Pi Day 2023 – Creole Cream Cheese Chocolate Chess Pie

Classic chess pie pairs a traditional buttery pie crust with a sweet, custardy filling. Michelle and I had a great version at High Hat Cafe that used Creole Cream Cheese. Country Roads Magazine posted the High Hat Cafe’s recipe a few years ago and we used that as the stepping off point for our pie.

I picked up the Creole Cream Cheese at Dorignac’s Food Center but you can make your own (recipe here) if you aren’t in the area. As chocolate makes everything better, we added a little cocoa powder both for flavor and to cut the sweet a bit.

The end result is a creamy chocolate pie with a slight tang. Delicious!

Creole Cream Cheese Chocolate Chess Pie

16 ounces Creole cream cheese at room temperature
4 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa (I use Hershey’s Special Dark), sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
1 frozen deep dish or 10″ pie crust
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and par-bake the pie crust for 15 minutes.

Drop oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Whip eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, butter and salt in stand mixer until well incorporated. Add in the Creole cream cheese and cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Pour into the pre-baked pie crust. Bake the pie for 60 minutes, rotating halfway through, until set in the middle. Let cool before serving.

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Satsuma Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake

Michelle picked up a whole crate of satsuma’s for me and so I took her some Creole cream cheese I picked up from Dorignac’s for her to make me a cheesecake. I’m super helpful like that!

I had this cheesecake several years ago at Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House but they added a bunch of other fruit to the compote topping and it was super distracting. I figured doing it with only satsumas would be better and it was. Segment the satsuma’s over a bowl to catch all the juice as you need a ½ cup for the glaze. I plan on using the delicious compote over other things, so I doubled the recipe.

If you don’t have satsumas where you live, you could move or, easier still, use mandarin oranges or tangerines.

If you don’t have the Creole cream cheese you can make your own or substitute sour cream.

The cheesecake is super silky with crunchy crust and a hint of orange. The addition of the compote really takes it to the next level.

Satsuma Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake

Crust
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup pecans, chopped fine
½ cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Filling
5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1¼ cups sugar
1 cup Creole cream cheese
2 teaspoons satsuma zest
1/4 cup satsuma juice
3 medium eggs

Make the crust

In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar and melted butter. Press into a 9 x 13-inch spring-form pan. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Make the filling

Preheat oven to 250˚F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer whip the cream cheese. Add the sugar and mix until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides with a spatula. Add the Creole cream cheese, zest and juice and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add one egg at a time and mix well after each egg. Pour the batter into the prepared crust and tap the pan several times on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for 2 hours, until the center of the cake is firm to the touch. Let cool at room temperature for fifteen minutes before running a knife around the outside edge to help keep the top from cracking. Let it continue to cool before refrigerating until ready to serve.

Optional Topping of Satsuma Compote
8 satsumas
½ cup satsuma juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 ounce Grand Marnier liqueur

Peel and segment satsumas to remove the membrane. Heat the juice, sugar and cinnamon stick in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid becomes syrupy, approximately 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and fold in the satsuma segments. Add Grand Marnier and pour over the cheesecake slices.