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Espresso Cream Pie


A sprinkling of crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans hints at the filling's intense flavor and provides a bitter crunch that's perfect against its sweet softness.

  • Servings: 12
  • Yield:

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2008


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, preferably Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • Chocolate-Wafer Crust
  • 1/3 cup dark-chocolate-covered espresso beans
  • 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar


  1. Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in milk and 2 tablespoons espresso powder, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, about 7 minutes total (about 2 minutes after it comes to a boil).

  2. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Pour in milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until completely incorporated. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it returns to a boil, 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat, and stir in coffee liqueur and vanilla. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until butter melts before adding next piece. Let custard cool in saucepan on a wire rack, whisking occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

  4. Pour custard into chocolate-wafer crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of custard. Refrigerate until custard filling is chilled and firm, at least 4 hours (or overnight).

  5. With a flat side of a chef's knife, crush espresso beans, 1 at a time. Reserve 1 tablespoon larger espresso-bean pieces.

  6. Whisk together cream, confectioners sugar, and remaining teaspoon espresso powder until stiff peaks form. Fold small espresso-bean pieces into whipped cream mixture, and decoratively spread over pie. Sprinkle with reserved espresso-bean pieces, and serve immediately.

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