I literally whipped up this Chocolate Chai Pie within days of being invited to a contest featuring recipes with tea as an ingredient.
This is not typically the kind of dessert that comes out of my kitchen. Although I truly love pies I’m more smitten with those made with fruit than any other kind. Since I haven’t tried my hand at gluten-free pie crusts this sweet dessert has not crossed my lips in over two years!
A crumb crust seemed like a good alternative. Normally, a graham cracker crust would do the trick but the idea of baking cookies first seemed like overkill. So, after a little research into “from scratch” crumb crusts I came up with this one…laced with tea and chai spices. It’s unusual, interesting, and flavorful.
The chocolate center is born of the desire to have something light, airy, creamy. Along the lines of a chiffon. Whipped coconut milk and marshmallow crème mixed together produced a sweet filling with a texture reminiscent of chiffon. Admittedly the end result was not dead-on. Still it’s delicious (but pretty sweet).
I’ll definitely be playing with the filling—maybe some different flavors—to take it to the next level.
Oh, right, you’ll want to know if the pie won the contest? Sadly, no. But, it was one of the recipes that made it to the “baking” stage so I was pretty happy about that. You can see the winning entrees at Sanctuary T.
Chocolate Chai Pie
Fluffy whipped chocolate marshmallow crème meets Chai-spiced crumb crust in this tea inspired dessert.
You’ll need a can of full fat coconut milk (not coconut cream) for the chocolate filling. The trick is to make sure it hasn’t been shaken since you’ll be using the cream that’s risen to the top of the can. It’s best to buy and place the coconut milk in the refrigerator a few days in advance however, I used coconut milk that was in my pantry and refrigerated overnight—it worked very well.
Chai Crumb Crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together until foamy and then set aside:
1 ½ teaspoons egg replacer
2 tablespoons warm water
In a large bowl whisk together:
¾ cup gluten-free flour blend
¾ cup almond flour
¼ cup sugar
4 teaspoons loose black tea (about 4 teabags—I used Darjeeling)
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons cardamom
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Mix together in a separate bowl or large liquid measuring cup:
Egg replacer mixture you made earlier
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and blend together with a large fork until moist and crumbly. Turn the crumbs into a well-greased 8- or 9-inch pie plate and spread them around the bottom and up the sides gently compressing as you go.
Place the piecrust in the middle of the oven and bake 12-14 minutes until just golden brown. Remove and let cool.
Whipped Chocolate Filling
Whisk together, microwave for 30 seconds and set aside:
2 packets unflavored gelatin
6 tablespoons cold water
Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer:
1 cup agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
Beat with the whisk attachment until marshmallow crème forms, about 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile melt in a microwave (30 seconds on high, stir, return for 5 second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is smooth):
½ cup chocolate chips
Once the marshmallow has increased to about three times in size gently add the melted chocolate, whisking about a minute until it’s fully incorporate. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. At this point the marshmallow will not hold stiff peaks but will be a very thick and creamy fluff. (I transferred the marshmallow to another bowl and cleaned it and the whisk so I could use the stand mixer for the next step.)
Taking care not to shake the can remove the coconut milk from the refrigerator and, using a can opener, remove the lid. Scoop the heavy cream from the top and place into a clean mixing bowl that fits your stand mixer. Reserve the coconut water. Beat at medium speed with the whisk attachment until the coconut milk resembles whipped cream.
Meanwhile mix together until smooth:
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of the reserved coconut water
Once the coconut milk is thickened to a whipped cream consistency add the cocoa mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Gently fold in the marshmallow crème.
Spoon the chocolate mixture into the prepared piecrust and refrigerate until firm.