Based on Pie Hole's famous dessert, this earl grey pie has layers of dark chocolate ganache, rich earl grey white chocolate mousse, whipped cream, and pistachios all in a buttery crust.
Earl Grey Pie
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold butter cut into small chunks
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
- egg wash 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Earl grey white chocolate mousse
- 2 cups heavy cream + additional as needed
- 2 tablespoons earl grey loose tea leaves
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 7 ounces white chocolate chips
- 3 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Prepare pie crust. Mix together flour with salt and cold butter with a pastry cutter. Blend until mixture resembles coarse sand. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time until dough starts to come together. Shape dough into round disc, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Dust clean work counter with flour. Roll out pie crust to a 12-inch circle. Drape dough onto pie pan, pressing dough into pan. Crimp edges to create a crust. Prick bottom of the crust with a fork several times to prevent it from rising up when baking. Place parchment paper on top and fill with either pie weights or beans. Bake crust for 10 minutes.
- Remove parchment paper and weights from pie crust. Brush crust with egg wash and bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare earl grey white chocolate mousse. Combine 2 cups heavy cream with 2 tablespoons earl grey loose tea leaves and bring to a simmer in a medium saucepot over medium-low heat. Do not bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cream sit for 1 hour. Strain infused cream, discarding tea leaves.
- Beat together egg yolks with 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup infused cream and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Bring a pot of water to a simmer (not boiling) and place the bowl on top, making sure the bowl is not directly touching the water. Continue to stir until the mixture becomes thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Melt white chocolate in the microwave at 20-second intervals until it begins to melt. Add white chocolate to egg and cream mixture, stirring to combine. Let cool completely and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until thickened. The cream should set into a solid mass.
- With the remaining infused cream, add additional heavy cream to amount to 1 cup total. Chill until cold.
- Combine 3 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate with ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream in a medium bowl. Microwave for 15 seconds and stir to combine. Continue to microwave at 15-second intervals until chocolate begins to melt. Stir until well combined. Spread ganache on bottom of pie crust in an even layer. Chill for 30 minutes or until set.
- Whip remaining infused cream until stiff peaks form. Add half of the whipped infused cream into egg-cream mixture, beating until well combined. Fold in remaining whipped infused cream until combined. Pour into pie crust and smooth the top. Let chill overnight.
- Prepare whipped cream. Whip ½ cup heavy cream with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Place large dollops of whipped cream on the pie and garnish with chopped pistachios. Serve.
Watch how to make this:
For the first twenty-something years of my life, the best pie I had was the McDonald's apple pie. Sad, perhaps, but they do make a good pie (and it's portable!). This all changed once I visited the Pie Hole in Los Angeles. One bite of their earl grey pie and I was hooked. So there was amazing pie out there other than apple pie! After reading the description of Pie Hole's earl grey pie, I decided to recreate this delicious treat and found that with a little effort, this amazing pie can indeed be made in my own kitchen.
If you looked over the recipe, you're probably thinking at this point that it's just easier to go to Pie Hole and buy a slice of their earl grey. You're probably right, but I will go ahead and say that several people have said this was slightly better than the original. Convinced yet?
- Earl grey tea: A type of black tea that is flavored with oil from the rind of bergamot orange. It has a very unique taste with floral scents.
- Heavy cream: A key element to this pie that makes the mousse thicker and richer. It also is used to make whipped cream for the topping for the chocolate ganache.
- Bittersweet chocolate: To balance out the rich mousse filling, we use bittersweet chocolate. However, you can use semisweet or dark chocolate if you prefer a sweeter chocolate layer.
- White chocolate: Primarily used as the sweetener for the earl grey mousse. It also adds body to the filling, making it thicker.
- Pistachios: I added pistachios as a final garnish because that's how the Pie Hole decorates its pie, however, it is optional.
How to Make Earl Grey Pie
Step 1: Make the Pie Crust
This earl grey pie has several components including the buttery crust, the layer of chocolate ganache, an earl grey white chocolate mousse, and the whipped cream. Let's break it down and start with the first step, the crust.
Pie crust has been described as one of the most difficult basics to tackle. I think that with a little practice, it can actually be very easy to prepare. Start with cold ingredients. If it's an especially warm day, chill the flour before using it. Use a pastry blender or your hands to combine the flour with salt and butter. Once the butter resembles small peas, slowly add the ice-cold water 1 tablespoon at a time just until the dough starts to come together. Shape into a disc, wrap it up, and chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
Some people use the food processor to quicken the process. I myself, have used the food processor on more than one occasion. The only problem is that you can overmix the dough which will lead to a tough crust. Using your hands or a pastry cutter or even a fork is the safest route.
