Lion House Chocolate Cream Pie

adapted from: The Lion House

1 c. sugar

5 Tbl. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

2 1/2 c. milk

3/4 c. half-and-half

3/4 c. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbl. unsalted butter

whipped cream, for serving

1 prepared pie crust, any type

In a 3-quart saucepan stir together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Slowly whisk in the milk and half-and-half.  Add the chocolate chips.  Heat over medium heat until chocolate is melted and mixture thickens, stirring constantly.  You know it is thick enough if it coats the back of a wooden spoon and when you run the back of another spoon through it, the line stays and does not run back together.  Gradually add about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture to the egg yolks while whisking constantly.  Then, pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan.  Whisk and continue cooking for another two minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and the butter.  Stir until butter is melted.  Pour into prepared pie crust.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pie and refrigerate until set; around 4 hours.  Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips.

Nilla Wafer Pie Crust

60 Nilla Wafers

6 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pulse cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs.  Pour crumbs into a 9'' or 10'' pie plate and add the melted butter.  Toss crumbs and butter together with a fork until it is all evenly coated in butter.  Press evenly along the bottom and slightly up the sides of your pie plate.  Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Cool completely.