Servings: 8 Prep: 20 mins Cook: 15 min Total: 6 hrs 35 mins
Gelatin might be some of the weirdest stuff on earth, right up there with Aerogel and non-newtonian fluids (ie. cornstarch slurry). In simple terms, it’s what gives Jell-O its shape and jiggle. It’s usually bought in powdered form, but can also be bought in little sheets that feel like plastic. Dissolve these powders or sheets into a warm liquid and then let it chill. It will firm up the entirety of the liquid and become a jiggling gelatinous mass of bouncy wonkiness.
I first learned about using powdered gelatin back in culinary school, somewhere in the middle of the 19th century. I learned how to apply it to meats and fishes; an interesting branch of cookery known as “charcuterie“. Gelatin was used to firm things up, give shapes to meats and sauces that have no shape, suspending ingredients in “space”, etc.
Gelatin was fun, but … old school and I never really used it in modern kitchens (of the early 90’s), but I think it’s seeing a bit of a revival.
A little while back, I was trying to think of induction friendly dessert recipes and thought Panna Cotta would do the trick. Panna Cotta is little more than sweetened cream, held into a molded shape with gelatin. That day I made all sort of other desserts, but the Panna Cotta was the clear winner. This got me to thinking about gelatin and all its applications. It can really be applied to anything with water in it: sweet OR savory! A little gives you a little structure and jiggle and a lot will give you something firm and solid! It is odorless and tasteless. So, it’s little more than a gel, which would work in a glass of water, a bowl of ginger infused chicken broth and freshly suspended cilantro leaves, as well as strawberry juice and cocoa powder mixed with cream and almond milk.
So, what is it? Where does it come from? You really probably don’t want to know … (short answer: animal skins, bones and connective tissues).
Since the panna cotta, I’ve been playing a lot with gelatin, making loads of different jiggly things in my spare time. Here is one of the first to hit the website. I jumped it up ahead of some of the others because of a photo on Facebook, where I was caught dropping the pie. Seemed only fitting to share the recipe quickly!
This recipe is VERY simple to make and really doesn’t use that many ingredients. The end result is deep and luxurious, without really breaking the carb bank.
Oh … it’s TASTY, TOO!
Nut ‘n Honey Note: I use a little bit of honey in the crust. It’s a tiny amount and really only serves to help the crust stay together. You could completely omit it and the recipe will still work, while also dropping each slice by about 2 net carbs. However, the crust will not stay as “together and united”. It will still work and be absolutely tasty, but it will be more crumbly. It’s totally up to you!
Chocolate Pudding Pie with Macadamia CrustPrint Rate
- 1 1/2 cups crushed salted macadamia nuts
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup fresh whole butter melted
Chocolate Pudding Base
- 1 1/2 cups cream heavy whipping
- 2 1/2 cup almond milk unsweetened and divided
- 2 packets (about 4 1/2 to 5 tsp, total) gelatin powder
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 dash salt
- Pre-heat oven to 325 F.
- If your macadamia nuts are not crushed, place them in a large plastic (ZipLoc style) bag. With a mallet or the edge of a pot or pan, whack at them until you have a squooshed bag of macadamia explosion. (I've tried this in a food processor and for whatever reasons the imperfect smashing method gives a better crust than macadamias pulverized in a food processor)
- Pour your crushed macadamias into a mixing bowl and add your honey (you can skip the honey, but it does help to hold the crust together), and melted butter. Mix the ingredients until the macadamias are well coated with the honey and butter.
- Grease a 9-inch pie pan.
- Press the nut mixture into the pie pan. Use the back of a spoon (or a tamper, if you have one) to press the crusts firmly into the base and up the sides of the pan.
- Bake the crusts for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to begin cooling.
- Combine cream and 2 cups of the almond milk in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat.
- At the same time as you add your milk to the stove, in a medium sized mixing bowl, add your 1/2 cup remaining almond milk.
- Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the almond milk. Allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.
- Into your hot milk mixture, whisk in your sugar equivalent, cocoa powder, vanilla and a dash of salt. Whisk until the cocoa is fully absorbed, lumps are gone, and the sugar equivalent has fully dissolved.
