Perfect Holiday Pies

Chef Jeremiah Mesker will be teaching community members how to make two different desserts in his Art of Holiday Pie class being held at UA – Pulaski Technical College on Tuesday, December 19. He shared tips and tricks for making your own holiday pies on our show and gave his advice for making the best flaky pie crusts.

Chocolate Pastry Cream Filling 


  • 1/2 cup packed 139g Brown Sugar 
  • 2 2/3 cups 634g Whole Milk 
  • 1 TBSP 15g Cocoa Powder 
  • 3 48g Egg Yolk 
  • 3 TBSP 20g Corn Starch 
  • 1 1/2 cups 139g Semi-sweet Chocolate 
  • 2 TBSP 59g Unsalted butter 
  • 1 TBSP 15g Vanilla Extract 
  • 1/2 cup 120g Heavy Cream, cold 
  • 1 TBSP 15g Powdered Sugar 
  • As Needed Chocolate shavings 
  • 11oz Pie Crust 


  1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Roll the crust out to 1/8” thickness. 
  3. Place in the pie dish, dock the dough (poke a bunch of holes in it with a fork) and let rest in the fridge for fifteen minutes. 
  4. As the pie is resting to relax the dough and prevent shrinkage, make the filling. 
  5. Prepare an ice bath. A large bowl filled with ice water and a smaller bowl to set inside. 
  6. In a medium sauce pot dissolve half of the sugar with the milk over medium-high heat. 
  7. While the milk and sugar are heating up whisk together the rest of the sugar and the cocoa powder, egg yolks, and corn starch. Whisk for two minutes until there are no lumps and everything is thoroughly combined. 
  8. When the milk starts to scaled (bubbles start forming around the edges of the pot) turn off the heat. 
  9. Slowly pour half of the milk in to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. 
  10. Then combine the egg yolk mixture in the sauce pot with the rest of the milk, return to medium-high heat and cook. Stir the whole time to prevent burning on the bottom of the pot. 
  11. When the pastry cream starts to boil cook for 1 minute and then stop. 
  12. Transfer the pastry cream over and ice bath, strain if needed, and add in the chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract. Mix together until everything is combined. 
  13. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin forming (bleh) and chill over the bath or in the fridge until ready for use. 
  14. Bake the pie crust for 20 minutes or until golden brown. If using pie weights, cook for 20 minutes, remove weights and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the bottom looks dry. 
  15. Let cool an a rack to room temperature before adding the custard. To make the whipped cream put heavy cream and powdered sugar in a stand mixture and whisk together gradually increasing the speed to medium speed. 
  16. Whip until medium or stiff peaks. Medium peaks are when the cream keeps little mounds when the attachment is removed. Stiff peaks are when you can hold the whisk to the ceiling and the ends don’t droop. Add the whipped cream and chocolate shaving to your pie and serve.

The Art of Holiday Pie class being held on Tuesday, December 19 is full; however, for anyone interested in taking the class Chef Mesker, UAPTC has added an additional Pie class to their schedule. It is being taught on Thursday, February 15. Dr. Bentley Wallace also taked about the different types of classes we offer through UA – Pulaski Technical College’s Community Education program. For more information how to sign up for a class at UAPTC, call (501) 907-6670 or sign up on their website.

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