Friday, March 2, 2012

Chocolate Pie

So with the Oscars last weekend I saw a post for Minny's Chocolate Pie from The Help. (The original recipe appeared in the August 2011 Food & Wine issue.) I thought it looked like it could be really good, so I got around to making it today. I mostly followed the directions, but baked it like I usually do for a custard pie. I'm just not a fan of blind baking. I expected this to be a chocolatey custard pie. Wow was I surprised and delighted by the way this fudgy chocolate pie tasted, with a thin crisp layer on the top of the pie and gooey, yet fully set chocolate filling. And it did not really seem custardy either, I think to the appreciation of my guys. We served it with whipped cream and the remaining pieces' minutes are numbered.

I used my standard pie crust, although I have been tweaking that one too. Sorry Great-Grandma Genevieve. This was always a never-fail pie crust, but over the last several years it hasn't rolled as easily as I remembered (darn Crisco changing the formula). So a while ago I tried doing the crust with lard instead of shortening. It rolled like a dream the way I remembered it working when my mom made the crust when I was little. Over the last few years I have had to add extra flour because it was too sticky and it just didn't roll well. It was much more apt to tear. With lard all my troubles went away. The texture was flaky like we wanted. The only drawback was it tasted a bit oily. Today I only had about 1/3 lard for the recipe and used shortening for the rest. The crust worked better than with just shortening and the taste was much more to our liking. I think half and half would work well for taste and ease of use.

Minny’s Chocolate Pie
9-inch pie crust, unbaked
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons sweet butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 450°.
In a bowl, whisk sugar with cocoa powder, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt until smooth.
Pour filling into pie shell and bake for about 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350° and bake another 30 minutes or until filling is set around edges but a little jiggly in the center. Cover the crust with strips of foil halfway through baking, if desired.
Transfer pie to rack and let cool completely before cutting into wedges.
Serve with whipped cream.

Minny's Chocolate Pie can be refrigerated overnight.