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Mini Chocolate Pudding Pies

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Rich, decadent and intensely chocolaty, these mini pies are the ultimate chocolate lover’s dream. If you don’t have time to make the whole shebang, the pudding is perfect on its own. Spoon it into individual serving bowls while it’s still warm, cover with plastic and chill until ready to eat. Dollop each bowlful
with whipped cream.

Mini Chocolate Pudding Pies

For the dough:

2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. sugar

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) (6 oz./185 g) very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

8 Tbs. (4 fl. oz./125 ml) ice water, plus more if needed

 

For the filling:

1/2 cup (4 oz.⁄125 g) sugar

1/4 cup (3⁄4 oz.⁄20 g) natural cocoa powder

3 Tbs. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz.⁄60 ml) heavy cream

2 3⁄4 cups (22 fl. oz.⁄680 ml) whole milk

6 oz. (185 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus more for shaving (optional)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving

 

In the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, salt and sugar. Sprinkle the butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds, or just until the butter is slightly broken up into the flour but still in visible pieces. Evenly sprinkle the water over the flour mixture, then process just until the mixture starts to come together. Dump the dough onto a work surface, press it together, then divide it in half. Press each half into a disk, then place the disks in a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

Have ready six 5-inch (13-cm) mini pie pans. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a circle 1⁄16 to 1⁄8 inch (2 to 3 mm) thick. Cut out 6 circles, each about 6 1/2 inches (16.5 cm) in
diameter. (You will likely be able to cut out only 4 circles, then you’ll need to gather the scraps, reroll, and cut out the last 2 circles.) Line the pie pans with the dough. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Line the pie shells with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place the pans on a baking sheet and bake until the crusts look dry, about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake until the crusts are golden brown, about 13
minutes longer. Remove from the oven.

In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Add the cream, whisking until a smooth paste forms. Slowly add the milk and whisk constantly until smooth. Warm the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the pudding begins to thicken and bubble, about 6 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the hot pudding into the crusts and spread evenly (you should have a heaping 1⁄2 cup/4 fl. oz./125 ml for each). Cover each pie with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

When ready to serve, spread a big dollop of whipped cream atop each pie. Garnish with chocolate
shavings, if you like. Makes 6 mini pies

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Classic Key Lime Pie

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In lieu of graham crackers for the crust, this key lime pie recipe swaps in gingersnaps. The sweet and spicy cookies provide a nice contrast to the tangy lime. The pie needs to be refrigerated after baking to allow the filling to set, so plan accordingly.

 

Classic Key Lime Pie

For the crust:

10 oz. (315 g) gingersnaps

5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsalted butter, melted

2 Tbs. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 egg yolks

1 can (14 fl. oz./430 ml) sweetened condensed milk

2 tsp. grated Key lime zest

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) Key lime juice

2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz./50 g) superfine sugar

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

To make the crust, in a food processor, process the gingersnaps until fine crumbs form. Add the butter, granulated sugar and salt and pulse until moistened. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) pie dish.

Place on a baking sheet and bake until the edges are dry and set, 5 to 7 minutes. The bottom will still be moist and soft but will firm up as the crust cools. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Keep the oven set at 350°F (180°C).

Using an electric mixer, in a bowl, beat the egg yolks on medium speed until blended. Add the condensed milk, lime zest and lime juice and continue beating until well blended. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake until the edges of the pie are set but the center still jiggles slightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Refrigerate he pie for at least 2 hours or up to overnight to allow it to set.

When ready to serve the pie, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream and vanilla. With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add the superfine sugar while beating, gradually increasing the speed as the mixture thickens. Continue to beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes total.

To serve the pie, cut into 8 slices and garnish each slice with a heaping spoonful of the whipped cream. Serves 8.