I have a new habit of slapping a black bottom on every pie I make – it’s my new favorite party trick. I put one on the incredibly delicious peanut butter chocolate pie, my nutella pie, and lately I’m throwing this down on all my cream pies like banana cream and coconut cream pie. This cream pie recipe is one you’ve maybe seen here before, but not when it’s atop a decadent layer of ganache and dripping with salted caramel sauce. This was an experiment that paid off MAJOR! I was so happy with it and it’s not very hard to make! The combination of flaky pie crust + bittersweet chocolate ganache + rich vanilla cream filling + fresh whipped cream + salted caramel = 💯
Crust:Traditional pie crust – our recipe is awesome and easy. I made this in a deep dish pie pan, but it would work in a standard 9″ – it would just be really full – you could save some ganache for later if it looks like you’re filling it too full before you get to your cream filling.
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup crisco
4 tablespoons ice water
1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (I love it with a dark bittersweet chocolate)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 (scant) teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cup whole milk
7 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons butter (cut into small pieces)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
To make the crust, mix your flour and salt, then add the Crisco and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender as you add the cold water. It will start to come together at which point you can pull in all the dry parts with your hands and quickly knead it into a ball. Flour your work surface and roll it into a thin circle. Roll it onto your rolling pin and slowly into your (ungreased) pie pan. Make a ridge around the outside and crimp as desired. Poke all over with holes or put beans or pie weights into your crust with parchment before baking. Blind bake at 450 7-9 minutes until lightly browned.
While crust is cooking and cooling make your chocolate ganache. You can melt your chocolate and cream in a double boiler on the stove, or with my preferred method – Place chocolate and cream in a glass pyrex in the microwave on defrost for a few minutes or in 20 second increments on full power until the chocolate loses it’s shape and you can whisk it all smooth. You don’t want it to get too hot so the key is to heat is slowly. Pour your ganache layer into your (mostly) cooled pie crust and put it into the freezer or fridge so it can harden while you make your filling.
Put sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan with a thick bottom. With your burner on medium/high (I keep mine just above medium) slowly pour in the milk and stir until combined then add your egg yolks one at a time, whisking after each until no yellow streaks remain. Now switch to a heat proof rubber spatula and stirring constantly bring to a simmer. Once the bubbles come up and you know it’s starting to boil scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk until smooth then return to the heat and stir constantly for 1 minute while your mixture slowly bubbles (wear an apron!). Remove from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla until all is combined then pour into your prepared pie crust on top of your cooled ganache.
Put plastic wrap directly over the top before refrigerating. Be sure to let it cool a solid 4 hours or so before you top it with whipped cream and salted caramel.
For the Caramel whisk together sugar and water in a medium (heavy bottom) saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until sugar is just dissolved. Add butter and bring to a slow boil without stirring. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper (DO NOT STIR). Remove from heat and immediately but slowly add the heavy cream. Be careful as your caramel will bubble and steam. Add salt. Whisk the final mixture together well and set aside to cool – it will get thicker as it cools.
To make the cream, whip heavy cream in a cool bowl and add sugar as it starts to thicken to desired consistency.
To serve, drizzle caramel over each slice then serve and store refrigerated…if there’s anything left!
I’m here to tell you with conviction that you can eat berry pies all through the winter! Blueberry pie is not always the most popular, people kind of love it or feel ehh about it, but I’m a fan, and I felt that instead of double crusting it, a nice heavy oat crumble would do wonders with some blueberry goodness. I was super right about that. Not only did this pie have amazing flavor with the sweet berries, lemon, cinnamon and sugar, but the texture was fruit pie perfection! Whenever you make a fruit pie you must send up a prayer that it sets up and you don’t end up with soup. This little number sets up like a champion every time! Sturdy slices, but still so juicy and with that delicious oatmeal crunch on top, hands down best blueberry pie I’ve EVER HAD! And frozen blueberries are just fine, put them in the fridge the day before and STRAIN ALL JUICES! Trust me on that one, and be sure to have some good quality vanilla ice cream on hand because that combination will send you! -CK 2.0
Traditional 9″ Pie Crust – we like King Family Pie Crust the best, but make or buy whatever crust you like and line a 9 inch pan.
6 cups blueberries fresh (or frozen works too as long as you thaw them and drain ALL the juices. You will probably need to measure 8 cups frozen because once they thaw the volume goes way down)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar (I reduced because there is sugar in the streusel, but if your berries aren’t sweet go to 1/2)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (if you don’t have the above spices, just increase cinnamon to 1/2)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes at room temperature
Make your crust and roll out into a 9″ pie pan. Keep in fridge or freezer while you prepare your filling.
