By Tara Bench
With a crust made from crushed pretzels and a rich custard filling, this pie re-creates the taste of a popular gourmet snack.
Work: 45 minutes
Total: 4 hours 45 minutes
4 ounces (3 cups) broken pretzel sticks
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor combine pretzels, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and butter; blend until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Press mixture firmly into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake crust until fragrant and just turning golden, 10 to 15 minutes; cool.
2. In a medium saucepan whisk together 1/2 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, salt, and milk. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar is just dissolved, about 2 minutes. Whisk in egg yolks. Cook, stirring constantly, until custard thickens and just boils, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate and vanilla. Place pan in a bowl of ice and water and stir occasionally until custard cools.
3. Pour custard into cooled crust and press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Chill until firm, 4 hours or up to a day.
4. Whip cream and confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form, spread over pie and garnish with extra pretzels and chocolate shavings. Serves 8.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, October 2011.