I'm going to a Father's Day dinner tonight (Father's Day for my actual father will be celebrated next week) and I'm bringing a dessert. Not only will my dessert have to compete with all the delicious food that will be served that evening it will also compete with a Ricotta Tart. So when I came across a recipe for Chai Cream Pie on MyRecipes.com (via Cooking Light Magazine), I knew I had to make it. Cream Pie? WITH CHAI? I love Chai. In fact, when I gave up drinking coffee, chai lattes became my go-to drink. It was the closest I could get to to the warm fuzzy feeling I got when I drank a hot cup of coffee with cream every morning. I get a small Soy Chai Latte at Mr. Crepe in Davis Square. It's my favorite especially since it's not sweet. That way I can drink it with a bit of Agave Nectar (which I add myself from my own bottle at work). I digress. What I'm trying to get at is that I love Chai. So it just seemed right for me to make a Chai Cream Pie.
I seem to make pies in twos these days so I modified the original recipe to make two and made some other changes as well. If you have the time to make your own whipped topping, I highly encourage you to do it. Cool Whip only goes so far. Next time, I might try this with Almond Milk instead of regular milk.
2 Mrs. Smith Frozen Pie Shells, thawed for 15 minutes
4 cups of 2% milk
8 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled2 black tea bags
3/4 cup of sugar (I used 1 cup and it was a bit too sweet)
1-1/2 tablespoons of butter, softened
2 small containers of Non-Fat Cool Whip or generic brand, thawed
If you compare my recipe to the MyRecipes.com one, you'll noticed I doubled on somethings but not others. You don't really need 16 cardamom pods. 8 will do. But you do need to double up on things like milk, tea bags, eggs, sugar. I skipped doubling on butter and the seasonings. You may want to add some vanilla too if you like your Chai Lattes with a shot of vanilla syrup.
Bake the Pie Shells according to package instructions. Let cool and set aside.
In a large pot, add your 4 cups of milk, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and ginger. Cook at medium heat until the edges of the mixture shows little bubbles. Take the pot off the heat and add the two black tea bags. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Remove the tea bags, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and ginger from the pot. Cook until it starts to bubble around the edges again. While it's cooking, add the sugar and eggs to a large heat-proof bowl. Add the milk-tea mixture to the bowl little by little whisking it in. If you add the hot milk to the bowl all at once you'll end up with scrambled eggs.
Add the milk-tea-egg mixture back to the pot and cook just until it forms a thick consistency. Stay with it the entire time constantly whisking and pull the pot off the heat just as it thickens. If you wait to long, the bottom will burn. Stir in the butter until it melts.
Add the mixture to the bowl and cover with cling wrap. Make sure the cling wrap is touching the mixture so it doesn't form a skin. Let cool for a few hours.
Add even amounts of the mixture to each of the two baked pie shells. Top each pie with one container of Cool Whip and dust with cinnamon if so desired. Eat cold and enjoy