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Chocolate Chai Pie

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

gelatin mixture


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.


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Reader Comments (9)

This looks so decadent! My husband would love the filling.

Chai has such lovely complex flavours, I bet they go so well with these ingredients. Yumm...

Oct 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterInTolerant Chef

Nancy, this is a beautiful pie, and I am filing this one away to play around with. I'll need to sub for the almond flour but otherwise that is a really nice looking crumb crust recipe - I can see several applications for this. Congrats on making it to the "baking stage" - well done! :)

Oct 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGigi

Of course I assumed that the chai was mixed with the chocolate. . .love the idea of chai spices in the crust! Too bad you didn't win, but making it to the baking stage is something to be proud of! :)

Oct 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

I'd like to try this substituting agar agar for the gelatin.

Oct 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

wow this looks great! =) I just found your blog, it is lovely. I have recently adopted a temporary gluten free diet (or permanent depending on my symptoms) and your blog is a great resource! thanks! =)

Oct 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Waw, that pie looks amazing & well flavoured too!! A very special pie!!!

MMMMMM,..Luscious looking too!

Oct 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

You have got to be kidding me with this pie. Love Chai- and LOVE your creativity.
Ill be sharing this recipe with friends :)

Nov 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany

This was delicious! I'd like to use the crust for a different pie filling. Is it okay to bake the pie crust?!

Stephanie, I think this pie crust can be used with other pie fillings. It calls for baking so go ahead and try it!

Aug 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
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