Sometimes you just need a fancy little dessert with all of the creamy, lusciousness of the Ultimate Classic Chocolate Pie wrapped up in a pretty package.
My super-secret, needs two keys to access the code, Chocolate Pie Recipe is out of the pocket. Until last month, I had never shared this recipe with another living soul that did not have Hoopes as their last name. Yes, that means that I did not share it with my very own mother, or my blogging sister, or... anyone. But, after making this pie for "my" side of the family on Thanksgiving this year, the secret was out and everyone began asking for the recipe. What can I say? I was tough. I held firm and kept my 35 year old secret recipe secret throughout the entire holiday season.
After months of questioning, I finally gave in to my little brother John's "enhanced interrogation tactics." This time, he asked for the recipe saying that he wanted to make the pie for his corporate holiday party. It's just a tiny, little corporation, really. You may have heard of his corporation before, it's called... DISNEY! Yes, that little ol' corporate holiday party. The idea of my little secret family recipe served to The Mouse, himself, was just too much to take. I gave in. I caved. I started singing like a canary.
Of course, it didn't end there. Sharing recipes with just one person doesn't work very well, John's friends and other people at the party started asking him for the recipe. I have to say he was very brave and resisted the urge to spill the beans... for a time. Finally, he called me to ask permission to share the secret. How could I resist him? I kept wondering who was asking for the recipe. Was it the wife of the CEO? Perhaps a direct descendent of Mr. Disney? Was it The Mouse, himself? Again, I caved in and said, "Yes! Share it! Spread my chocolate pie secret to the world!"
Yes, it really happened that way... I swear. But, now that the secret is finally out, I can share it with you. Check out my post "The Ultimate Classic Chocolate Pie Recipe and a Love Story" to find out the whole secret and the history of this chocolate pie with a past.
For now, I'd like to share a smaller version of "THE pie" with you. The original family recipe makes 2 huge pies (12 inch pies) or 2 10 inch pies (the size I make) with a little left over that I make into parfaits and freeze in those small, clear plastic cups to serve at another time. Since the base of the filling is the Jello Cook and Serve Pudding Mix, I haven't tried to cut the recipe in half before. However, when I posted the original recipe last week, I received so many questions about making a smaller batch that I did a little experimenting and found that cutting it in thirds is easy to do and works really well, no scales or scientific instruments involved. The pie smaller is not quite as high as the original, but it is still just as yummy!
Please use this version of the chocolate pie recipe in an 8 inch pie plate or there will not be enough filling to make it luscious. Or, pipe it into small glasses to make these parfaits.
I hope this smaller version of my family's chocolate pie recipe will make it just the right size to serve at many of your family events or parties. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for our email updates so you will never miss a new recipe.
—posted by Sandy
- 3 ounces whole graham crackers
- ¼ cup finely chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- ½ stick sweet cream butter, melted
- 1 large (5 oz) package Jello HEAT AND SERVE Chocolate Pudding Mix (not chocolate fudge and not sugar free)
- 3 cups whole milk
- ½ stick real sweet butter, cut into cubes
- 2 ounces Hershey's MILK Chocolate bars, chopped (not chocolate chips)
- pinch of salt
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Working in small batches, break the graham crackers into small, dime sized pieces and place ¼ to ½ of the crackers in a food processor. Pulse until the crackers are the size of large, grainy sand. Pour into a large mixing bowl and repeat with the remaining crackers. Do not over process. There may still be larger pieces that can be broken up by hand.
- Pour the pecan bits or chips (very small diced pecans) in a hot frying pan over medium high heat and toast until you can smell the aroma of the pecans. Pour into the bowl with the cracker crumbs. The pecan pieces should be about the same size as the cracker crumbs. (See photos on the Ultimate Graham Cracker Crust post)
- Combine the crumbs, pecans, sugar, cinnamon and salt together until well mixed.
- Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the crumb mixture while stirring. Continue stirring until all of the crumbs are moistened by the butter.
- Pour pudding mix into a large sauce pan, add milk. Whisk together until there are no lumps. Stir constantly and cook over medium heat until the pudding comes to a full boil. If the heat is too high, the pudding will scorch. Keep stirring or the pudding will scorch and stick to the bottom of the pan. You may inch up the heat a little if necessary.
- Remove the pan from the hot burner the minute it comes to a boil.
- Add the cubed butter and stir until melted and well combined. Then, add the chocolate pieces and stir into the pudding until melted and well combined. Add the pinch of salt and stir.
- Pour the chocolate filling into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Be sure the plastic wrap touches the entire surface of the filling so that the filling does not form a "skin" on top as it cools.
- When ready to assemble, whip the cream with the powdered sugar to soft peaks. Blend in the vanilla. Place whipped cream in a pipping bag (optional).
- Spoon some of the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of small, clear cups or glasses, not too much or all you will feel in your mouth is the crumbs and not the creamy chocolate.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the cooled filling and spoon into a piping bag (optional). Place a layer of chocolate filling over the crumbs. Add a layer of whipped cream and a light layer of crumbs to the glass. Repeat.
- Top the parfaits with the graham crackers and a piece of Hershey's chocolate, if desired.