- Once the mixture begins to simmer (but not boil), whisk the hot mixture into the blooming gelatin bowl. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Pour your warm mixture into the pie pan and place in the refrigerator to chill. Chilling takes between 4 to 6 hours.
- Slice and serve with whipped cream!
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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …
39 thoughts on “Chocolate Pudding Pie with Macadamia Crust”
Double (heavy) cream in the UK only has 1.6 grams total carbs per 100 grams so I don’t know what they’re doing to the cream over on your side of the pond…
I don’t either! On rare occasions my nutrition has a typo, but I just double checked the USDA’s database and … my numbers are correct! I don’t know what they’re up to, either! My guess is American Cows are fed doughnuts and hamburgers, which accounts for the higher milk sugar content in the cream! 😉 I’m half joking. Half not! It’s a half and half joke! Oh … I need a nap.
Every time I cook for the men my husband works with, they request a non low carb chocolate peanut butter pie that I make. I think I have found my low carb version now. Think I will top your pie with home made whipped cream which has peanut butter stirred in. If it is half as good as the other one..it’ll be great!!
That sounds delicious, Sharon! How do you go about whipping in the peanut butter? Is there a method you use?
Unfortunately, I really don’t know what It is called. I am really need to take some cooking classes. I just stir really gently going one direction. Can’t even tell you why I do it take way. It just seems to work. Lol!
Sounds like you’re talking about "folding". I was going to suggest something like that. You essentially add a small amount of the whipped cream to the peanut butter, then "fold" it in. Then, add a little more whipped cream and "fold" THAT in. Then, add some more and fold THAT in, etc. Keep going until you have a big bowl of frothy peanut butter whip! YUM! 🙂
That might actually work better. Lol!! I just add some peanut butter to the whipped cream and stir gently until it is mixed. I try to keep the whipped cream as fluffy as I can. I’ll have to try it your way. 😀
My granddaughter and I made the pudding part of this pie (I couldn’t afford the macadamia nuts) as a desert for the Meat Lovers Lasagna that we made for her dad and three brothers. It was a huge hit! Even my son had seconds and he never does that with sweets. Definitely making this again.
Yep, I agree! The pudding for this was EXCELLENT! In the future, should you decide to try the whole pie, a variety of different nuts would work. Maybe the local store has bulk bin specials on occasion? Pecans, Hazelnuts (toasted and skins removed), walnuts and/or almonds would all work well, too! Glad you liked it! 🙂
Have to give this a try! On the pudding part, did you place plastic wrap on the completed pudding pie so as not to have that yucky skin form? Or does it not happen with your pudding recipe?
Hi Sandy! I regret to inform you that … I DROPPED this pie! It was only in the fridge long enough to solify and then it was dropped. I was only able to taste that little bit. I don’t believe it had a skin, even though I actually LOVE that "pudding skin"! My belief is that the pudding skin comes from eggs, but in this case … it’s egg free! My fear would be that the plastic wrap would ruin the attractive top. I’m going to say … nah! Not needed! I hope this helps! 🙂
Hi, Sharon – I’m not sure I understand your post. Did your pie get the pudding skin because you DID use plastic wrap, or because you did NOT use it? I love pudding skin, too, so whatever you did to get the skin to form, that’s what I will do, too. (My hunch is that the plastic wrap ‘prevents’ the skin from forming. 🙂
DJ – (I’m sorry I posted to the wrong name earlier…) I’m not sure I understand your post. Did your pie get the pudding skin because you DID use plastic wrap, or because you did NOT use it? I love pudding skin, too, so whatever you did to get the skin to form, that’s what I will do, too. (My hunch is that the plastic wrap ‘prevents’ the skin from forming. 🙂
Is there a swap for the gelatin?
Hi Michelle … not one that I know enough about to recommend. There are alternatives, like agar agar, but I’ve never used it … and wouldn’t feel comfortable suggesting that this would work. Feel free to look up agar agar, do a little determining a ratio and giving it a shot. I suspect it’ll work, but … again … have never tried it and don’t like to recommend things I know almost nothing about. Sorry for the delay in my response!
I’m new to this; can you tell me what SA’s stand for in your nutrition information breakdown? I see this recipe starts with 37.22 grams of Carbs and then at the end it is only 7.31 grams… how do you get this number? Thanks.
