Does Double Duty

The most difficult part of making this pie is waiting for the chocolate to cool before folding in the whipped cream. (Warm chocolate will melt and deflate the lightened cream). When the chocolate is barely warm to the touch, use a gentle folding motion to gently scoop the chocolate up and over the cream until no streaks of cream remain. After the pie chills and firms, top with more whipped cream and garnish with chocolate chips, sprinkles, fruit, or more marshmallows.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell
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Here's how to make the easiest chocolate pie.

How To Make Easy Chocolate Pie

Step-by-step guide to making an easy, yet decadent, chocolate pie.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 3 cups

    mini marshmallows (about 6 ounces)

  • 2 1/2 cups

    cold heavy cream, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag

    semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1

    (9-inch) fully baked pie crust or store bought or homemade cookie crumb crust

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • 9-inch standard pie plate (not deep dish)

  • Saucepan

  • Silicone spatula

  • Stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or mixing bowl and whisk)

Instructions

  1. Melt the marshmallows and heavy cream. Place 3 cups mini marshmallows, 1/2 cup of the heavy cream, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH in 30-second bursts, stirring between each, until the marshmallows are fully melted, about 2 minutes total. (Alternatively, melt in a small saucepan over low heat.)

  2. Add the chocolate. Set aside about 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips from a 12-ounce bag for garnish. Immediately add the remaining chocolate to the warm marshmallow mixture. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. 

  3. Cool the chocolate mixture. Set the chocolate-marshmallow mixture aside to cool until barely warm to the touch, about 30 minutes.

  4. Whip the cream to stiff peaks. Place the remaining 2 cups cold heavy cream and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer or whisk and a large bowl.) Begin beating on low speed, gradually increase the speed to medium-high, and beat until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Reserve 1 cup of the whipped cream and fold in the remaining cream. Reserve and refrigerate about 1 cup of the whipped cream for topping the pie. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture until no streaks of cream remain.

  6. Transfer the filling to the pie crust. Transfer the filling into a baked pastry crust or crumb crust and smooth into an even layer.

  7. Garnish and chill the pie. Refrigerate until the filling firms up, at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Top with the reserved whipped cream and chocolate chips.

  8. Serve. Cut into slices and serve.

Recipe Notes

Baking pie dough: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Roll out pie dough and transfer to a 9-inch standard pie pan. Press the dough into the bottom and along the sides of the pie plate, being careful not to puncture the dough. Crimp or press decorations into the edge of the crust and trim any excess dough away with a paring knife.

Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dry beans, or granulated sugar for blind baking. Place the pie crust on a baking sheet and bake until golden-brown, about 20 minutes. Using the parchment paper as a sling, remove the pie weights. Return the crust to the oven and bake for 5 minutes to crisp the bottom of the crust. Set the pie crust aside to cool while you prepare the filling. 

Make ahead: The pie can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Loosely cover the pie in plastic wrap after the filling firms up.

Storage: Leftover pie can be lightly covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days.

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