Espresso Black Bottom Pie in Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust

espresso black bottom pie in chocolate chip cookie crust

Sometimes you want comfort food for dessert and black bottom pie is a classic in this genre – something familiar and soothing, simple and satisfying. Consider it a stepped-up version of a classic custard pie with the black bottom being the chocolate pudding that makes up the bulk of the pie. It cuts beautifully with very clearly delineated layers. The dark chocolate custard filling is enhanced with the flavor of espresso, as is the generous topping of whipped cream. The crust is a modified chocolate chip cookie dough – the elimination of any egg or leavener allows the crust to keep its shape in the pie plate. We like walnuts in the crust, but have made them optional so that you can make this dish for those who cannot have nuts.

Espresso Black Bottom Pie in Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust
Makes: Serves 8
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • ⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate morsels
  • ½ cup toasted walnut halves, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 ¾ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, such as Valrhona Equitoriale (55%), Ghirardelli 60% or Callebaut semisweet or bittersweet
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1⅓ cups heavy cream, chilled
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 ounce semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated, (use what you used for filling - optional)
  1. For the Crust: Position rack in the middle of your oven. Preheat to 350° F. Coat a 9½-inch by 1 ½-inch tempered glass pie plate with nonstick spray.
  2. Beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed with flat paddle until sandy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add flour, salt and vanilla, and beat on medium-speed until mixture begins to come together; it might look crumbly, but if you squeeze it between your fingers, it will come together. Beat in morsels, and nuts, if using, until combined. Gather dough together into a ball with your hands while it is still in the bowl. Press into prepared pie plate in an even layer along bottom and up sides, creating an even, high rim.
  3. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes. The crust should be tinged with light brown along the edges, but the bottom will still be a little soft. Do not bake any further; it firms up tremendously upon cooling – just like chocolate chip cookies. Cool completely on rack. Crust may be used immediately or stored at room temperature overnight, wrapped in plastic wrap.
  4. For the Filling: Dissolve instant espresso powder in the vanilla and set aside. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt in a medium-sized heavy bottom saucepan. Whisk in yolks until smooth, then whisk in milk and cream until combined. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, just until it comes to a boil. At that point, whisk constantly and boil for 1 to 2 minutes until the custard thickens. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the chopped chocolate and vanilla/espresso. Allow the residual heat to melt the chocolate, which might take 5 to 10 minutes, very gently drawing your whisk through it once or twice to help it melt during that time frame. Scrape into prepared crust and refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. For the Topping: Dissolve espresso powder in vanilla in chilled mixer bowl. Add cream and sugar and beat on medium-high speed with wire whip until firm peaks form. Spread over the top of the custard, mounding gently in the middle. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 hours.

Bakepedia Tips

  • The dimensions for the pie plate are important. This recipe requires a deep-dish pie plate due to the volume of the crust, filling and topping.
  • When you gently whisk the hot pudding to help it cool down, do so very gently or you might keep it from setting. Think of using your whisk with a folding action. Draw it through the pudding and fold it over itself once each time you perform this technique. It is a subtle movement. You are not trying to agitate the pudding – just release heat.
  • If you want to hold the pie overnight, do so without the topping. The crust should be high enough that you could wrap the pie with plastic wrap without touching the pudding. If the pudding comes right up to the top, stick a few toothpicks in the pudding and drape the plastic over the pie that way. Simply prepare the whipped cream close to serving time and pile it on top.

5 Responses to Espresso Black Bottom Pie in Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust

  1. Casey August 10, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    The recipe looks wonderful, but I’m a bit confused about the filling. When do you add the chopped chocolate? After removing the custard from the heat? I don’t see it mentioned in the step-by-step instructions. I would love to make this for Sunday dinner tomorrow, but just need a little clarification. Thanks!

  2. Dede Wilson August 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Casey, thank you so much for writing and you indeed found an omission. The recipe has been updated and Thank You for bringing it to our attention. We are actually formally launching the site later next week and are busy attending to details such as this. Would love to know how you found us. Let us know how the recipe works for you and if you have time, take some pics! We would love to see them. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

  3. Vicki Wells Engle November 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    The description says the filling and whipped cream are enhanced by espresso, but I only see it listed in the whipped topping…is there supposed to be espresso in the filling, and if so, how much, please? Thanks, I love your site. Found it via David Lebovitz.~Vicki

    • Dede Wilson November 22, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      Vicki, good catch! It has been edited. Truth be told it is also fine without the espresso in the filling. Let us know which way you make it and what you think. Welcome to Bakepedia!

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