Aarti Sequeira on from the start of this year's Next Food Network Star competition. I'm so glad she won. I love her recipes, her wit, and her giggles. She makes cooking look easy and fun which is the way it should be. So as the winner of the Next Food Network Star, she has her own show, Aarti Party! I've watched the first four shows now. Yes, I have to 'tape' them since they appear only once a week Sunday at noon, not a time for me to be watching TV. Hope she gets a better time slot in the future.
Aarti adds a lot of subtle Indian twists to her recipes. I like that, of course, and I was thrilled to see a chocolate recipe on the second program: Chocolate Ginger Pudding Pie aka Come Ere Puddin Pie. It's absolutely incredible. First, it's easy. That's always a big one in my book. And, I think the Chocolate Cookie Gingersnap Crust is absolutely brilliant. I plan to use it with lots of cheesecakes, too. Anyway, the crystallized ginger in the pudding filling is downright awesome. You are going to love this pie!
Chocolate Ginger Pudding Pie
15 chocolate wafer cookies
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
Generous pinch salt
2 cups whole milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Crust: Crush the cookies in a food processor with the melted butter until almost finely crushed (or in a plastic food storage bag, using a rolling pin). Pour the cookie crumbs into pie dish. Using your hands, smooth out the crumbs to form an even crust on bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
Filling: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the milk, yolks and vanilla. Stir in the sugar, cornstarch, chocolate and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute, then immediately remove from heat. Mixture should be very thick! Quickly stir in the ginger, then pour the pudding into the crust. Cover the surface of pie with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming) and chill for 3 hours, until set.
Before serving, whip the cream and sugar together in a small bowl, until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream, and a light dusting of leftover cookie crumbs, if you have any.