Hi Jessica. It stands for "Sugar Alcohols". Not all carbohydrates are different. Some impact blood sugars (like sugar and starches) and others don’t (like fiber and some sugar alcohols). The sweetener I’ve suggested in this recipe is based on a sugar alcohol called Erythritol, which has a glycemic index of zero. This means that it has so impact on blood sugars and causes no insulin response. So, the concept of a "net" carb subtracts the carbohydrates that have no impact on blood sugars. This is how the math works. It’s a very common approach towards calculating carbs. I hope this helps!
I have the great lakes grass fed gelatin. I think that would be ok to use right?
Hi Patti … yep! Use a scant 2 tablespoons of it, but make sure it’s the kind that’ll gel (the orange/red can). The green can won’t gel. I hope this helps! 🙂
Could I use coconut milk with this recipe? Just wondered. Sounds yummy.
Would the crust work wit Xylitol Honey?
Nan and Sara … Yes and … YES! 🙂 This will work with xylitol honey and coconut milk. I hope this helps! 🙂
I have this in the fridge right now. The pudding was about twice what would fit in the 9 inch pie plate—I had about 2 cups left over. Too much pudding isn’t a bad thing, but it also was very liquidy even after stirring it into the gelatin/milk mixture. It was about the consistency of chocolate milk. Will it set up OK?
—Reply posted by Csw on 8/28/2015
Hi. Normally I pulverize the buts in a food processor. I crushed them as specified and the nuts floated to the top. Also I would normally let the crust cool completely before putting any mixture on top. I would thicken the mixture on the stove top first for any type of pudding pie. Veronica Atkins has a good nut pie crust that goes along with a pumpkin cheesecake recipe. The crust has egg whites in it to help hold it together.
Hi NSL. Yep! It will! If memory serves, I did have a little bit leftover. I don’t know about 2 full cups, but I do think there may have been a cup leftover … maybe. I feel like that’s about right … In any event, yes, though. It’s liquidy, much like liquid Jell-O would be. Let it FULLY cool … for a good 6 to 8 hours. When it’s done, it should be smooth and silky … not all jiggly like Jell-O would be. As long as your proportions were all correct … it’ll work! Check back to let us know. Enjoy it! 🙂
Thanks for responding. It did set up after about 5 hours and we just ate some. I used almonds instead of macadamias for the crust and it ended up mushy. I think next time I’ll use the crust from your coconut cream pie, which I’ve made before and really liked. The pudding itself was yummy, kind of jiggly but like a panna cotta. I might fold some whipped cream into it after it sets next time and fill the pie shell with that, as I’m more partial to chocolate mousse than pudding. All in all, it is a great recipe. Thanks!
Thanks for checking back, NSL and I’m glad it worked out for you! It’s funny that you mention the soggy crust. When I made this … it got dropped on the floor. I don’t remember it being soggy. In fact, it was delicious, but I don’t know what "time" would have done to it, had it hung out in the fridge for a day or two. Interesting thought! In any event, I’m glad it was a success. The coconut crust would definitely suit this pudding quite well, as well. Sounds like a winner! 🙂
Any way to sub the cream to make it dairy free ?
Hi Nicole, I think coconut milk would be an excellent alternative! Just be sure not to bring it to a full simmer. Just hot enough to melt the gelatin. Too hot and it might break. Probably not, but … better safe than sorry!
Hi DJ, just made a half recipe of this today. It has been in the fridge for several hours and just isn’t setting up. I used coconut milk and subbed xylitol and stevia glycerite for the sweetener. Any thoughts what might be wrong, or do you think there is any way to salvage /thicken it at this point? Thank you for any help you might be able to give.
I’m going to have to try this, looks super easy! Going to sub xylitol honey for the real thing in crust, should cut carbs somewhat. I also may sub some stevia chocolate syrup for a portion of the cocoa powder, which will also cut carbs.
your comment about not processing the macadamias… so very true. I had a recipe that called for "finely chopped" macadamias for a cream filling, so I thought "oh I’ll just throw an ounce in my coffee grinder!"
…. in seconds I had goopy slimey macadamia nut butter. Nice to know it’s so easy to make!
