Chocolate-bottom pies look impressive and are easy to make.

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie


  • Piecrust dough (see separate recipe), chilled overnight
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp. instant coffee
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. fine salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp. unflavored, powdered gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Lightly sweetened, freshly whipped cream, for serving
  • Shaved chocolate, for serving


    Roll out the dough, press it into a 9-inch pie pan, and transfer the crust to the freezer until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut an additional 13 x 13-inch square of parchment. Set the pan on the lined baking sheet. Set the square of parchment in the pie shell and gently smooth it into place, pleating as needed to fit it up against the bottom and sides of the shell. Fill the shell to the top with dried beans. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake the shell for 25 minutes.

    Set out a wire rack and, alongside it, a mixing bowl. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and set it on the rack; bring together the points of the parchment (which won’t be hot to the touch), and carefully lift out the beans and transfer them to the bowl. Slide the baking sheet back into the oven and bake the crust another 10 minutes (until golden brown). Set the pan on a wire rack and let the shell cool to room temperature while you make the filling.

    To make the mocha custard, chop the chocolate and set it aside in a medium-size bowl.

    Combine the instant coffee and 2 1/4 cups of the milk in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is steaming (do not boil!). Keep warm over very low heat.

    Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks until the mixture is smooth and pale. Immediately measure out 1 cup of the hot-milk mixture and slowly whisk it into the yolk mixture, pouring in a thin stream and whisking constantly until combined.

    Turn the heat under the saucepan back to medium and slowly add the tempered yolks, pouring in a thin stream and whisking constantly. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency and a few large bubbles rise to the surface, about 5 minutes. Once the bubbles appear, continue cooking the custard, whisking constantly, for 2 more minutes.

    Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.

    Measure out 1 cup of the hot custard, add it to the chopped chocolate and let stand 2 minutes; then whisk until smooth and creamy. Scoop the mocha custard into the prepared pie shell, spreading evenly. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill and set the mocha custard (about 10 to 15 minutes) while you make the cafe mousse.

    To make the cafe mousse, sprinkle the gelatin onto the surface of the remaining 1/4 cup milk and let soften for 5 minutes.

    Transfer the remaining custard from the saucepan to a medium-size bowl and whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Refrigerate until cool, about 15 to 20 minutes, whisking at 5-minute intervals to prevent the edges from setting.

    Whip the cream to medium peaks.

    Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the cooled custard, then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream, just until faint white streaks remain.

    Retrieve the pie from the refrigerator. Spread the mousse evenly over the mocha-custard layer, smoothing over the top. Cover the pie with plastic wrap, return it to the refrigerator and chill overnight (at least 8 hours and up to 3 days) before slicing and serving, cold, with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

    Reprinted with permission from Magpie: Sweets and Savories from Philadelphia's Favorite Pie Boutique © 2015 by Holly Ricciardi, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

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