Pumpkin pie—it’s a Thanksgiving classic. This year, I’m giving mine a local twist and some extra oomph with a dark chocolate layer made with Match single origin cocoa powder, produced locally in Birmingham.
Match imports cocoa beans to Birmingham from around the world and produces bean-to-bar single origin chocolate bars, truffles and cocoa powder for home bakers. In this pumpkin pie, the intense dark chocolate kick of the “black bottom” does not disappoint.
Tip: Cocoa powder naturally has some lumps, so be sure to sift it before adding it to the heavy cream. I don’t own a sifter, so I improvised with a wire mesh strainer over a bowl. Then, I used the back of a spoon to break up the clumps caught in the wire mesh.
I opted for a graham cracker crust, as opposed to a pastry dough crust, because chocolate and graham crackers is a flavor combo that’s near and dear to my heart. I took a shortcut and used a 9-ounce Keebler Ready Crust Graham Pie Crust, which is 9 inches in diameter.
Next up, the pumpkin filling. It’s classic and a nice pairing with chocolate. Expect it to be very liquid-y when you mix it up.
Of course, you can buy whipped cream, but there’s something very satisfying about making your own. All it takes is a wire whisk, a wrist workout and a bit of patience. And, if you have a whisk attachment for your electric mixer, it’s ridiculously easy.
Be sure to buy “heavy” cream. Buy one 8-ounce carton, and use half in the chocolate layer and the rest for the whipped cream.
Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie
Locally produced in Birmingham, Match cocoa powder is the dark chocolate surprise in this classic pumpkin pie. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now
- CHOCOLATE LAYER:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted (I used Match cocoa powder)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt CRUST:
- 1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust PUMPKIN FILLING:
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 (15-ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract WHIPPED CREAM:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- To prepare chocolate layer: Pour 1/2 cup heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring frequently, until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan (do not boil). Remove from heat. Then whisk in 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons sugar and pinch of salt.
- To prepare crust: Remove plastic insert from pre-made graham cracker crust. (Keep the insert; you can use it as a lid to cover the pie later.)
- Pour chocolate mixture into crust. Use a spatula to spread it evenly over the bottom. Then, place in freezer until chocolate is firm (about 10 minutes).
- To prepare pumpkin filling: Whisk together dark brown sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a mixing bowl. Next, whisk in pumpkin, then eggs, one at a time. Finally, whisk in evaporated milk and vanilla.
- Place prepared crust on a baking sheet (this makes it easier to transfer the pie to the oven.) Then, pour pumpkin mixture into crust (the crust will be full to the brim). Carefully lift baking sheet and place in oven.
- Bake pie for 50 minutes. Allow pie to cool 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.
- To prepare whipped cream: Chill a metal bowl and wire whisk in the freezer (about 10 minutes). Pour 1/2 cup heavy cream in chilled bowl. Add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and whisk vigorously until stiff peaks form. Serve with pie.