… Knock, Knock … Who’s There? … Orange! … Orange Who? … Orange You Glad You Added Me to Your Chocolate Pie?
It’s been awhile since I’ve shared my enthusiasm for chocolate with you, so I couldn’t resist bringing you my gluten-free, dairy-free version of Mocha Valencia Pie. This rich, but not overly sweet, velvety chocolate pudding pie has been kissed with hints of orange zest. The only thing better than enjoying the scents of this pie is eating it. If you’re not a coffee lover, don’t let the recipe scare you away. The coffee flavor doesn’t really come through, but it does play a very important part by creating a depth and complexity to the chocolate. This pie is smooth and sophisticated (not like my knock, knock joke.) These flavors say “holidays” to me.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: between 5 to 8 minutes
Cooling time: about 2 hours for pie or cold pudding; can be enjoyed right away if you like warm pudding
Makes 1 9-inch pie or 4 individual servings of pudding
Pie Filling Ingredients:
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Cocoa Powder)
1/3 cup cornstarch (I used Argo)
1-1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened in the refrigerator section)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ounce hot water
1/2 teaspoon instant decaf coffee (I used Maxwell House)
1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest, 1 medium orange should provide enough zest
Pie Crust Ingredients:
1 box gluten-free, dairy-free graham crackers (I used Kinnikinnick)
6 Tablespoons margarine, melted (I used Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – red tub)
Pre-heat oven to 375º. In a food processor, or in a large resealable plastic bag, crush graham crackers into fine crumbs. In a small bowl, combine crumbs and melted margarine. With a fork, stir together until margarine and crumbs are completely mixed together and you have a crumble mixture. Spread mixture into bottom and up the side of a pie pan. Pat down crumbs making sure all the surface is covered and there are no holes or open spots. Bake in pre-heated oven 6-8 minutes, or until crust just begins to brown on edges. Remove pie pan from oven and cool on baking rack to room temperature.
In a small mixing bowl, combine cocoa powder, corn starch, powdered sugar, and salt. Stir well. Set aside. In a small cup or bowl, combine instant coffee to hot water. In a medium sauce pan, add coconut milk, vanilla and hot liquid coffee. Set heat to low. While stirring constantly, add the cocoa mixture to the milk mixture. Begin heating slowly over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to blend in all dry ingredients. The pudding will slowly begin to thicken. Be sure to not let the heat burn the bottom of the pan and scald pudding. Turn the heat to medium, still stirring constantly, and allow pudding to come to a simmer. Gently simmer while stirring until pudding thickens and begins to lose its sheen, about 1 1/2-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest. Leave pudding in pan for about 5 minutes, stirring once half way through the cooling time. Pour pudding into pie crust. Immediately cover pie with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the entire surface of the pudding pie. This plastic wrap should stay over pie until ready to serve. The plastic wrap prevents a “skin” from forming over the top of the pudding pie. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish, if desired, with non-dairy whipped topping.
If you want to enjoy Mocha Valencia Pudding, and not bother with making a pie, once you've stirred in the orange zest, simply pour the pudding into four individual serving cups. I actually love eating warm pudding right after it has been cooked. Is that weird, or am I just impatient?
P.S. Knock, Knock? … Who’s There? … Yes, I’m very glad I added orange to the pie! You will be too!