Cinnamon Chai Cream Pie is the perfect holiday dessert! Rich cinnamon pudding sits on a hazelnut crust, with fluffy chai whipped cream on top. Delicious!
It’s too early to utter the word holiday, to think about stocking stuffers, or heaven forbid, hum White Christmas in public (or on the internet) for fear of someone wiping out their make shift voodoo doll and lighting you on fire. There’s something about the thought of “the holidays” before Black Friday that just sets some people off.
I can’t blame them, seeing red and green decked aisles in August really puts a sour taste in my mouth. But, personally, I start thinking about the holidays as early as mid July. It’s not that I want to skip down the aisles of those stores filling my cart with more holiday decorations.
Nope, its the little trinkets I find here and there that I know will make someone smile come Christmas morning. I don’t tell anyone. I just sneak them in and hide them away.
But something changed in the air last week, and I found myself singing out load (in the privacy of my own home) to one or two new albums I had to add to my holiday collection as I started to day dream about mistletoe and perfect bows.
I wont add the holiday music to my MP3 player for a few more weeks – I promise. But for those of us who get into it – don’t hate us for it. As long as I’m not shoving my jingle jangle down your throat, let me have my holiday mojo as long as I want it in my own home or car without fear of persecution.
Now, what would the holidays (or maybe just a Thursday in November) be without cinnamon chai cream pie to get us through?
Cinnamon Chai Cream Pie
For the Hazelnut Crust:
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts - toasted and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds - toasted and finely chopped
- 3/4 cup graham crackers - crushed
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tbsp butter - melted
For the Cinnamon Pudding:
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 3/4 cup brown sugar - or turbinado sugar
- 3 cups milk
- 2 eggs - beaten and in a medium bowl
- 1/2 teas cinnamon
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 teas pure vanilla extract
For the Chai Whipped Cream:
- 1 Cup heavy whipping cream - chilled
- 3/4 cup Chai liquid concentrate - sweetened, chilled
Make the Crust:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place nuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, checking often.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool and remove the skins from the hazelnuts.
- Finely chop the hazelnuts and almonds.
- Place the graham crackers in a resealable bag, and crush into fine crumbs (In other words, go to town with a rolling pin – just don’t pop the bag).
- In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, chopped nuts, brown sugar, and melted butter until well combined.
- Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and sides of a spring-form pan using your fingers or the bottom of a glass.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
Make the Cinnamon Pudding
- In a heavy bottom medium saucepan, mix the cornstarch and brown sugar.
- Gradually add the milk and cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring constantly.
- Cook and stir for 2 more minutes and remove from heat.
- Add the cinnamon and stir. In the bowl you have set aside with your eggs in it, gradually add one cup of the milk mixture.
- Pour the egg mixture back into the milk mixture in the saucepan.
- Cook the pudding until almost bubbly, but don’t allow to boil.
- Reduce heat and cook for 2 more minutes, then remove from heat.
- Add the butter and vanilla, and stir.
- Pour the pudding into the pie crust, and place in the freezer for a couple of hours, until frozen through.
Make the Chai Whipped Cream
- Place the cream, chai concentrate, mixer bowl, and whisk in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before you are ready to make the whipped cream layer.
- Remove from freezer and pour the heavy cream into the cold mixer bowl, add the Chai concentrate, and mix on high speed until cream is whipped into soft peaks.
- Spread the whipped cream over the layer of pudding.
- Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts.
Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.
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