To make the filling: Put the blueberries first in a strainer to make sure you have no extra juices, then place them in a bowl with the lemon juice and stir to coat. Separately combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and cardamon. Mix them thoroughly then add them to the blueberries stirring until all combined. Take filling out of bowl with a slotted spoon leaving any extra juices out of your filling. Spread filling into prepared crust and put it in the refrigerator to set while you make your crumble. The recipe says to let it set 30 minutes, but mine set up perfectly and it was only in there about 15.
Set oven to 425. To make the oat crumble stir together all the ingredients except the butter in a large bowl. Sprinkle the butter pieces and toss to coat. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is chunky but not homogeneous. Put on your pie and let chill for another 5 minutes or so.
Bake (on a baking sheet if it looks pretty full so you don’t leak onto the oven) for 20 minutes at 425 then lower the temperature to 350 and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and your crumble is a gorgeous brown. I put a pie shield on my crust or you can put some little foils strips around the edge to avoid the crust getting too brown on the outside. Cool on a wire rack at least 2 hours before slicing, then chill in the fridge. Serve with a really thick vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
Caroline 2.0 here with this years pie guide just in time to give you a few practice pies and some fodder for family survey’s before the ultimate pie day comes! Your friends named Caroline are bad at all sorts of things, 1.0 has a terrible sense of direction, 2.0 freaks out in an emergency and always makes it worse, but we are dang good at pie. If you won’t be the one baking pies, go ahead and send this to the person who will, we personally guarantee a better thanksgiving if you do.
A great place to start is with our pie crust recipe and FB live tutorial video that’s on our Facebook page, You’re going to want to offer guests a nice variety of pies. I’m going to break it down for you in a few categories and give you some of our favorites to choose from to make it easier for you to figure out a show stopping pie offering this week. In the King household we like to have about a half pie per person, if that seems like too much for you, I recommend no less than 3 pies for a proper Thanksgiving meal, many you can make all, or partly in advance, and the key is to offer a nice variety. Here are a few categories to help guide you.
CHOCOLATE PIES: Duh – this is obviously the category I start with and you need a pie with chocolate or you’re table is sad 😦 There are LOADS more than what is listed below, but I’m going for favorites here and trying not to loose you with too much info so search chocolate pie for a more complete list.
Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse – This is one of the pies we are best known for because it is truly both Caroline’s favorite pie and one of the best tasting desserts on the planet. It’s a little more involved than some pies because there is a meringue layer etc. so it will take a little time, but it’s not very difficult and So worth the effort. Every time I make a selection of pies it’s the first gone without fail.
Chocolate Granola Pie – This is another pie we are well known for. I make it frequently because our family can’t get enough of it and it’s a frequent request of friends. I also make it often because it’s SOOOO EASY! It’s almost like a candy bar that was made in heaven, you really need to try it.
Double Chocolate Pecan – This pie checks two boxes which is why I keep hearing more and more people tell me that they made it and are not absolutely crazy for it. It pops off amazing chocolate flavor and then you get that magical nuttyness you want from your pecan pie, but delivered on a chocolate train. It’s also a cinch and great if you’re serving a smaller table and want something that satisfies the pecan pie and chocolate pie needs all in one.
Chocolate Cream Pie – This is the quintessential cream pie of your dreams. It always turns out fantastic, even when I don’t have enough bittersweet chocolate so I need to use chocolate chips, or a sub half with unsweetened, or I don’t have whole milk so I use whatever’s in the fridge. It’s just always delicious. It’s not the very easiest pie, so if you’re new to pie making choose one of our crazy easy chocolate pies like chocolate chess or chocolate brownie pie, but you can’t find a cream pie this creamy dreamy delicious anywhere else.
I need to add this year my new(ish) Black Bottom Vanilla Cream Pie with Salted Caramel sauce. I made these for Father’s Day this year and people went absolutely crazy town over them. It’s a great option because there’s really nothing not to like whereas with nuts, or coconut, or berries you might get a few picky pants people, it’s nice to have one pie everyone is eager to devour.
FRUIT PIES: This time of year, there isn’t loads of fruit to be found, but you can use frozen and come out with amazing results if you do it right. Also, lemon is a fruit and you could even check this box with pumpkin or sweet potato if you wanted to.
Salted Caramel Apple – This is one of the pies people ask me to make the most because when people think of pie they often think of apple pie and salted caramel is such a brilliant choice to compliment apples it’s a slam dunk every time. I love to use granny smith apples and get a nice sour thing happening, but any apples will do. It’s a bit of a time vacuum but so fun to make, and a crowd pleaser for sure.
Blueberry Crumble Pie – I’m obsessed with this pie, and there are a lot of blueberry pie kids out there just like me. The crumble was my idea and it totally makes the pie in my opinion. The last time I made this it was with almost entirely frozen berries. I did thaw them first, but they came from the freezer section at Trader Joes and the pie set up firm and perfect and tasted absolutely incredible. This pie with good vanilla ice cream is just insanity. You could also do our strawberry streusel pie with frozen berries too as long as you defrost them first and discard all extra juices every change you get – that plus a long bake ensures a pie that sets up with no soupy factor. Remember a crust guard if you do a long bake so you don’t burn that beauty on the edges.
