This versatile pie can morph to fit many moods. Freeze it for an icy delight, or just refrigerate instead if you're looking for something a little softer (or you run out of time). Or leave out the candy all together for something a little less rich. You decide.
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chopped assorted chocolate-covered candy, plus additional candy, for garnish
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- One 6-ounce chocolate or regular graham cracker crumb pie crust
Whisk together the cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in the milk in a slow stream. Whisk in the egg yolks.
Place the mixture over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until it just begins to boil, 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking, until thick, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in the butter and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Fold the chopped candy into the pudding. Whip 3/4 cup of the cream with an electric mixer just until stiff peaks form. Fold a third of the whipped cream into the pudding to lighten it, and then fold in the other two-thirds until no streaks remain. Transfer to the pie crust and freeze until firm but not frozen solid, about 3 hours.
Whip the remaining 1/2 cup cream just until soft peaks form. Spread over the pie and garnish decoratively with sliced or chopped candy.
Cook's Note: The pie can be frozen overnight and thawed at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing; it can also be refrigerated instead of frozen.
Use the plastic insert of the pie crust, flipped upside down, as a lid to cover the pie while freezing