Oh, gosh, peeps — there are so many good things to say about this pie I’m not even sure where to begin, but I think sharing a description might be in order. So, let me just say that if you’re fond of chocolate pudding, dig fudgsicles, appreciate a little nutty crunch with your sweets, and believe dessert really isn’t dessert unless billowy whipped cream is involved, well then I think this frozen “Swiss” chocolate pie o’mine, made with a pre-made, buttery and crumbly, over-the-top delish DIAMOND OF CALIFORNIA’S WALNUT PIE CRUST, no less, is going to be right up your alley. I first stumbled upon frozen chocolate “Swiss” pie (and by first “stumbled” I mean first inhaled several slices in one sitting) at my mother-in-law’s house, when I was there in my capacity as her beloved youngest son’s girlfriend. By the time I tried the pie, I already knew she was an exceptional baker and sweets-maker, not to mention cook. But the pie elevated her to genius treat-making guru status and for that I was unprepared.
Lucky for me, a few years later I graduated from girlfriend (who was super fond of pie) to wife (deserving of recipe for said pie). The recipe called for pressing a simple walnut crust — made from chopped walnuts, sugar and melted butter — into a glass pie plate and filling said crust with a chocolate-cheesecake pudding of sorts, made from melted chocolate chips, cream cheese, whipped egg whites and heavy cream. The pie was then placed in the freezer and slices were served unapologetically frozen solid — in every season (this is not a summer pie, in case you thought otherwise). It was completely dreamy in its simplicity and I made it often and with abandon.
Cut to this past summer when I was fortunate enough to attend a Diamond Of California and Joy the Baker event in NYC, in which the amazing Joy demo’ed a dark n’ stormy pie in a Diamond of California pecan pie crust. I was immediately smitten (and not only because I love a dark n’ stormy and had just developed an icebox cake dark n’ stormy for the Washington Post version earlier in the summer). In fact, I was smitten because Diamond’s new product was utterly scrumptious and made me think of my mother-in-law’s frozen “Swiss” chocolate pie in its walnut crust, and how lovely it would be to make said-pie in a pre-made Diamond of California nut crust, instead.
And as luck would have it, I’ve been given the opportunity to do just that. I tweaked my mother-in-law’s recipe just a bit, adding more chocolate, as well as vanilla and salt (you’re welcome), and topping the whole thing in unsweetened whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted and chopped (Diamond of California) walnuts. The crust is as good as my homemade one, just sayin’, and is so easy to work with (i.e., you don’t have to do any work). It also easily slips out of the metal pie tin once it is frozen, and looks so pretty on the serving plate in all its exposed-crust glory.
A word or two about the recipe: first, and most importantly, you should be able to find Diamond of California Nut Pie Crusts at your local grocery store. Second, the pie does call for raw eggs (I mean, this is an old fashioned recipe, and it was created back when folks did not worry so much (if at all) about food borne illnesses). But pasteurized eggs are pretty easy to find these days, if you are concerned (and you can pick them up while you’re purchasing your Diamond of California Nut Pie Crust). Third, the filling might look dense, but it is actually wonderfully light. To achieve said lightness, make sure your cream cheese is at room temp when you beat it and that you add your melted chocolate only after it has completely cooled — if it is warm, the mixture will seize. It still makes for a tasty filling, but not quite as ethereal a one. Fourth, if you do not love the idea of a frozen pie, feel free to refrigerate the pie instead (for a more chocolate pudding pie vibe). And, finally, I wish I could tell you why the word “Swiss” is in the name of this pie — I truly have no idea and a fair amount of internet research has yet to reveal the answer.
Frozen "Swiss" Chocolate Pie
- For the filling:
- 1 1/2 cups , 9 ozs, semisweet chocolate chips
- 8 ozs cream cheese room temp
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 large pasteurized eggs separated
- 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 cups heavy cream divided
- 1 Diamond Nuts Walnut Pie Crust
- Toasted and chopped Diamond Nuts walnuts for sprinkling
- To make the filling, place the chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Or place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove top and over medium heat, melt until smooth, stirring periodically. Let cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese, brown sugar and salt, on medium-high speed, until smooth, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- On low speed, add the yolks, one at a time, and then the 1 tablespoon vanilla, and beat until smooth, then continue beating for about 5 minutes.
- Add the cooled chocolate to the cream cheese filling and mix on medium until combined.
- Place the whites in a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until foamy. If you do not have a hand mixer, transfer the chocolate filling from the stand mixer bowl to a large mixing bowl, clean the stand mixer bowl and use it and the whisk attachment to whip the egg whites. Add the granulated sugar in a slow and steady stream, increase the speed to high, and whisk the whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the filling with a rubber spatula.
- In the bowl you just whisked the whites in, no need to clean it, whisk 2 cups heavy cream on medium-high until it holds stiff peaks. Gently fold the cream into the filling.
- Transfer the filling to the Diamond Nuts Walnut Crust, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Place in the freezer until frozen, abut 5 hours, or overnight.
- About 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the pie, remove it from the disposable pie tin and let rest at room temperature. Right before serving, whip the remaining cup of heavy cream and the remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla until soft peaks form and spread the cream over the top of the pie. Sprinkle with toasted and chopped Diamond Nuts walnuts. Dip a knife into hot water for the prettiest slices.
- The pie will keep in the freezer tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to a week.