Hi Robin and Emma, <br /><br />
Robin, I?m sorry about the late reply. I hope it DID wind up setting. Did it? If not ? I hazard to guess what went wrong. I know that halving something like this would be tough. If you err too light with the gelatin powder, it might not have enough strength to hold it together. Beyond that ? Your substitutions should be ok. The stevia adds a tough of liquid, but ? I can?t imagine it being enough to throw things off. My best guess is that something got lost in translation. It should have worked (and ? hopefully it did!). The only other thing I can think of is, perhaps the gelatin wasn?t fully dissolved, which would wind up in a sort of lumpy chocolate soup. My hope is that it did work and that this is a non-event. I am sorry about any difficulties you experienced! <br /><br />
Emma, I think the xylitol honey is a fine sub. The chocolate syrup will add some extra liquid, so just be sure to omit a similar amount of liquid, elsewhere in the recipe ? and you should be fine. I am curious how chocolate syrup would lower the carb, though. Unsweetened cocoa powder really is what it is. You may be seeing something like zero carb chocolate syrup and assuming it?s actually zero carbs ? or very low. That?s not always as it may seem ? as serving sizes are usually set very low and numbers are rounded, etc. There are ?tricks of the trade? to make things legal, but appear different than they really are. Just a thought ? good luck with this. It?s FANTASTIC! Let me know how it turns out!
Hi DJ, no problem on the delay, I understand busy and this was not a crucial matter. The pie did not set up in the fridge,so I just froze it and we ate it as a frosty chocolate pie – very yummy!My hubby loved it and ate most of it himself (hoping he won’t remember the container of extra filling that’s still there 😉 ) I think the problem, like you suggested, was not enough gelatin. Next time I think I will just make a full recipe and freeze it anyway just because it’s soooo good that way. I am almost always disappointed with low carb baked desserts, so I’m thrilled to have a really great, satisfying dessert like this – AND it’s chocolate! (sighing with contentment) Thank you!
Well Robin … I am sorry it didn’t turn out like we’d all hoped, but … life gave you lemons … and you made lemonade! 🙂
Hi, can’t wait to try this recipe. Do you think I could substitute coconut milk for almond milk? Thanks!
This was the biggest flop of a pie I have ever made. The crust neved got solid and when I poured the pudding in it all floated up into the pudding. Big waste of money on ingredients!
JW, I’m sorry this pie didn’t work for you. It sounds like the macadamia’s weren’t fine enough to make a kind of "dough". This would present all kinds of problems. If the crust is well formed, the pudding would actually hold it down, rather than allowing it to float up. At the very least, even if the crust floated up, when the gelatin cools, it would’ve solidified and still tasted nice. It would’ve been unattractive, but … more than edible. I am very sorry you had a bad experience with this one. Hopefully it’s still chilling and you’ll be able to eat it, anyway. I’ve had a lot of positive responses on this one and this type of pie crust is pretty common in low-carb and paleo circles. Without knowing more, I have to assume that something like this was the case. Sorry!<br /><br />
Jess, I’m so sorry for the delay. Yep! Coconut milk would work. I hope this helps!
Just wanted to let you know, I made this today due to a craving for chocolate, it was awesome, very rich and satisfying! Thanks for all you do to help others!
—Reply posted by DJ on 2/18/2015
Fantastic, Barbara! I’m thrilled to hear it … and thank you for the kind words! 🙂
Thank you for posting grams in your recipes. I prefer to measure this way. Can’t wait to try this pie. Gotta go get some nuts!
—Reply posted by DJ on 6/9/2015
Sure thing, Jen! It’s how the USDA measures things (in 100 gram samples), so … it just makes sense to map everything to grams. I’m glad it’s working for you! 🙂
I am an avid fan. I bought your book and am so excited to make the recipes. The Chocolate Pudding Pie is being made today. I have to tell you that I’ve even loaned out your book to a person starting the low carb way of life. I just got it back and was told the recipes are fantastic…I already knew this!!!
Thank you for helping me keep off the 80 pounds I lost 2 years ago. I am over 65 and feeling better than I ever have. Of course, I wish I had started this lifestyle a lot sooner.