May 3, 2010

Chocolate Berry Cream Pie

In the last six months, I've made quite a collection of melty, gooey, rich chocolaty desserts. But explain to me how somehow, the one dessert that features fruit, not chocolate, gets a standing ovation from my cocoa-crazed husband.

Ok, so technically there is chocolate in this pie, but teddy grahams and a pinch of cocoa powder hardly settle my chocolate fix, nevertheless Luke's. But yet we both agreed that this dreamy dessert soared to the top with the first bite.
It's called a cream pie, but basically it's a creamy cheesecake with a chocolate crumb crust that's topped with triple berry curd – a.k.a. the most amazing thing to happen to fruit, chocolate.

The crust is a snap, taking only minutes to prepare and putting all other complicated pastry crusts to shame. Just throw your teddy grahams/chocolate wafers in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin until every last bear is pulverized into powder. Then toss it with brown sugar, melted butter and an egg white. (Oh and save that'll need it for the filling.)

Now, what in the world kind of cheesecake can you possibly make with fat free cottage cheese and fat free cream cheese? Surprisingly, an absolute delicious one. A few rounds in the 'ol food processor with a little sugar, flour and the usual suspects and you'll have a fluffy, creamy filling that's worthy of the crust those bears silently gave their life to create. And in 35 minutes or less, you'll have gold.

The pie needs to chill for at least four hours or overnight, which gives you plenty of time to make the triple berry curd.

Now, time for a story problem. If you need a cup each of frozen blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, but all of the frozen bags are measured in ounces and pounds, and the fresh in pints, how long will it take a 26-year-old, inexperienced cook to figure out what to buy?

Longer than I should admit, that's for sure. After two phone calls to my mother and a few poor attempts at unit conversions, I decided to check out the serving size on the bag. And whatdaya know...a 16 ounce bag of mixed berries comes out to exactly three cups. And it was written there all along for idiots like me.

So, once you get your berries, and I hope you get them quicker than me, into the blender they go, then into a sieve to remove all the seeds. It takes a little time, but the result...a perfectly smooth, seed-free totally worth it. Nothing could be better.

Until you add in that sugar and butter, of course. Mix it with a little cornstarch, salt, lemon juice and eggs and you'll create a thick, creamy berry mixture that will have you rethinking chocolate altogether.

There will be plenty of leftover berry puree and berry curd, both of which won't stay leftovers very long. We ate up the puree for breakfast, and used the extra curd for a delicious topping on chocolate ice cream and then later as a sauce for stuffed French toast. Delish.

Once the curd cools, it has to chill for six hours or overnight in the fridge. This was a shocker to me, since I once again made the mistake of not reading both recipes before I started. So, waiting six hours meant we could eat the about half time during the Harlem Globetrotters game we had tickets to that night.

So when you make this, make the pie and the curd on the same day with plenty of time for both to chill. Then you'll never have to decide between dessert and basketball. (I would have chosen dessert, by the way, but you know how men are with their sports.)

Once your pie is finally chilled, you can slather on that sweet, creamy berry curd and slice 'er up. If you want to get all fancy shmancy, you can sprinkle on a little cocoa powder and top each piece with a few berries. As you can see, I chose this extra touch because I was serving this pie for a very special occasion. Dessert.

Luke and I ate our pie on the balcony, and for ten minutes straight, said nothing to one another accept for the occasional "Oh my goodness," a few "This is so amazing" and a couple "Are you tasting this?!" I have a feeling the neighbors out on their balconies were seriously judging us.

But when you're eating something that looks and tastes like this...who cares what other people think? They were probably just jealous because they weren't eating pie. And becase they don't have a husband that gives standing ovations at the dinner table. With a beard covered in berry curd.

Chocolate-Berry Cream Pie
Elizabeth Taliaferro, Cooking Light, MARCH 2006
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

Cookbook Note: This can be prepared a day in advance, but wait to spread the topping until you're ready to serve. (p.s. the cake and the curd take several hours or overnight to chill!)


1  cup  chocolate wafer crumbs (about 20 cookies; such as Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafers)
(I used chocolate teddy grahams.)
2  tablespoons  brown sugar
1  tablespoon  butter, melted
1  egg white
Cooking spray
1  cup  fat-free cottage cheese
1/2  cup  (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
6  tablespoons  granulated sugar
2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/8  teaspoon  salt
2  large eggs
1  large egg yolk
3/4  cup  Triple Berry Curd (Recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare crust, combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a fork until moist. Press into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine cottage cheese and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a food processor; process for 1 minute or until smooth. Add eggs and egg yolk; process until smooth. Spoon filling into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

To serve, spread Triple Berry Curd evenly over top.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 218 (26% from fat), Fat: 6.3g (sat 2.6g,mono 2.1g,poly 1g), Protein: 10.9g, Carbohydrate: 29.6g, Fiber: 0.8g, Cholesterol: 99mg, Iron: 1.2mg, Sodium: 249mg, Calcium: 56mg.

