Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chocolate Pie and a Homemade Crust

I'll be honest, I'm very particular about my pies. As in, I really only eat chocolate pie and strawberry pie... Growing up, my dad's mom always made a ridiculous Thanksgiving Dinner. She would prep for days, get up before the sun, and took great joy in cooking an amazing meal for her family. To finish off this meal, she would have a table of desserts. I'm not talking a table that contained one or two desserts, but literally a table containing everyone's favorite desserts!  For me, this was chocolate pie with no meringue; my cousin wanted apple pie; my dad wanted german chocolate cake; my mom wanted coconut pie; my grandfather caramel cake; and on, and on, and on until all 15 of us had exactly what we wanted.

My grandmother died in a freak accident at the beginning of my sophomore year of college (five years ago this September), and the holidays just aren't the same anymore. She's missed everyday, but Thanksgiving was always "her" holiday. We all try to make it as special as possible now, but no one can do it quite like Granny. I learned how to make her chocolate pie in the months after she died, when my grandfather gave me her recipe box. Every time I make this pie, I miss her terribly, but know that she smiles when she sees me do it.

Chocolate Pie
1 cup of Sugar
1/3 cup of All Purpose Flour
1/4 Tsp of Salt
2 Cups of Milk
3 Eggs (yolk only)
2 Tbsp Butter
1/3 cup Cocoa
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Combine the sugar, flour, and cocoa into a mixing bowl and gradually stir in milk. Once combined well, stir over medium heat (in a decent sized sauce pan) until it bubbles. Once the bubbling occurs (it will be subtle, not a full on boil), continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Take the mixture off the heat and continue stirring. Take 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture and combine it with the egg yolks, then pour the egg/mixture combination back into the saucepan and place it back on the heat.  Add the butter and vanilla extract, then continue cooking for about 1 minute. Pour into a pre-baked pie crust that has cooled.
Dry ingredients
Dry ingredients + Milk
Egg yolks and vanilla extract
Addition of eggs, butter, vanilla extract
Pie Crust
Now, I'm not going to lie. I've been known to use a frozen pie crust more times than not, but last night I learned how to make a REAL pastry pie crust that is absolutely to die for!  You'll need....
1 1/2 Cups Sifted Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Crisco (converts to 8 Tbsp)
4 Tbsp Water

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in the Crisco with a pastry blender (had never seen one of these until last night!) or a fork until it looks uniform.  Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of water at a time over small portions of the mixture (repeat for the 4 tablespoons total) and mix it in well.  Work the dough into a bowl (try and touch it as little as possible...) and roll out for a pie plate.  You have to kind of eye how big the plate is (a standard 9 inch plate is best).  Once the dough is at the desired thickness, place the pie plate upside down on the dough and then use your mat to flip it over. Smush (yes, that's my technical term for it) it so it fits in the plate well, and then roll the excess pastry under the edges around the top of the pie plate. To make it extra pretty, get some flour on your fingers and you can squeeze the pastry to make "waves" around the top--great for hiding imperfections! Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork, then bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes!

1 comment:

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