Prepare piecrust following directions at right. In a bowl, combine 1 pkg (5.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix, 1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder, 11/4 cups half-and-half, 1 cup milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Whisk 2 to 3 minutes, then pour into baked, cooled crust. Refrigerate. Combine 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp water, 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp unflavored gelatin in a small saucepan. Melt over low heat for 3 minutes. Cool slightly. Whip 1 cup heavy cream until frothy. While beating, add gelatin mixture in a thin stream. Beat to stiff peaks. Spread over chocolate filling and dust with cocoa powder, if desired. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
CHILL OUTButter and shortening should be cold--straight from the fridge.