Friday, February 26, 2010

Chocolate Malt Pie

When I think of chocolate malts, I inevitably think of my Grandpa Bob. The two are so closely entwined it's hard to imagine one without the other..

Growing up I spent many summers and holidays at their home in Illinois. During our visits, usually at night, Grandpa would sit up in his recliner and ask the question we were all waiting for. "Who wants a shakey-jake?". A shakey-jake being one Grandpa's many euphemisms, in this case meaning a chocolate malt. Some of his other food related colloquial euphemisms being moo juice for milk, sky juice for water, blackies for brownies and Bobby-Food cake for Angel Food cake.

After his eagerly awaited question was asked, he sprang into action (there was no need for us to reply, the answer was always the same). He'd go out to his freezer in the garage and come back with the biggest bucket of ice cream you'd ever seen. Setting to work in the kitchen, he'd add the ice cream in the blender, pour in some milk and chocolate syrup and of course the chocolate malt powder itself. We all had certain glasses we drank our malts out of (mine being a Smurfs glass), so he'd pour what he could into the pre-arranged cups and handed them out. He always made sure the dogs got a little taste as well.

Since moving to Texas, with the whole family living nearby, we don't have many of those casual nights with no prepared desserts and thus the opportunity for one of Grandpa's famous shakey-jakes. That doesn't stop us from talking and dreaming about them though!

 This pie doesn't taste exactly like chocolate malt, but it's certainly reminiscent of one.


  • I actually chopped the malt balls on a cutting board with a chef's knife. It's a lot easier than you would think with small, round pieces. If you prefer to crush them, just place inside a zip-loc bag and bang with a meat mallet or roll a rolling pin over it.
  • For more texture, add 1/2 cup of malt balls to the filling of the pie as well as the garnish. It adds more crunch as well as more "chocolate-malty" flavor.
  • Many grocery stores now have a gourmet candy section that offer up different flavors of malt balls (as well as specialty stores like Harry & David). I've seen flavors like mint-chocolate, peanut butter, cookies and cream and even tiramisu. Try using some different flavors next time you this pie out.
  • You'll find malted milk near coffee, tea and cocoa in most grocery stores but it will occasionally pop up on the baking aisle as well.


Chocolate Malt Pie

1 prepared graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust

1/3 cup brown sugar,  firmly packed

3 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk or half/half
1/3 cup chocolate malted milk powder
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 container Cool Whip, thawed

1 small package white chocolate pudding
1 teaspoon malted milk powder
1 cup milk

10-15 crushed chocolate malt balls

Add brown sugar, cornstarch, salt and malted milk powder in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Pour milk into a medium saucepan and whisk in the dry ingredients. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and vanilla until the chocolate chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate for at least a half and hour. Gently stir powdered sugar into the Cool Whip and fold into chocolate mixture until well incorporated. Spoon filling into prepared pie crust.

To prepare topping stir together the vanilla pudding mix and 1 teaspoon malted milk powder with 1 cup of milk and refrigerate until thickened (about 15 minutes to fully set). Spread over the entire top of pie. Sprinkle with crushed malt balls. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until ready to serve.


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anne said...

mm, this looks super yummy and what's better than malted milk balls?!?

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