A sweet Berry and Chocolate Custard Slab Pie – perfect for Spring! A buttery and flaky pie crust holds fresh mixed berries that sit on top of a perfectly creamy chocolate custard. Then the pie is baked in a small baking sheet!
Berry and Chocolate Custard Slab Pie
If you haven’t noticed by now, I like to amp up my recipes. I love berry pie, but I wanted to do something different with this one. Enter the chocolate custard filling, and to change it up, even more, I made it a slab pie. It is now reminiscent of chocolate covered strawberries and I couldn’t think of anything more delightful.
There are a few steps with this recipe for berry and chocolate custard slab pie. Such as making the pie crust and the custard, but even those components are relatively simple. The hardest part of this recipe is the cooling time because you do not want to add creamy mousse to a hot pie shell or it will just melt. Just sayin’.
Now, I have looked far and wide for a pie crust recipe that I like. Unfortunately, I do not have a family recipe that could be handed down. Sorry ladies in my family, but they either turned out too dry or just reminded me of a store-bought pie crust. Don’t worry though, the ladies in my family know this to be true. Also, I have nothing against a store-bought pie crust and I am not above using one!
Then I stumbled upon a recipe from Food Network that has been and will continue to be my go-to pie crust recipe. What attracted me to it was the apple cider vinegar and the fact that I always have a jar of Bragg’s in my refrigerator. The vinegar is what keeps the crust tender, but I also liked the idea that it gives the crust flavor. Not a vinegar, apple, or cider flavor; just flavor. Add in the sugar and the result is a buttery, flaky pie crust that compliments the fillings.
Chocolate Custard Pie Filling
Is there a lot to say about chocolate custard, other than it is one of the most magical baking creations to exist? When I made the custard, I had husband test it and his response was, ‘can I have a bowl of it?’ I think that is a pretty good endorsement (of course, he is biased), and to answer that question, you certainly can!
The chocolate custard in Berry and Chocolate Custard Slab Pie thicker than a pudding. We want it to hold up with all of the berries that are going to be piled on top of it. It will remain firm with the berries on top and the chocolate flavors still punch through.
Mixed Berry Pie Filling
I do recommend fresh berries, but you can certainly use frozen berries if you prefer. Simply because fresh berries are, well, fresh. I have found that sometimes the frozen berries can get a little too tart, but that is not anything that a little sugar can fix.
I also recommend cooking down a cup of the berries to give you some juices for the topping. This also releases the sweet pectin from fruit, acting as another layer of sweetness. You can omit this step if you like and just sprinkle the top of the mousse with handfuls of bright berries.
I still haven’t decided if I am a traditional round pie or slab pie girl. They each have their merits, but what I do love about the slab pie is it doesn’t feel like I am making something for Thanksgiving :). It is also a pie that I think is unexpected, plus you have a lot of edges to get the perfect piece of crust!
Berry and Chocolate Custard Slab Pie
- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 5-6 tablspoons ice water
Chocolate Custard Filling
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 3 large egg yolks (room temperature)
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mixed Berry Topping
- 5 cups fresh mixed berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Instructions are by hand, but you can also use a food processor
- In a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, and salt and mix for a few turns by hand. Add the chilled, cubed butter and apple cider vinegar and mix for a couple turns by hand, then start to break up the butter pieces with your fingertips. Continue to do this until the mixture resembles very coarse crumbs with pea-size bits of butter.
- Add in 3 tablespoons of the ice water and continue to mix by hand. Pinch the dough between your fingers – if it does not hold together, add another tablespoon of water. Continue to mix, pinch and add water until the dough holds together. It will still be crumbly and coarse, which is the texture you want.
- Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat the dough into a rough square. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes or up to 1 day.
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle that is the size of a quarter sheet baking pan with a little excess to hang over the sides – approx. 13×10-inches. Ease into the quarter sheet baking pan, making sure to get the dough tucked into the bottom and corners of the pan. Fold any overhang under itself and crimp the edges all around with your fingertips.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Cover any edges that are cooking faster with aluminum foil to prevent burning.
- Cool (in the pan) on a wire rack. Make sure the crust is completely cool before adding the chocolate custard filling.
Chocolate Custard Filling
- In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, cream, and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil.
- While the liquid is heating, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until well combined. Once the milk mixture is heated, slowly drizzle about 1 cup of the liquid to the egg mixture, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs.
- Return the tempered mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the custard starts to get thick and bubbly – about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chocolate chips and vanilla. Mix with the whisk or rubber spatula until the chocolate has melted, making sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pan. Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the butter and mix until melted.
- Strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl – scraping the bottom of the strainer to make sure you have all of the custard.
- Transfer the custard to the cooled pie shell and spread evenly into all corners with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and let the chocolate pie cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, for the custard to set.
Mixed Berry Topping
- Wash the fresh berries. Cut the tops off of the strawberries and slice in half, or thirds for very large strawberries.
- Take one cup of the mixed berries and place them in a small saucepan with the lemon juice. Cook the berries for a few minutes until they begin to break down and release their juices – about 3 minutes.
- With the remaining berries, place them in a medium bowl. Add the cooked berries and toss the mix with the sugar. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the pie. Note – For pie, I like the variation of cooked berries and fresh berries. You can do one or the other if you prefer.
- Once the chocolate custard has chilled and set, spoon on the mixed berries and enjoy. You can top with whipped cream ,ice cream, or just eat as is!
- Berries – I like the mix of fresh and cooked berries. You can certainly do all of either if you prefer.
- Make Ahead – I have also made this by making all of the components ahead of time and then assembling the next day. The mousse will thicken and set in the fridge but is easy to spread into the pie shell with a rubber spatula.
- Decorations – The ‘flower’ decorations on top are leftover pie dough that has been rolled and cut out with a cookie cutter. This recipe will not yield much leftover, so if you would like to adorn your slab pie with pie crust decor, you can halve the pie crust recipe and make a smaller batch.