At some point I bookmarked the recipe for Chocolate Icebox Pie and even bought a chocolate cookie pie crust for it on sale. Once I had the crust for it, I was obliged to make it. Right? I decided that a nice, cooling pie like this one would be ideal for the last hurrah of summer (80s in St. Louis today).
I’ve been meaning to make this pie for a little while, but the only problem was that it had to chill for 8 hours before you eat it. As with most standard cream pies, you cook a custard filling on the stove, which you then pour into a prepared crust. It takes time for something to cool off from bubbling hot. You can’t just make this pie when you want to eat it. If you’ve got a sweet tooth already, you have to make something else more immediately gratifying, and make this for later.
First step: heat milk until it’s really steaming. (I find that if it bubbles, it’s scorched on bottom.) Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Cool slightly.
Separately, mix together cornstarch and water. Whisk cornstarch mixture, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. I found that stirring in the sweetened condensed milk first helped ensure the chocolate was cool enough that it wouldn’t cook the eggs. Whisk constantly as you bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. (I’ve had trouble figuring out what medium heat is for custards, but I think that about a 4 on my gas range works well.) Boil one minute, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick. With my range and my experience making puddings and pies, this step took no me more than 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add butter. Pour into pie crust, cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the filling, and chill about 8 hours.
The recipe calls for you to make whipped cream, slather it on the pie, and add pecans and a candy bar to the top. I was afraid the whipped cream would deflate on any leftovers, which we would have since there’s just two of us. I prefer to use a spray can of whipped cream and add it to the pie as we eat it.
This was a tasty pie. The filling was good straight out of the pan. Since it’s a chocolate pie with a cooked filling, the pie reminds me of my grandma’s chocolate pie (which I haven’t attempted in 8 years since I made it into a chocolate soup in a crust.) However, the Chocolate Icebox Pie is much sweeter due to the sweetened condensed milk. The pie is smooth and rich, and since it’s so sweet, a little bit goes a long way.
This was an easy recipe to make, and it may be a little more foolproof than a standard pie recipe thanks to the inclusion of sweetened condensed milk (which is already thickened to begin with). It’s not the best chocolate pie recipe I’ve ever had – that would be my grandma’s pie recipe – but this recipe’s solid.