1 single layer pie crust

Joan Would Have Loved It Chocolate Pastry Crust

For years my Mom was the pie maker at a local family bakery. While it was hard work, she found great pleasure in the creation of flavorful pies of numerous varieties and was proud of her flakey crusts. With each pie and pastry crust I create, I am sure she guides my inspiration. While I do not remember her ever creating a chocolate crust, I know she would have loved this one.

This recipe was developed as an unsweetened base to balance sweet fillings. While Hersey’s Cocoa will work here since it provides an intensity of flavor without becoming bitter, using Callebaut Baking Cocoa Powder simply increases the smooth chocolate flavor. Before baking, add a light dusting of cocoa to the bottom of the crust. It provides a hidden Flavor Tier to intensify the chocolate but go light to avoid any bitterness or acidity.

The flavors can be subtly changed by adding an ingredient such as a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, a dash of cayenne or substituting a tablespoon of chilled orange liquor, rum or Kahlua for 1 tablespoon of the water.

These are best used within a day if pre-baking or immediately if baking with a filling and the base for Rue des Sars Triple Chocolate Caramel Tarts.

½ c shortening
1 c all purpose flour
1/3 c cocoa powder
3-4 T ice water

Cocoa Powder for dusting

Preheat oven to 425°.

Flavor Tier 1

Place the shortening, flour and cocoa in a medium sized bowl. (A dry seasoning or spice may be added at this time.)

Flavor Tier 1 Continued

With a pastry blender or two knives, mix all together until little crumbs are formed.

Flavor Tier 2

Add 3 tablespoons of water (or 1 tablespoon liquor plus 2 tablespoons water). Blend with a fork until dough holds together. Add up to an additional tablespoon of water if needed.

Flavor Tier 3

Small Tarts: Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each into a ball. Spray muffin pan cups. Place a dough ball into 8 muffin cups. Press dough along bottom and up sides of cups. Prick dough with a fork on bottom and sides. Lightly dust with cocoa powder. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.

Pie or Large Tart: Form the dough into a ball and slightly flatten to a rounded disc. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12” circle. To place in a pie or tart pan, carefully roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll into the pie pan. Crimp sides and trim. With a fork, poke holes over bottom and sides of the curst. Lightly dust with cocoa powder.

To Bake

For Tarts: Place in freezer for 10 minutes. Bake for 7-12 minutes until slightly puffy and dry to the touch.

Pie or Large Tart: Place in freezer for 10 minutes. Bake for 10-15 minutes until slightly puffy and dry to the touch.