Jenna’s Devil's Food Chocolate Oasis Pie 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Mar 22, 2017

The flavors of this retro beauty open themselves one by one, like chapters in a book: bittersweet chocolate, strawberry (fresh and via preserves), balsamic vinegar and whipped cream.

Make Ahead: The chocolate pastry cream-filled crust needs to be refrigerated for at least 6 hours. If you're going to make the pie a day in advance, place plastic wrap directly on the chocolate filling and top with the whipped cream and chocolate-coated strawberries just before serving.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings; makes one 9 1/2-inch pie

  • For the crust
  • 1 3/4 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 36 cookies, or 6 1/2 ounces from one 9-ounce package)
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more as needed
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the strawberries
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 heaping tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 10 to 16 large fresh strawberries, hulled
  • For the topping
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup crushed fresh strawberries (2 1/2 ounces)


For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss together the crumbs and butter in a medium bowl until evenly moistened, then press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to firm up the butter. Bake (middle rack) for about 10 minutes, or until just set and fragrant. Place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

For the filling: Stir together the preserves and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Spread over the bottom of the cooled crust, then return the crust to the refrigerator.

Whisk together the granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt and egg yolks in a large, heavy saucepan. While whisking continuously, add the milk in a slow, steady stream over medium heat. Bring barely to a boil, whisking, then reduce the heat and cook, still whisking, for 1 minute, or until the filling is quite thick. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate, butter and vanilla extract, stirring to form a smooth chocolate pastry cream filling.

Pass it through a fine-mesh strainer into a mixing bowl, using a rubber spatula to press it through. Press a piece of buttered parchment paper directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool to room temperature and then pour into the refrigerated crust. Press a sheet of plastic wrap over the surface of the filling (no need to butter it), then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until fully set.

For the strawberries: Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a medium glass bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM (50-percent power) in 30-second intervals until the chips begin to lose their shape. Stir until melted and smooth.

Rinse the berries and blot dry on paper towels. Working with one at a time, hold each strawberry by the top and dip the fruit in the melted chocolate, placing it on a plate lined with a sheet of parchment or wax paper as you work. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate hardens. (If the berries are large, 10 will be a better fit than 16 total.)

For the topping: Combine the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on low, then medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold in (by hand) the crushed strawberries.

Just before serving, spread the topping over the pie (remembering to remove any plastic wrap first from the chocolate filling. Arrange the chocolate-covered strawberries on top.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Sugar, Butter, Flour: The Waitress Pie Book,” by Jenna Hunterson (Penguin, 2017); recipe by Sheri Castle.

Tested by Kara Elder.

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