Chocolate Cream Pie

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 cups 2 percent or whole milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz semi or bittersweet chocolate
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1-2 tsp brandy (or amaretto)
1 prebaked pie shell coated with graham cracker crumbs, fully baked and cooled

Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp amaretto

Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt in medium saucepan. Add yolks, then immediately but gradually whisk in milk and evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently at first, then constantly, as mixture starts to thicken and begins to simmer, 8 to 10 minutes. Once mixture simmers, continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat, whisk in butter, brandy (or amaretto), vanilla extract, and chocolate.

Pour filling into shallow pan (another pie pan is good). Put plastic wrap directly over filling surface to prevent skin from forming, cool until warm, 20 to 30 minutes. Pour warm filling into pie shell and, once again, place sheet of plastic wrap directly over filling surface. Refrigerate pie until completely chilled, at least 3 hours.

Beat cream and sugar in electric mixer at medium speed to soft peaks; add vanilla and amaretto. Continue to beat to barely stiff peaks. Spread over filling and refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Note - use any single pie crust recipe (I used the one from How To Cook Everything, uses all butter) and when rolling it out, use graham cracker crumbs instead of flour to coat the rolling surface. Work in plenty of graham cracker - about a half cup. Or I suppose you could use a full graham cracker crust.

-Adapted from The Best Recipe