As for the ingredients, I personally prefer a butter pie crust vs shortening pie crust because of the added flavor that butter gives. Shortening makes a dough that is easier to work with but can be bland.
Once the dough feels firm, roll it out onto a work counter dusted with flour. If your kitchen is warm, place some ice packs on the counter before rolling the dough. Wipe the counter dry, dust some flour, and roll out the dough on the cold counter.
Carefully lay the rolled out dough onto your pie shell, making sure not to stretch it out. Crimp the edges and prick the bottom of the shell to prevent it from rising while baking. We are going to do a blind bake since the pie itself will not be baked later on. This means that you are going to place parchment paper on the pie shell and place a weight (usually dry beans or pie weights) on top to prevent the shell from losing its shape and puffing up.
Bake the pie with the weights for 10 minutes or until it loses its raw dough look. Remove the weights, brush on the egg wash, and continue to bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Step 2: Make the Filling
While the pie shell is cooling, make the earl grey-infused cream. Use good quality earl grey since this is the main flavor component of the pie. I used loose leaves but you can also use tea packets. Simmer the heavy cream with the heavy cream for 5 minutes, making sure not to boil the mixture. Make sure to keep the heat on the lowest setting.
Remove the cream from the heat and let it sit for 1 hour. If you simmer the leaves for too long it will leave a bitter taste.
Taste the heavy cream; it should be bursting with earl grey flavor! Strain and discard the tea. Measure 1 cup of the heavy cream for the white chocolate mousse and set aside the remaining cream.
Now time to make the mousse. Whisk together the 1 cup infused heavy cream with the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. If the heavy cream is still very warm, slowly add the cream to the eggs to avoid cooking them. Place the mixture over a pot of simmering water or what we call a "double boiler". The steam from the water will cook the mixture.
Whisk the custard frequently while cooking to avoid lumps and heat until the mixture becomes thickened. This is going to take a bit of time but in about 10 minutes, the custard should thicken. When it's ready, it should easily coat the back of a spoon.
I prefer to use the double boiler method when making the custard because it's the safest route. Can you cook the custard directly in the pot? Sure, but if you don't monitor the flames, the cream can split. Make sure to keep the heat on low and stir frequently. As soon as the filling thickens, remove it from heat.
Next, microwave the white chocolate chips until it begins to melt, and add them to the custard. If you add the white chocolate whole, it won't melt completely. Now let this cool in the fridge for at least an hour or until it is very thick. It'll be like a paste once it's ready.
Step 3: Assemble the Pie
By now the pie shell should be cooled. Use this time to make the chocolate ganache layer. Simply melt heavy cream with bittersweet chocolate and mix until combined. You can use a double boiler but I used a microwave because well, it's so much quicker! Spread an even layer of the ganache on the pie shell and let it cool.
We are almost at the finish line! Now with the remaining earl grey infused cream, add as much additional heavy cream as you need to measure 1 cup. Whip until stiff peaks form. Then, mix half of the whipped cream into the white chocolate mousse, mixing until the mousse loosens up. Fold in the remaining whipped cream and spread this beautiful filling into the pie shell. Let it chill overnight, giving the mousse time to set up. I actually found it was even better on the second day.
When the pie is ready, top it with more whipped cream (hey, no one said this pie was healthy!) and top it with chopped pistachios.
Now get ready. All your hard work has finally paid off and you get to show off to yourself, your friends, and your family. Pat yourself on the back because this pie will earn you some gold stars. No lie, I have had rave reviews from several groups of people about the amazingness of this earl grey pie. Now, what pie to bake next?
Can I use tea bags instead of tea leaves?
Yes, absolutely. Although I can't say how many tablespoons are in a tea bag so you may need to open up the bag to measure the amount.
Why didn't my tea-infused cream whip?
Make sure you chill the cream before whipping. It must be cold in order to whip properly.
Why didn't my earl grey white chocolate mousse thicken?
Give it time. The double boiler method takes a bit of time to thicken the custard but the steam from the simmering water should eventually heat the cornstarch. Make sure that the water is simmering, not boiling, and that the bowl with the custard ingredients is not directly touching the water.
How long can I store the earl grey pie?
Although it's best eaten sooner rather than later, you can keep the pie in the fridge for up to 3 days.
For more pie inspiration check out this salted butterscotch buttermilk pie!