Y’all, I’ve now made four iterations of Nutella cream pie in the last ten days… or maybe it’s only been a week. Time makes no sense anymore, after all. But in an effort not to let the perfect be the enemy of the exceptionally delicious, I’m going to post the recipe I created for what I’m calling a dark chocolate hazelnut cream pie. There will be a milk chocolate/Nutella variation in future, which I haven’t quite nailed. But Pi(e) Day approaches! And I know you might want to plan ahead.
My Nutella cream pie adventure began about a week ago both in anticipation of Pi(e) Day! And because the rest of the internet is woefully mistaken about what it seems to think constitutes a Nutella cream pie. Searching for such a thing will lead you down a rabbit hole of inane recipes that include cream cheese! That tout its “no-bake” qualities as assets! Friends, cream cheese and “no-bake” do not a cream pie make.
So then I did a whole bunch of science-y reading about the magical combination of ingredients that do make a cream pie. Namely: dairy, sugar, egg yolks, and sometimes cornstarch (or, “corn flour” for my UK readers). Essentially, a cream pie is a variation of crème pâtissière, or pastry cream if you don’t want to be fancy. Depending on what consistency you want, you might whip it (tried that!), or fold in some whipped cream, or do any number of things that will turn your custard base into one of a vast array of creamy desserts.
What I’m presenting you with here is a lovely, creamy, rich and dark chocolatey pie that pairs very well with the Oreo hazelnut crumb crust I concocted for the occasion.
Ingredients are listed in the order they appear in the recipe and anything that requires prep is in bold. Ingredients are bolded in the directions when you first encounter them and the quantity required is included. Time estimates are bolded and italicized. I also include notes about any special equipment you’ll need.
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut (Nutella) Cream Pie
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
- 18 Oreo cookies (approximately 210 grams) – this is exactly half of a standard package of Oreos, and is just shy of 2 cups of crumbs
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Dark Chocolate Nutella Filling
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon dutch processed or high quality cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup (315 grams) Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Required equipment: a food processor, a standard 9″ pie plate, a medium saucepan, and a whisk. Fine mesh sieve if you have one, but this isn’t vital.
First, make the crust.
See the full post for detailed instructions, but it’s pretty straightforward. Toast your hazelnuts, then add 1/2 cup hazelnuts, 18 Oreo cookies, and 3 tablespoons brown sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined into a fine meal. Pour into a small bowl and add 4 tablespoons melted butter. Mix to combine, then press into a 9″ pie plate. Put the crust in the fridge or freezer to set while you make the filling.
Next, make the filling.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour in the 1 cup heavy cream and whisk thoroughly to get out any lumps. Add the 4 egg yolks and whisk to combine. Finally, add in the 1 cup milk, and turn the heat to medium. (It’s important not to heat your custard too quickly – if you do, it might curdle. So, be patient, this part will probably take 15 minutes or so).
While the custard is beginning to warm up, continue to whisk occasionally and measure out your remaining ingredients. In a medium, heat-proof bowl, add 1 cup Nutella, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Continue to whisk the custard mixture over medium heat as it slowly thickens. Once it starts to thicken, whisk constantly until mixture starts to bubble. It will be quite thick. Once it has come to a “boil” (bubbles are occasionally making it to the surface), cook it for one more minute, still whisking constantly. Then remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve (if you have one) into the bowl with the Nutella.
Mix everything together thoroughly. The hot custard will melt the Nutella fairly well, but make sure you stir it together to really get it combined.
Then, pour into the prepared crust and cover with plastic wrap to help prevent a skin from forming. Put in the fridge and chill for at least 3 hours to give it time to set.
Then, enjoy! It’s real good.