Chocolate Pudding Pie with Gingersnap Crumb Crust

I have this beautiful friend named Lindsey.  She's that kind of gal that the instant you meet her you know she's someone special.  When I hardly knew her and we hadn't been friends very long, she was the one I called on a day I received horrible news.  She prayed with me and took care of the things I just couldn't manage that day.  She is a true blessing to my life.  She's my "antique shopping" and "lets sit outside for a long lunch while we ponder life and God's plans for us" girlfriend.  I love her.

Just when I thought our friendship couldn't possibly get any better, she gave me this -- the recipe to an amazing, decedent, rich chocolate pie.  Now I love her even more (her and I share this ridiculous true love for amazing desserts).  With her permission I'm sharing it with you.

Chocolate Pudding Pie with Gingersnap Crumb Crust

Genessee Royale Chocolate Pudding Pie
Genessee Royale Bistro is this great little restaurant in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, MO.  That is where this pie was first discovered by Lindsey and a friend of her's named Stephanie Wildman.  Stephanie, whom I've never met, must be pure baking genius.  She interpreted her taste of Gesessee Royale's pie in this recipe.

Gingersnap Crumb Crust
1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

In a large bowl mix the crumbs, sugar and salt.  Add the butter and stir until evenly combined.
Press the mixture into a pie tin with your fingers, striving to make the distribution and thickness (1/8 inch) of the crumb crust as event and compacted as possible.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake the crust for 8 minutes uncovered.  Cool at room temperature and refrigerate before filling.

Chocolate Pudding
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk sugar and next three ingredients in a small bowl.  Whisk together egg yolks and milk in a separate bowl.

Melt butter in a 2 quart heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add sugar mixture to melted butter, whisking until blended.  Gradually whisk in milk mixture.  Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture in thickened and bubbly.

Remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips and vanilla, stirring until chocolate is melted.  Cool slightly.

Pour warm filling into piecrust.  Bake at 375 for 12 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Store in the refrigerator.  Drizzle individual slices with hot caramel sauce and top with fresh whipped cream when ready to serve.

Hot Caramel Sauce
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cook butter and brown sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter melts and mixture is smooth.  Gradually stir in 3/4 cup whipping cream.  Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and cool slightly.