This year I was inundated with pumpkins. My daughter and her friend like to decorate them for Halloween. They got a little carried away and left me with a few leftovers to use up. Of course, this is not really a problem because one of the favorite types of pie around my house is pumpkin pie. It is actually my wife Annette's favorite! This is a good thing for me because pumpkin pie has to be one of the easiest desserts to prepare. Everything goes in one bowl and then into a prepared unbaked pie crust.
However, after baking at least four traditional pumpkin pies, I began thinking about other complimentary flavors for the pumpkin besides the traditional spices. I still had one more big pumpkin to use up. Sure, pumpkin pie is awesome, but what else can you do with this seasonal holiday favorite?... CHOCOLATE immediately came to mind!
Creating a chocolate version of a traditional pumpkin pie is really easy. You just have to adjust the spices to compliment the chocolate flavor. For this recipe I use vanilla bean and a bit of cinnamon. These flavors work quite nicely with the chocolate. Let's get started!
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
2 cups cooked pumpkin puree*
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup half-and-half cream
1 whole vanilla bean (split and scraped)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp cocoa*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, combine the cooked pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, half-and-half cream, vanilla bean, and cinnamon. Mix all of the ingredients until smooth. At this point you can add the cocoa and stir thoroughly until it is evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into your prepared unbaked pie crust. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean. Allow the pie to cool completely. Serve with a garnish of fresh whipped cream and enjoy! :)
For this recipe you can use your favorite pie crust recipe or you can use mine. My pie crust recipe can be found here.
Roasted pumpkin is so much better than the canned stuff. I roast my pumpkin in a 350 degree oven with a bit of butter and cinnamon for about an hour or until tender. It can then be easily mashed and pureed to use in your pie.
When it comes to the added cocoa, you can add a bit more or less to suit your family's taste for chocolate. For example, cutting back the cocoa in this recipe by 1 tablespoon will result in a pie with lighter chocolate flavor and color. Likewise, 1 additional tablespoon will result in a very dark and rich chocolate dessert. It's all up to you. Remember to use the finest quality ingredients that you can get your hands upon. For example, there is a world of difference between cocoa brands out there. My absolute favorite cocoa is Valrhona from France. It's a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way. Choose your cocoa carefully. You will be rewarded with a pie that your family will absolutely love!