Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grammie's Chocolate Cream Pie

Holidays meant hanging out with family, having a great meal together and then enjoying yummy desserts.  My Mom was typically the one that baked the desserts and pies were one of her specialties.  Thanksgiving was marked by apple pie, pecan pie and pumpkin pie.  At Easter, we typically enjoyed Banana Cream Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie and then usually a Cream Cheese Pie that my Gramma would bake.

If you know my Mom - or stories about her, then you are aware that everything is made from scratch.  No short cuts...ever.  This included the pudding that would be used in both of her cream pies.  In our youth, we observed Mom stirring her creation in the double boiler.  When we got older, this was something that we could help with - and even volunteered for.  After many minutes of constant stirring - which had a pattern by the way so scorching was not a possibility - our arms would tire but we kept it up because that was our job. I remember asking "is this thick enough yet?" and "how much longer do I have to stir this?".  It always seemed to take a really long time.

Ultimately it was worth it.  Obviously.  Stirring the mixture to make the pudding is still my least favorite step but Mom is right, nothing tastes quite like homemade.

You can choose to make your own pie crust or use a store bought.  After you get it into the pie plate, prick it with a fork and bake it for 10 minutes.

Now for the chocolate...

1.  Melt 1-1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate and 1-1/2 cups milk in a double boiler.

2.  Mix the following together in a bowl: 3/4 cup sugar, 3 Tbs flour, 1 Tbs corn starch, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Add melted mixture (from #1) slowly with a spoon so it doesn't get lumpy.  Once it's combined, pour it back into the double boiler.

3.  Gradually add 3 egg yolks that have been beaten.  Then add 1 Tbs butter.  Start boiling the water and cook until thick and smooth, constantly stirring.

4.  Remove from the heat and add 1 tsp vanilla.  Stir and add to cooked pie shell.

5.  Cover with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature.  After it's cool, refrigerate.  Once it is very cold, you can add whipped cream.

If you want to stay true to my Mom's recipe then you will also make your own whipped cream.  Simply beat 1 cup heavy cream with 1 tsp of sugar.  You can omit the sugar if you want.  It's still good.  One caution - don't beat too long or it will start to turn into butter.

I believe I'll be enjoying a bite of this in the near future.  Now, you can too!

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