Triple Berry Curd
Elizabeth Taliaferro, Cooking Light, MARCH 2006
Yield: 2 1/2 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon)

1  cup  frozen blackberries, thawed
1  cup  frozen blueberries, thawed
1  cup  frozen raspberries, thawed
2/3  cup  sugar
1  tablespoon  cornstarch
1/8  teaspoon  salt
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
3  large eggs
2  tablespoons  butter

Place all berries in a blender, and process until smooth. Press berry mixture through a sieve over a medium bowl using the back of a spoon, reserving 1 cup puree; discard seeds. Reserve any of remaining puree for another use; store in the refrigerator.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium, heavy saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Stir in 1 cup puree, juice, and eggs. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add butter, stirring gently until butter melts. Cool.

Spoon mixture into a medium bowl; cover and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight (mixture will thicken as it cools).

Nutritional Information: Calories: 29 (31% from fat), Fat: 1g (sat 0.5g,mono 0.3g,poly 0.1g), Protein: 0.6g, Carbohydrate: 4.8g, Fiber: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Iron: 0.3mg, Sodium: 18mg, Calcium: 4mg


Kathleen said...

Wow! This looks unbelievably delicious!

Rachel Cotterill said...

That sounds incredible, actually. Even if it could do with more chocolate ;)

Kat said...


Aurora said...

Hi - stopping by from SITS. Love food blogs! yours is a much better and less stressful concept - one main course and one dessert a week vs. one a day. The pie looks fabulous.

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Mmm, sounds delicious!

Katherine said...

This looks wonderful, but I see it uses cottage cheese....I've never tried cheesecake with that in it. Does it give the cheesecake a different flavor?

julie said...

Yummy! This looks so good! The triple berry curd makes it for me.

grace said...

this is certainly a labor of love worth every ounce of energy expended! the chocolatey crust, creamy innards, the sweet berry topping--i love every aspect of it!

Elizabeth @ TexasEbeth said...

Popping over from SITS. This looks yummy! I like how you talk about making it before getting to the recipe.

Accustomed Chaos said...

That looks INCREDIBLE! Oh my I can just tasted it now!

Devan @ Accustomed Chaos

Me, Myself and Pie said...

Katherine...the cottage cheese works great for this cheesecake. It's very creamy and has a great flavor. I recommend it!

Linda said...

This looks very good. Before it built up around my neighborhood, wild black raspberries grew all over. We would go out and pick pounds of them and make pies, ice cream and all sorts of fruit desserts.

Florida Girl Meets the Midwest said...

Yummers! I LOVE fruit so this is my kind of dessert. PS that taco salad looks up my alley too. I think I will whip that one up next week.

I would love to hear what kind of camera you are using for all of these fabulous photos you take or if you have any secrets to great photos. I have much room for improvement in this area.

Mhel said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe. Looks rich, creamy and fruity. I know how much work you have to take on taking a step-by-step photo (guilty as well with that), makes us easier to follow the recipes. Dropping by from SITS!!

Me, Myself and Pie said...

Tina...Definitely make the taco salad. It's amazing!

As far as pictures go, I have no secrets! Actually, I have no idea what I'm doing. I just use a regular 'ol sony cybershot point and shoot. I never use the flash to avoid that shocking neon look, and keep the shots pretty close to keep them clear. (A must for a no-flash setting on my camera.) I'm finding that natural light is the best way to go for all kinds of pictures, but it can be hard to come by when you're cooking at midnight. Other than that, I just take a ton of photos until I find the one that works. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

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Genevieve said...

YUM!!!!!!! OMG this looks delish!

tasteofbeirut said...

I would gladly forego my chocolate fix for this! I love the fact that the filling is ft-free cottage cheese (not the ultra rich philadelphia) as well as all the berries in that curd. I am a berry-holic, could eat a gallon a day and not tire of them and so in that pie, you have assembled my all-time favorite things. Excellent job.

Lis said...

Hi, Rachel! Oh my! This looks SO yummy! Wow. Looks absolutely delicious!

Dropping by to let you know that you've won a blogger award! You can claim it at:

I hope you enjoy the award and that you have a good weekend. :)

Sara said...

Wow!!! This is a great blog; that dessert looks SO YUMMY!!!! I can't wait to read more of your posts!!

“Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest”

WhisperingWriter said...

I would LOVE this. *Drools*

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

Lori said...

Now that is a serious wedge of pie for 218 calories! Love it!

Jen @ ourfinehouse said...

This looks so ridiculously good! My mouth started to water just from looking at the photos.

Stopping by from SITS.

Ingrid said...

oh, I'm not sure what to make first! This or the lemon cake. I'm having a bake-fest out the house this weekend! That curd is creaming my name...seriously!

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