Just like many of you, my day job doesn’t consume all my creative urges, so the kitchen is my outlet. Not long ago I read about a zebra cake on The Whimsical Cupcake and a tiger cake on Daily Salt that caused me to imagine a pie using a similar technique.
Apparently, God was in a creative mood himself when he made zebras. Not only are they strikingly beautiful but every zebra has a unique, one-of-a-kind stripe pattern comparable to our thumbprints.
And just like zebras, every time I put this pie together, it looks a little different. But no matter. The taste is the same– a mild chocolate in the same way chocolate and vanilla swirled ice cream tastes mostly chocolate. I experimented with various crusts but my husband deemed the chocolate cookie crust the perfect foil for the light and creamy filling so that’s what I went with– just so you know who the boss is around here.
Take note. Making this pie does not have to heat up your kitchen. Instead of baking the crust, refrigerate it for an hour or buy a prepared chocolate cookie crust. The cream filling goes together quickly in the blender and is cooked in the microwave resulting in a lump-free, silky-smooth texture in 6 minutes. Be sure to allow adequate time for the pie to chill or the layers won’t be so pretty when you serve it.
- 2 cups mini Oreo cookies or 14 regular size Oreo cookies
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2-3/4 cups milk (I use 2-1/2 cups nonfat milk + ¼ cup whipping cream but any type will work)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted 1 minute in microwave in 4-cup glass bowl
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place cookies in bowl of food processor and pulse repeatedly until you have fine crumbs. (You can also use a rolling pin to crust cookies inside of a closed plastic bag.) Add melted butter and work evenly through crumbs. Press into a 9-inch pie plate using a spoon to smooth and pack crumbs to a uniform thickness.
- Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.
- Summertime variation: Instead of baking, chill formed pie crust 1 hour before adding filling.
- Add milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks, (in that order) to blender. Blend 5 seconds and pour into 2-quart glass microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 6 minutes on HIGH, whisking till smooth after 3 minutes, then every minute thereafter. Pour through strainer if you see any lumps.
- Add butter and vanilla, whisking 'til smooth. Pour half of filling into bowl holding chocolate, stirring until smooth.
- Pour half of vanilla batter into pie crust, carefully spreading it across the bottom and up the sides of the crust. Add half of the chocolate filling on top by pouring in the middle, carefully spreading it over the top of the first vanilla layer leaving a vanilla margin around the outside. Work fast before the cream can cool and thicken. Continue alternating flavors, adding the filling to the center of the pie. It will begin to make a mound. When all filling is used, cover with plastic wrap and use your hand to gently push the cream filling from the center toward the edges until it's flat, being careful not to disturb the rings. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.
If you think you have totally messed up the layers, use a knife to gently swirl the cream filling and cover with whipped cream. It will look like you planned it that way from the beginning….maybe….hopefully.