Day 6: Chocolate Pie

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I have a confession to make.

I haven't always loved, or even liked, chocolate.

I would always chose a strawberry milkshake, fruit desserts (sherbet, cobbler), or fruit candy (Starburst, sour patch kids, hot tamales...). Never used to choose chocolate.

But they say your taste buds change every three years, right? Probably true.

Day 6: Chocolate Pie

Nowadays...things have changed.

I still don't necessarily crave chocolate, but say, for example, my granny was going to make her famous chocolate pie. I'd seriously have to keep myself from eating half of the whole pie. So delicious.

The strength of this pie is in its texture (always a huge component for me), and its uncomplicated taste.

This being my granny Fran's recipe, as with my grandma Martha's Butterscotch recipe, the instructions are few.

"Do this. Add this. Combine this."

This only leads me to believe that mid-century cooks knew what they were doing without the recipes having to hold their hands.

As a millenial cook, or whatever you want to call it, I'm not saying that I don't appreciate the extra instruction. In fact, I need it. But it's probably good to exercise one's cryptic-recipe-from-the-50s muscle.

That said, let's start with the crust.

This being my fifth different crust to make this week, I was interested at how it would turn out because it was the only one that didn't have to chill in the fridge before being rolled out.

This was also the only recipe so far that has required sifting. Yes, seriously.

Add vegetable oil and milk to the sifted flour and salt:

Stir up:

Form into a ball and place between two sheets of wax paper:

Roll out:

Then into the pie pan:

Flute the edges, prick with a fork:

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes:

While that was cooling, I got started on the magical chocolate goodness/filling.

Sugar/flour/salt, add the cocoa powder [got the cocoa powder from Penzey's--I love that place]

Stir beaten egg yolks + 1/3 cup whole milk to the dry ingredients:

After adding the remaining milk, put in a saucepan to cook.

This is where I needed a little more instruction than the recipe offered. The recipe says "Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick."

Aw man...This stuff cooked for over an hour, maybe even an hour and fifteen minutes before I gave in and called my granny. She said, "Oh, I let it cook over medium or a little higher heat, and let it boil before adding the butter."

So I turned up the heat and within approximately two minutes or less, it was boiling. Then I could (finally!) add the butter and vanilla.

Poured into the pie shell before getting to work on the meringue:

Fourth time's the charm: the meringue!

Adding my friends cream of tartar to the egg whites, and then 6T sugar once the egg whites are frothy.

Beauty, ready to spread around.

I used one of those pie shield thingys because the crust was already looking brown-ish, and didn't want it to get overdone.

ohhhh goodness... probably baked about 3 minutes too long (and I took the pie "shield" off after about 14 minutes).

Took it over to share with my family.

Dad, how'd I do?

(I didn't really ask that because this is one of his favorite pies that his mother can't really compare with her years of experience.)

Gaining some experience...what pie week's all about.

[my dad added the fork for the photo]

A room full of some of my favorite humans (and puppy):


Granny's Chocolate Pie

3 eggs, separated
1 2/3 cup milk (I used whole)
1 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
3 T cocoa powder
1/2 stick butter
4 T flour
dash of salt

Mix sugar, cocoa, flour, and salt. Beat egg yolks. Add 1/3 cup milk and combine with dry ingredients. Add remaining milk. Cook over low heat (I had to cook it over medium heat until it boiled for it to thicken), stirring constantly until thick. Add butter and vanilla. Pour into 9" baked pie shell.

Beat egg whites with 1/4 t cream of tartar. Beat until stiff. Add 6 T sugar. Put on top of pie.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (I say no longer than 17 minutes, though). Cool about 2 hours before cutting.

"Stir-n-Roll" Pie Crust

1 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 T. cold whole milk

Mix flour and salt. Pour oil and milk into one measuring cup (but don't stir); add all at once to flour. Stir until mixed. Press into smooth ball, flatten slightly.

Place between two sheets of waxed paper (12" square). (Dampen table top to prevent slipping.)

Roll out gently to edges of paper. Peel off top paper. If dough tears, mend without moistening. Place paper side up in a 9-inch pie pan. Peel off paper. Ease and fit pastry into pan, flute edge. Prick thoroughly with fork.

Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool. Add filling.
[see above directions for the pie and their baking directions.]

Granny is bringing this to Thanksgiving and I cannot wait to see (AND EAT) her perfect pie, especially now that I've made one, to see what I can do better next time.

vinyl accompaniment: The New Glenn Miller Orchestra in Hi-Fi (in honor of the greatest generation)

One more pie, m'friends. Whew! Can you just stand it?

xoxo Pie Sleuth


  1. This has been my favorite. Yummy.

    Gibson is glad he is included in your favorite people. :)

  2. Leslie..I have so enjoyed your blog this week!!! Chocolate Pie is my absolute favorite and your granny's is just about like mine but with mine you use the microwave insteade of the stove...can't wait till tomorrow!!! You are doing great!


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