Chiffon pies are light, airy pies that have fillings with a mousse-like consistency. They are, in fact, made much like a mousse and get most of their volume from beaten egg whites or whipped cream. They also usually have a small amount of gelatin in them that helps them keep their shape and slice easily. A chiffon pie can be a great option for a dessert that packs a lot of flavor, without feeling heavy, and this Chocolate Chiffon Pie is great example of exactly that.
The pie starts with a chocolate crumb crust and is filled with a mousselike chocolate chiffon filling. Some chiffon pies use egg whites to give them their lift, but this one uses whipped cream both for volume and for mouthfeel. The pie has a wonderful chocolate flavor to it, thanks to a generous amount of chocolate in the filling. Both dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate will work in the filling – even chocolate chips, so long as they’re good quality. It is best to choose a chocolate that you really enjoy because that will be the main flavoring of this pie. I used Guittard Bittersweet (61% cacao) chocolate in the pie pictured. Opt for a darker chocolate if you prefer a more bittersweet flavor in your pie, and semisweet if you prefer your pie to be a touch lighter.
I like a chocolate crumb crust for this pie, as the chocolate flavor goes well with the pie and it adds a nice crunchy element to the dessert. A regular graham cracker crust will also work well, and you can use a traditional pastry crust that has been prebaked and cooled, if you prefer. The pie keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for several days after assembly. It is best when served with a little bit of lightly sweetened whipped cream and a few chocolate shavings for garnish.
Chocolate Chiffon Pie
Chocolate Crumb Crust
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup milk
2 tsp powdered gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
6 oz dark or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, cold
Make the Crust
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, combine chocolate crumbs, sugar, salt and butter and stir well. Pat into 9-in. pie plate and press into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the plate.
Bake for 14-17 minutes, until firm at the edges.
Cool completely before using.
Make the Filling
In a small saucepan, combine milk and gelatin. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the gelatin.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks. Whisking constantly, gradually pour in the hot milk mixture in a slow stream to temper the eggs. Return mixture to pan and bring to a simmer.
Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Pour hot milk mixture over the chocolate and whisk until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract. Allow mixture to chill in the refrigerator for 60 minutes, covered, until it starts to thicken and is completely cool.
When chocolate has chilled, add whipped cream to a medium bowl. Beat to stiff peaks, then fold in to chocolate mixture.
Pour into prepared pie crust and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
Makes 1 pie. Serves 8-10