Do you love chocolate? Do you love pie? If so, these three little words will be music to your ears: chocolate pie crust. It's a real thing, and it will imbue your next pie with delicious chocolatey flavor.
Photos via CakeSpy
This chocolate pie crust is made by substituting a portion of the flour called for in traditional pie dough recipes with unsweetened cocoa powder. Once baked, it has a distinct chocolate flavor that'll make your favorite fillings taste brand new again.
Maybe you'll see how a chocolate crust contrasts a fruit filling, or maybe you'll take a more decadent route and fill your pie with creamy custard. Either way, the results will be memorable.
How to make chocolate pie crust
For two standard-sized pies, you'll need:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
Add the cold, cubed butter into your dry mixture using a pastry cutter or two forks. The largest crumbs should be no larger than the size of a pea.
Note: If you have one, you can also use a food processor to pulse the cocoa-flour-salt mixture with half of the butter until the texture is slightly coarse. Then add the remaining butter, and pulse until the largest crumbs are the size of small peas.
Gently stir in the water a little at a time with a pastry cutter or fork. You've added enough water once the mixture clumps together easily and minimal dough flakes off (some visible butter is fine).
Divide your dough in half and shape into balls, then flatten each one into a disk. Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
When you're ready to bake:
Once you're ready to bake, follow these simple steps to set up your pie crust in a pie plate.
Dust your work surface and rolling pin with cocoa powder. To roll out the bottom crust, place your dough on the cocoa-covered surface. Using a rolling pin, begin to roll the pie dough (it'll become easier to roll as you work it). Lift a corner to make sure it's not sticking to your work surface.
You can absolutely dust your surface with all-purpose flour, but it will leave a white residue on your pastry. For a more consistent color, use cocoa powder.
Roll your dough so that it's a few inches wider in circumference than your pie plate. Check this by placing your pie plate face down on top of your dough. Try to get the crust as round as possible, but if it's edges are ragged, don't worry — you'll deal with them shortly.
Fold the pie dough in half, then in half again so it's in fourths (this makes transferring easier). Place the dough in the pie plate and unfold it. Press it into the pan, allowing the edges to overhang a little.
You know those raggedy edges? It's time to either trim or fold them. If you want a fluted or really thick crust, fold the edges under so that they're hidden. To flute the crust, simply pinch the dough in regular intervals to form a fluted shape.
Proceed with your chosen recipe! If you're using this pastry in a recipe that calls for traditional pie dough, closely monitor the baking time, as the chocolate pie crust may take a few minutes less to bake.
I baked one portion of my chocolate pie dough as a traditional blind-baked crust, and filled with a classic lemon meringue pie filling. With the second portion of dough, I made homemade chocolate Pop Tarts! Both were decidedly well received.
Looking for some ins-PIE-ration for filling your chocolate pie crust? Check out Nancie McDermott's class Classic Pies Made Easy. In addition to learning tips for perfect traditional pie crusts, you'll also master all sorts of delectable pie-filling recipes, from crave-worthy custard to prize-winning fruit variations.