For most of us, hot chocolate reminds us of the holidays (and the best of our childhood). Because of that, we all have expectations for hot chocolate that deserve serious consideration, so in keeping with the almost-sacred and simple elements of a perfect mug of hot chocolate, this pie is made to be extra milky and extra chocolatey. And, it’s best with a dollop of marshmallow creme and a sprinkling of crushed peppermints. For ease, we call for a premade graham cracker piecrust to serve as a simple base that supports the flavor of the pie, but if you’re feeling up to it, a homemade graham cracker piecrust would be even better! The recipe also calls for milk powder and instant coffee, two elements that enhance the flavor of the milk and the cocoa in the recipe—they’ll be the “secret ingredients” that you’ll swear by after serving this icebox pie to your family and friends.
2 1/2 cups whole milk
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons powdered milk
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 premade graham cracker piecrust
1 (7-oz.) jar marshmallow creme
Garnish: Crushed peppermint candies
How to Make It
Combine milk, cocoa, powdered milk, and instant coffee in a medium-sized saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the temperature to low to keep the mixture warm.
In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt. Add the egg yolks and beat until the mixture is smooth and pale yellow.
Measure out 1 cup of the warm milk mixture and slowly stream it into the egg mixture while whisking.
Bring the heat under the saucepan back to medium, and while whisking constantly, slowly stream in the egg mixture. Continue whisking constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a thick pudding, 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then pour the mixture into the piecrust. Cover and chill for 12 hours.
Dollop the surface with marshmallow creme and smooth across the pie surface. Garnish with crushed peppermint candies, if desired.