In the Deep South at the turn of the century, vinegar was added to pie crusts to get that unmistakably flakey finish. As time passed, spirits became a popular substitute because of the flavor it would impart, and because the alcohol would burn off during the baking process. This gluten-free chocolate cream pie is an homage to this tradition, made with the only certified gluten-free vodka in America—Tito's Handmade Vodka.
In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the Tart Crust Blend with the diced butter. Mix on the lowest setting until the ingredients look like damp cornmeal. Add the eggs and the vodka and mix on high until the dough folds in on itself.
Lightly dust the counter with either tapioca starch or glutinous rice flour. Lightly knead the dough with no more than seven turns, working quickly as the heat from your hands will continue to soften the dough. Shape into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
When you are ready to make your pie, remove the disk from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter for 10 minutes. Have your 9-inch pie pan ready. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Dust your counter with either tapioca starch or glutinous rice flour. Divide the dough in half. Knead the dough in your hands (not on the counter) until pliable. Then turn it twice on the counter and roll out to a ¼ inch thickness.
Line the bottom of your pie pan with the dough, trimming any excess. Crimp the edge as you wish, or just keep it simple. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with beans. Par-bake the crust for 15-20 minutes and the edge of the crust is just golden. Remove the crust from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes so you don’t burn yourself with the hot beans.
In the meantime, make the filling. In a double boiler, melt the butter with the dark chocolate chips. In the stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip 1 ½ cups heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar until it holds deep folds. When the chocolate and butter have melted, whisk so you know it’s completely silky smooth.
Melt the gelatin in the water over low heat in a small pan. Pour it into the chocolate and whisk to combine. Fold the heavy cream into the chocolate in two batches until smooth. Flavor with the 2 tablespoons Tito’s Vodka and 1 ¾ teaspoons of the pure vanilla. Remove the cooled beans from the par-baked pie crust and then pour in the chocolate filling. Refrigerate for two hours until set.
Whip the remaining 1 ½ cups heavy cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and ¼ teaspoon vanilla (and a splash of Tito’s) until the cream holds firm folds. Pile the cream on top of the filling and then grate the semi-sweet chocolate over the cream for a beautiful finish.
Serve when ready. Keep the pie in a cool part of the kitchen if you are serving it later, or put it back in the fridge if your guests are chatty. Pull it out 15 minutes before plating. Will keep in the fridge for two to three days, lightly covered with foil, so the cream doesn’t get pulled off the top of the pie.