Pinterest Challenge: Eclair Pie

Sisters Share It All: Pinterest ChallengeSo, consider this a very sweet Saturday. I've completed a second pin for the Pinterest Challenge (see the first one here). I tried the recipe for chocolate eclair cake from The Girl Who Ate Everything blog, and um, oh my deliciousness. I've been enjoying it for the last week and still almost can't believe it turned out completely, gloriously perfect. I was a bit worried about doing the pastry part but, by keeping an eye on it, everything went fine.

One of my favorite things about it is that *gasp* Eric liked it! We have a ton of things in common, but enjoying a dessert together is not usually one of our shared past times. The sugarless crust and cream cheese probably tricked his brain into thinking it's like cannoli, which he loves (I don't, because it's not sweet enough!) He even ate more than one piece! And everyone else who tried it raved about it, too.

Eclair Pie

1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
large box (5 oz) instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
homemade whipped cream or Cool Whip
homemade chocolate sauce or store-bought chocolate syrup  

I picked up Safeway basics for my pie, the pudding and chocolate syrup included (I "need" it anyway, for ice cream, and milkshakes, right?) The whipped cream was a welcome layer to me, since I like the stuff, but it made the results slightly less bakery-eclair-like. Delicious, but I think the cake would be great without it, too. As for the cream cheese...if you are wanting to lower the caloric/fat content of this recipe, I bet the custard part would be yummy with 1/4 to 1/2 cup less cream cheese than the recipe calls for. 
Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9"x 13" glass or ceramic baking pan, using less on the sides.

Crust: Combine butter with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Mix with flour. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing completely before adding the next. Spread the heavy, gooey mixture evenly along the bottom and sides of the pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown all over the top. I started keeping a close eye on mine around 25 minutes because the pastry puffed up so huge and the original recipe advises you to avoid overcooking it. I stopped baking once the oven stopped smelling strongly of egg and the pie crust was golden yellow all over. It turned out tasting just right. Remove the crust from oven and let cool; restrain yourself from poking or popping the crust bubbles, they sink right down.

Filling: Make the instant vanilla pudding with the cold milk. Whip the cream cheese in a separate bowl. Make sure to let the instant pudding thicken for at least ten minutes in the fridge before blending it with the cream cheese. Mix until smooth and store in fridge until crust is completely cooled. Spread filling into pie crust. Layer top with desired amount of whipped cream, if using. Serve with chocolate sauce.