"It could solve all the problems of the world, that pie... [it's] a thing of beauty — how each flavor opens itself one by one, like a chapter in a book. First the flavor of an exotic spice hits you, just the hint of it. And then you're flooded with chocolate, dark and bittersweet, like an old love affair. And finally strawberry, the way strawberry was always supposed to taste but never knew how."
The quote is from the movie "Waitress" - a quirky, sweet-tart little confection of a movie about, among other things, the transformative power of pie. The focus is less on eating pie and more on the act of creating a pie from scratch. Of pouring all your love or anger or helplessness into something made with your own hands. The above pie description is so captivating and irresistible that I immediately wanted a slice of strawberry chocolate pie. Not just any strawberry chocolate pie. I wanted to taste that very pie. The one that made Andy Griffith's character compose an impromptu ode to something enchanting and sensuous and delicious.
Though I was inspired by the movie, I can't say that this is that mythical pie. I am no pie expert, after all. But this is a good pie. Delicious and sweet and complex, it celebrates the strawberry without ignoring the depth of the chocolate and spices. To be THE pie, I would imagine the chocolate filling would have to be less sweet, lighter, more custard-like. This filling is heavy and rich. Still, it is a great showcase for those perfect early summer strawberries. The ones that you eat one after another, lounging the front porch, warmed by the sun.
Strawberry Chocolate Oasis Pie
adapted from here
Chocolate Silk Filling
1/4 cup unsalted butter
5 ounces coarsely chopped, bittersweet chocolate
1 package miniature marshmallows
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tsp Chai Spice (recipe follows)
Fresh Strawberry Filling
2 cups strawberries, slightly crushed
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp brandy
2 1/2 cups strawberries, diced if large, or halved if small
2 cups whipping cream; whipped with 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
One chocolate crumb crust (recipe follows)
Bake and cool the prepared pie crust. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over lowest heat, slowly melt the chocolate, chai spice, and butter together. Remove from heat and stir in the marshmallows to melt and then add the cream and vanilla. Refrigerate while making strawberry filling.
For the Strawberry Filling, crush or mash the first amount of strawberries. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk. In a medium saucepan, heat the crushed berries with sugar until they start to get a little liquidy. Cook and then add the cornstarch mixture until lightly bubbling and thickening. Remove from heat and stir in brandy and vinegar. Cool 15 minutes and then fold in fresh strawberries. Refrigerate or cool to room temperature. To assemble pie, spoon chocolate filling into pie shell. If the filling is too thick and cold, add some whipping cream to form the filling (slightly thicker than pudding). Top with the strawberry filling and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to set. Sprinkle the top with chocolate shavings.
For the Chocolate Cookie Crust:
2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs<
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt butter and sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add cookie crumbs and stir to combine well. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake crust 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.
Chai Spice Mix
2 teaspoons fennel, whole
2 teaspoons cloves, whole
1 tablespoon cardamom, ground
2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
2 teaspoons ginger, ground
1. With a small food processor, grind up the whole fennel and cloves.
2. Transfer to a small bowl and add remaining spices. Mix to combine.