It’s very hot here in Los Angeles right now. My teeth are hot. I can feel my organs radiating heat. From the inside. I blame my spleen the most. It’s not hot like sweating from being outside in the summertime playing and eating an orange popsicle under the sprinkler or working out or dancing in a studio where you’re face is red and your hair is wet and sticking to your face and your heart is racing. It is Biblical. It’s the desert. It’s convection. It’s like being under a salon blow-dryer. Yes, it’s as if all of Southern California is under one of those domes in a beauty parlor, where you get to sit quietly and read a fashion magazine and wear a black vinyl cloak and hear nothing but see everything. Except it’s all the time. Relentlessly hot. But no one seems concerned. No one is going on any crazed, heat-wave induced serial murdering sprees. I don’t want there to be a murder spree. Or wildfires. Those are bad. Being hot makes me feel a bit panicky for reasons I can’t explain. I would like it to be 56. I would like to wear a blazer and boots, kicking leaves on a college campus. That is my ideal weather. Please forgive me if I sound deranged. Maybe it’s me who is going to go berserk and homicidal. Either that, or I’ll eat more dessert.
This is all to say that I wanted to make a pie that didn’t require much oven time. If you turn on the oven in my house right now (to make a mother fracking frozen pizza, Malcolm), I will cut you. And while the graham cracker crust bakes for a few minutes – I stood outside fanning myself like a retired Louisiana school teacher – and there is a bit of simmering things over hot water, once you’re done there, it’s mostly mixing, which requires little to no effort or exertion on your part, and then you pop the whole dish into the fridge and you can linger there as long as you’d like. Really take it all in. Count your condiments, wonder why you have so many mustards, identify everything in Tupperware that has started to look freaky and distorted, and try to figure out what that weird smell is. Consider wiping out the fridge, when it’s cooler, of course.
The process doesn’t heat up the entire kitchen and therefore the house, as baking a cake or proper pie would, is what I’m saying. If you happen to own a microwave you can certainly melt the chocolate that way. Zap it. Until it melts. Microwaves are crazy. The egg mixture should get heated to a safe temperature since it is eaten, otherwise, essentially raw, unless you aren’t worried about that sort of thing. I don’t know. Since I’m pregnant I did it because of salmonella, I guess? You cannot have any fun when you’re pregnant. Not even fun with salmonella. If you were serving this to your Nan or little children you’d probably do the same, anyone old or young or gestating, with a wonky immune system. Go ahead and warm up the eggs for safety. It’s easier than getting food poisoning.
By the way, this pie is lovely. The texture, as the name implies, is sensuous. It’s just chocolate-y enough. Creamy and rich. And you could crush up any cookie you like for the crust. Think about that.
- 12 graham cracker large squares (1½ cups in crumbs)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup melted, unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 8 oz dark chocolate morsels
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a food processor, whiz up graham crackers until they're in crumbs.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press into a pie plate and bake, 10-15 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream on high, 4 minutes. Remove to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.
- In a small, heat-safe bowl or pan whisk eggs, sugar, and water until light yellow and foamy, 5 minutes. Over a pot of simmering water, heat egg mixture to 180 degrees, stirring occasionally. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat 8 minutes.
- In a small, heat-safe bowl or pan melt chocolate over a pot of simmering water.
- Add melted chocolate and vanilla extract to whipped egg mixture. Incorporate butter, a little at a time and mix well.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold whipped cream into the chocolate/egg mixture. When no white streaks remain, pour over crust.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.