Lemon Cream Pie – This is a year round pie for sure – and at Thanksgiving I would say pile it high with meringue for a delicious and dramatic effect, but it’s divine and easy with whipped cream. It’s got such mouth melting sourness and the crust is a crumb crust so there’s zero intimidation factor. It’s a total cinch and will fulfill all your lemon needs. But if you want a more traditional, Lemon Meringue Pie we posted one a few weeks ago that is just like your grandma’s, it’s a bit more difficult than the Lemon Cream, but worth the effort for nostalgia’s sake.
TRADITIONAL PIES: This time of year people tend to want the flavors of home, so I’m not even mad if you prefer to offer a very traditional selection. I would put Caramel Apple Pie in this selection, but it’s sitting up there in fruit pies so click that link for sure. My husband feels very strongly that Thanksgiving is a total fail without his Mom’s Pecan pie…..speaking of which..
Caramel Pecan Pie – This is such an amazing and consistently delicious pecan pie. I have been commissioned to make it on multiple occasions and every time someone I know makes it they rave and rave. It’s a King family classic.
Pumpkin Dulce De Leche– I’m making this in the morning and Caroline 1.0 made it yesterday. It’s like traditional pumpkin pie, turned up to 11. If you’re scared of the caramel on bottom, just make the pie filling recipe – you will never buy a Costco pumpkin pie again.
Toasted Coconut Cream Pie – I include this because it’s the cream pie base for all my favorite and most famous cream pies. I use it frequently to make banana cream pie which is just bonkers delicious and the recipe is the same as this, just add about 5-6 sliced bananas alternating with the filling as you fill your baked crust. A solid cream pie is kind of a must and you can choose from many on twocarolines but this one is such a blue ribbon winner and who doesn’t love coconut!?
NON-TRADITIONAL PIES: I have to give a nod to some of my very favorite pies of all time that your grandma never made for you. Having a unique pie at your table is a way to show your guests that you know how to have fun in the kitchen and then you will blow doors with flavors they might have never expected to win them over. Trust us.
Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie – Oh man do I love this pie, like, I love it SO MUCH you guys, and it’s so easy and the ultimate crowd pleaser. It has amazing chocolate peanut butter flavor plus a nice layer of chocolate ganache and just enough salt in the oreo crumb crust to make your mouth flood with satisfaction.
Maple Lime Custard Pie – This pie came about after a neighbor brought us a bag of limes from her tree and it was such a triumph! It has that magical citrus sourness perfectly balanced by the maple and creams. I thought it would taste to sweet but it’s not at all, this pie sends you off the rails on a flavor train and it’s an easy crumb crust you can do with graham crackers, animal crackers, speculoo’s or whatever is in your pantry. It’s really easy and will surprise and delight your guests.
Chocolate Nutella Pie – I recently posted this as a guest post on the Elevate-Everyday blog. It kind of blew my mind – I just never knew a big cup of Nutella could add so much rich and complex nutty chocolate flavor to a pie. I went all out and added toasted hazelnuts which took some time but was such a special treat and I have to say this pie ended up on the shortlist of favorites right away.
S’mores Pie – Who is the person that doesn’t like s’mores and why did you invite them to your holiday feast?! This pie that CK 2.0 posted a few months ago has had such a following because it’s everything that’s right about the perfect s’more wrapped up into a beautiful pie shell and presented as an elegant dessert instead of a campfire sticky finger concoction. Don’t wait until summer to enjoy the made for each other combo of chocolate graham crackers and marshmallows.
I know we are all on a heavy diet of pumpkin spice sweets, and lemons may not seem seasonal, but the most fruitful season for lemons is winter, and we’re almost there! This recipe is seriously old school, it’s the lemon meringue your grandma made, but even better! I got it from a beautiful and wise older gal I went to church with named Wanda Green, is it just me or do you know a classic pie recipe will be amazing coming from someone named Wanda Green? It’s not a beginners pie, but it’s really not difficult, there are just a number of steps, and whenever you have meringue in a game, a little experience is helpful. That being said, it was my first time making a classic lemon meringue pie and the process was smooth and simple with wonderfully delicious results that took me straight to my Grandma Lynn’s kitchen.
Traditional 9″ Pie Crust – try our King Family Pie crust! Blind baked at 450 for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs seperated
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Mix 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch and salt in double boiler top (I just use a stainless steel bowl on a 3 qt saucepan). Gradually stir in water. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until thick enough to mound slightly when dropped from a spoon. Cover; cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Do not remove from boiling water.
Combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. Blend a little hot mixture into egg yolk mixture: ten stir all into remaining mixture over boiling water. Gently stir in butter, lemon rind, and juice. Cover with clear wrap to prevent top hardening. Cool to room temperature without stirring. Turn filling into prepared pastry shell. cover with meringue as directed.
Beat egg whites with vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. (White beat fluffier at room temp)
Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff and glossy and all the sugar is dissolved. Spread meringue over filling (which is now at room temperature) sealing meringue to the edges of pastry all around. This prevents shrinking.
Bake in moderate oven – 350 degrees, 12-15 minutes, or until peaks of meringue are golden brown. Cool at room temperature.
Here in coastal So. Cali there have been really nice strawberries lately. Summer is almost over for us, our kids are going back to school later this week, but the strawberries haven’t been this sweet all summer so a strawberry streusel pie just seemed like the right thing to do. I thought about doing a strawberry pie with one of those intricate braided, flowered, super detailed double crusts, and then I remembered how I have 3 young kids and an insane schedule and no time for that mumbo jumbo right now. I also remembered that streusel is dear to my heart – anything is better when you top it with a nice crumbly, sweet, delicious crumb. This pie turned out so incredible! The strawberries baked up super sweet and the streusel top made for such a texture knock out. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any Labor Day spread!
traditional 9 inch pie crust par baked – with ours that means bake for about 6- minutes at 425 before filling (I actually used a deep dish so I just rolled our recipe really thin and it worked out well, but could have been a little more full, it will fill a 9 inch nicely but be sure to bake on a sheet to prevent spills)
For the filling:
6 cups (2 pounds) strawberries hulled and quartered
1/2 cup sugar (less if you want your pie less sweet)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For crumb topping:
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
First make the crust, par bake it and set it aside. Set your oven to 350.
Make the filling: Toss the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and spices and zest in a mixing bowl. Let sit in the fridge or at room temp for a good 25 minutes and strain out any juices.
While you are waiting for your strawberries to let out some juice make your crumb streusel topping. Combine the oatmeal, flour and sugar in a small bowl and toss to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Freeze or refrigerate the topping until chilled, a good 10-15 minutes.
Spoon your strawberry filling into the crust being sure to not include juice. Spread the crumb topping over the top and bake in the middle rack of the oven (put a cookies sheet under to prevent spills) until your pie is bubbly and the crust and topping are golden brown, about 55 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature before serving.
If you want an easy and delicious pie recipe, this one’s for you! It is so easy to put together and has a big payoff in flavor and texture. It tastes like summer, sunshine and joy. Also, I think it probably has three to four of your daily servings of fruit—and this pie is so good—you could eat it all in one sitting. Now that I call a win-win.
3/4 cup white sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 cups fresh blueberries
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1 tablespoon butter, diced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over blueberries. Mix well. Line pie dish with one pie crust. Pour berry mixture into the crust, and dot with butter. Cut remaining pastry into 1/2-3/4 inch wide strips, and make lattice top. Crimp and flute edges. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on the top (A tip from my pie expert mama is to spritz the top of the crust with water to make the sugar stick more easily. Bake pie on lower shelf of oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. (If the crust edges start to get too brown after 30 minutes, cover with foil.)
There are so many chocolate pies that I want to eat every day, and I’ve posted enough for you to probably eat a chocolate pie every day for a month straight! Some of my favorites are of course, Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse, Chocolate Granola, Double Chocolate Pecan and the creamy dreamy Chocolate Cream, but today I’m sharing one of the easiest chocolate pies I’ve ever made. I think we can all agree that low effort with big reward can be nice sometimes. The pies listed above have varying levels of difficulty, and perhaps some ingredients you don’t keep in stock – but this one is not only easy, all of these ingredients are in your pantry. You can make it any time and you will love the surprise of a custard pie texture with a rich chocolatey taste. Plus, we know how to make a super easy and delicious pie crust now, so chocolate chess pie is on the menu TONIGHT!
Standard 9’Pie Crust – We use a shortening crust, but whatever you prefer will taste great!
(If you’re using a deep dish pie crust go 1 1/2 on this recipe but 2 eggs is still fine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa (if you want to be fancy step up your game and use dutch process cocoa like the valrhona one pictured – hershey’s works fine though)
pinch of salt
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 eggs beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but come on, who doesn’t choose chocolate chips?)
Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt together then blend in the milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla then fold in chocolate chips. Pour filling into crust.
Bake 45-50 minutes, until almost completely set. The filling should just barely wobble in the center when pan is jiggled.
Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. You can serve room temp or you can chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight before serving chilled. I recommend serving with whip cream or even a scoop of ice cream. If you serve hot, the butter will not set into the filling so painful as it is, it’s best to wait for pie to cool.