Coffee Cream Pie
Shira Bocar makes a decadent espresso-flavored cream pie.
Whisk together 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 (about 2 minutes after it comes to a boil).
Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in milk mixture in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until it returns to a boil, 1 to 2 minutes.
Strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl, and stir in coffee liqueur and vanilla. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until each piece melts before adding the next one. Let custard cool, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Pour custard into baked and cooled crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of custard. Refrigerate until filling is firm, 4 hours (or wrapped tightly with plastic, up to 1 day).
With the flat side of a chef's knife, crush espresso beans, 1 at a time. Reserve 1 tablespoon large pieces for garnish.
In a chilled bowl, beat cream, confectioners' sugar, and remaining 1 teaspoon espresso powder until stiff peaks form. Fold small espresso-bean pieces into whipped cream mixture, and spread over pie. Sprinkle with reserved espresso-bean pieces, and serve immediately.