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Chocolate Pudding Pie with Pecan Crust

Here’s a filling that can stand up to a pecan crust. It’s quick and easy to assemble. Allow at least 3 hours of chilling time.

Prep Time: about 10 minutes for the crust, plus cooling time. And about 10 minutes for the filling.
Cook Time: 15 minutes for the crust.
Chill Time: 3 hours
Yield: 8 servings

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine pecans, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate (preferably metal) and add butter. Mix with a spoon or your fingers until well combined. Press firmly into the bottom of the pie plate (the nuts will cover the bottom of the pan, but not the sides). Bake until deep golden, about 15 minutes (start checking after 10 minutes; nuts burn quickly). Remove from heat and allow to cool. If using a metal pie plate, you can speed up the process by putting it in the refrigerator or freezer. If using Pyrex, do not put the pie plate under refrigeration until it is quite cool, as a hot Pyrex dish could shatter.

When crust is cool, make filling:

First layer:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 cup Cool Whip (any variety), thawed

Combine cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl. When smooth, add Cool Whip. Pour into crust and spread evenly. Be careful -- the crust will lift up out of the pan if you pull the filling too hard. Use a gentle touch, and don't worry if some of the nuts get mixed into the filling. Make as even a layer as possible. Refrigerate while making the next layer of filling.

Second layer:

4-serving package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk

Mix well in a medium bowl until the pudding starts to thicken. Pour over the first layer in the pie plate, and refrigerate until the pudding is set, about 10 minutes.

Third layer:

1 cup Cool Whip, thawed

Spread over the top of the pie. Refrigerate until the filling is completely set, about 3 hours.



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