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Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is one of those foods that is pretty much perfect in its basic state. For variations, a chef might switch from a graham cracker crust to a regular pastry crust, or tweak the spices by adding more ginger, a pinch of cardamom or a touch less cinnamon. Even when all of these alterations are put into place, a pumpkin pie is pretty much still just a pumpkin pie. And there is nothing wrong with that. It’s a classic for a reason, after all!

But there isn’t anything wrong with changing tradition once in a while, either, and in light of this, I decided to make a chocolate pumpkin pie.

Chocolate and pumpkin go really well together in general (think about pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips, or something similar) and the idea for a chocolate pumpkin pie popped into my head when I was thinking about this fact. I couldn’t recall ever having seen a chocolate pumpkin pie and I certainly had never eaten one, so I had to wonder if the combination was a relatively undiscovered culinary masterpiece or, tastewise, a total miss.

Fortunately for me, the pie was more on the side of masterpiece: delicious, unique and easily worth having seconds. It had the slightly custardy texture that is the signature of a good pumpkin pie with a good burst of chocolate flavor to complement it. The flavors of the pumpkin and the pumpkin pie spices were strong, even through the chocolate, but there is more than enough chocolate flavor to please a chocoholic. In fact, this may very well be the perfect dessert for the holidays because you will be able to please the pie lovers and the chocolate lovers with one seasonal dish (unless they only like pecans, not pumpkin, in which case you might want to opt for pecan cake for the family dinner and save this pie all for yourself later).

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
Graham Cracker Crust*:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature
1 – 15-oz. can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk (low fat is fine)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine all crust ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine. Press wet crumbs into the bottom and sides of a 9 or 10 inch pie plate. Bake 12-15 minutes, until just beginning to brown at the corners.
Set aside to cool completely before filling.

Turn oven up to 425F.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until slightly foamy, about 1 minute. Whisk in all the remaining ingredients, except the milk, and beat until smooth. Then whisk in the milk.
Pour mixture into prepared, cooled pie crust (you can also use a pastry crust or a store-bought pie crust) and bake for 15 minutes at 425F. Reduce the temperature to 350F and bake for about 30 more minutes, until the pie filling jiggles only slightly and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and refrigerate if storing leftovers.

Serves 8-10.

*While I typically like graham cracker crusts with pumpkin pie (and the one pictured here has a graham crust), this pie is also excellent with a regular crust. Use the instructions for this single crust pie to make and prebake the shell, then fill it with the pumpkin filling and bake as directed above.

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  • Barbara
    November 9, 2007

    Sometimes I make brownies by mixing together a brownie mix and a can of pumpkin then baking. The brownies are super moist, and not too pumkin-y, but they are almost more fudgy. It’s really hard to describe. So, I’m sure this is really good. It’s on my try this sometime list now.

  • Evelin
    November 9, 2007

    I was planning on making a pumpkin pie this weekend, but my mother looked me in the eye and said ‘no pumpkin! no pumpkin in a pie!’

    you’re lucky having the tradition of doing it. I should just stick to good ol’ curd cheese cakes.

  • Nicole
    November 9, 2007

    Evelin – I think you should go with the pumpkin anyway. Maybe you’ll be able to convert your mother with a few slices and some whipped cream! And this one is a good one to start with, since it has chocolate, too!

  • The Flying Trapeze
    November 9, 2007

    This looks fantastic. I love pumpkin and chocolate and have had good success combining them in the past in a pie (an adaptation of the choco silk from this site), but this looks even better – more pumpkin, more chocolate.

  • Emiline
    November 9, 2007

    I’ve never heard of a chocolate pumpkin pie! How fabulous! It looks delicious.

  • brilynn
    November 10, 2007

    My Dad would love this! Chocolate and pumpkin are indeed a great combo!

  • Jessica
    November 10, 2007

    I am on my way to the store RIGHT NOW for any ingredients I don’t happen to have on hand. It’s cold in the house, a pie will warm it right up!

  • Jessica
    November 10, 2007

    Oooh, I don’t even have to go out – I have everything I need!

  • pumpkinpie
    November 12, 2007

    I KNEW I would find a good use for the chocolate graham crackers I bought last week! I have tried the pumpkin-pecan pie, the chocolate-pecan pie, and finally found my favorite hybrid–thanks!

  • Nina
    November 23, 2007

    I thought I would try test this out for T-giving dessert. I wish I had done a test run beforehand. The crust definitely needed more than 1/4 cup of butter–I noticed that on other recipes, 1/2 c butter was more the norm and I can see why, because 1/4 c did not make the crumbs wet enough to truly stick. I thought this pie was okay, I think it would be better if it was sweeter. I thought it would be sweet like a pumpkin pie, but I guess the cocoa cancelled out the sweetness. I wonder how this recipe would taste tweaked with more sweetness and maybe melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder?

  • Nicole
    November 23, 2007

    Nina – I didn’t care for my versions of the pie that used melted chocolate, and we generally tended to perfer the cocoa versions. Pumpkin pies don’t tend to be on the sweet side, anyway. But the great thing about baking is that it is open to experimentation, so feel free to use this as a starting point and make the pie to suit your own tastes!

  • Kristen
    November 26, 2007

    I made this and your apple crisp for Thanksgiving and they both were great! I just caught on to this blog and I am hooked! Thanks!

  • Heidi
    November 26, 2007

    Made this today with the graham cracker crust (used more butter as Nina noted) and it strongly reminds me of mole sauce–a big plus in my world. All who tasted it, loved it. Whipped cream was a must-have with this….Thanks, Nicole!

  • Erin
    December 8, 2007

    I made this a few days ago – I used a frozen pie crust, and substituted sour cream for the milk. Delicious! I think the sour cream added a nice richness that accented the cocoa, and the texture of the finished pie was just perfect. We will definitely try this again. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • Katie
    October 7, 2008

    I made this a few days ago using sweet potatoes because I didn’t have any pumpkin on hand. It turned out great and my family loved it! It absolutely will not replace my love for pumpkin pie, but its a great custardy-fall-chocolate pie that I’ll add to me regular pie rotation. Great recipe!

  • Lynn
    October 25, 2008

    I have a group of women I play Bunco with each month. Next month is my turn to host and this is going to be may dessert to serve. Chocolate for women – cannot go wrong.

  • pumpkinpie
    November 22, 2008

    I used low-fat evaporated milk this time, and the pie tasted amazingly creamy and delicious.

  • Anjanette
    November 29, 2008

    I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it! None of the flavors were overpowering; they all blended well together. For some reason, the pie took almost twice as long to finish baking than the recipe indicated (I have an oven thermometer, so I know it was the correct temperature), but once it did finish, it was perfect and delicious. I’ll have to make this again next year! This is a great recipe.

  • Edrie
    October 30, 2009

    I have made this twice and its been a hit with people who like me love pumpkin pie. I did not win over any non-pumpkin pie eaters. Like the review says they make a great blend of flavors.
    Its a great way to liven up the pie and I recommend it for any time of year.

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