This vanilla cream pie is light and fluffy as once you make the filling, you also add whipped cream into it. It has a delicious homemade pie crust, whipped cream topping and is garnished with easy to make chocolate curls.
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Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Have ready a 8 inch glass pie plate.
In a mixing bowl stir the salt into the flour.
Add the butter and using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until it is a fine crumble texture.
Add water one tablespoon at a time stirring in. Just add enough water to form a dough that holds together.
Form a ball from the dough and flatten. Wrap with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and place the dough onto a floured flat surface. Roll out evenly in a circle large enough to fill the pie plate bottom and go up the sides. Fold dough in half, then and transfer into the pie plate. Open up to fill the plate and press the crust down into the pie dish.
Trim the edges even with the top of the pie plate. Pierce the dough several times on the bottom and place into the preheated oven.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crust is baked.
Remove from the oven, place onto a cooling rack and let cool completely before putting the filling.
Vanilla Cream Filling
Stir the cornstarch into 1/3 cup of the milk in a small bowl and set aside. Stir in the vanilla extract.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together.
Pour the remaining 1 2/3 cups of milk into a saucepan and heat over medium heat to scalding point.
Slowly whisk 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. Slowly whisk all of the hot milk into the bowl of tempered eggs, then transfer back into the saucepan.
Add the milk and cornstarch mixture to the hot milk, whisking in, and cook over low heat until it thickens.
Shut off and transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap right on the surface of the vanilla cream to keep from forming a crust. Cool to room temperature.
Once the vanilla pie filling has cooled make the whipped cream.
In a chilled bowl, using chilled beaters, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add in the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form.
Divide the whipped cream into two bowls as you will use half for the topping.
Fold half of the whipped cream into the cooled vanilla cream filling. Pour into the crust.
Dollop the remaining whipping cream on top and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
While the pie is cooling you can prepare the chocolate curls.
If using melting chocolate you will need to melt these down in a double boiler, or with a pot filled with water and a bowl that can rest on top of it. Use low heat when doing this.
When chocolate is melted pour into a small container (a small Tupperware, or glass container) lined with parchment paper, so that you can make a little brick of chocolate. Let this set, until chocolate has hardened up.
Now whether your using a big chunk, or the brick of melted chocolate. Take a straight edged knife, and with a bit of pressure, drag knife across the chocolate. It should curl and flake off.
Tip: Be sure not to handle chocolate too much as it will start to melt in your hands.
You can add the chocolate curls to the pie as soon as they are ready.
Keep refrigerated until you serve and any leftovers should be refrigerated.