Allspice Chronicles

Entertain like a Queen, Think Lean and Live Green! A personal collection of recipes,anecdotes,and good old fashioned advice…

Dad’s Wicked Chocolate Pie

by Danica Waters

My father was a quiet Midwestern man who grew up just outside the Amana Colonies in the great state of Iowa.  I don’t know of any other region in the US that holds pie of all sorts in such high esteem, but I can tell you that in Iowa, pie is a big deal.  It also happens to be an incredibly accurate indicator of one’s personality type.

My grandparents, who were very meticulous and practical people, preferred the simplicity of fruit pies. My grandmother could whip out a pie crust faster than you can blink, and dinner was not dinner without a simple, unadorned slice of homemade apple, peach, or cherry pie afterwards.  It was always one of those three, and they were served like religion.

Through his young-adulthood, my fun-loving father grew very close to my Grandmother’s sister, whose tastes veered more in the direction of the decadent cream pies.  My grandmother once told me under her breath that she viewed that type of pie with great disdain because they invariably did a “number on your figure”.  Be that what it may, my Large Great Aunt didn’t care a hoot; along with a piping hot cup of the blackest coffee known to man, at her house you could always expect to be served a generous slice of either a banana or coconut cream pie, topped off with a billowing mound of Redi-Whip that rivaled the clouds of cigarette smoke coming at you from across the kitchen table.  But my Dad didn’t find his favorite pie until he moved out on his own.

Far away from the rolling hills of Iowa, high in the Colorado mountains, my father decided the best pie in the world was Chocolate Pie.  Not just any Chocolate Pie, mind you.  This Chocolate Pie. Steering more towards the Dark Side of the chocolate world, it’s much more rich and wicked than most of its mild-mannered cousins.  That’s probably why my dad liked it so much.  You see, as quiet and proper as he appeared to be, my dad had a wicked sense of humor (he was a huge fan of Bill the Cat) and an unmistakable flare for the dramatic.  If ever he were to bring you flowers, he’d never bring just one – he’d bring armfuls of the biggest, most beautiful blooms he could find.  This pie is like that. So in honor of my dearly departed Dad this Father’s Day, here’s the recipe for his favorite Wicked Chocolate Pie.

 

 

Dad’s Wicked Chocolate Pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  When oven is ready, pierce and bake until pale golden, approximately 7 minutes:

 

1 – 9” pie shell, regular ok but graham cracker preferred!

Remove from oven and set aside.  Decrease oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift together and set aside:

¾ C sugar

2 – 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

3 rounding Tbsp cocoa powder

In top portion of double-boiler, add:

3 large eggs, separated (set aside whites for meringue), yolks beaten lightly

2 C milk (use unsweetened evaporated milk for a richer texture)

1 tsp vanilla

Add water and a pinch of salt to lower portion of double-boiler; bring to a boil and reduce heat until water is at a gentle but active simmer.  In top portion of double-boiler, gently stir together the egg yolks, milk, and vanilla; add dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.  Cook mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk, until thick.  Turn off the flame; cover the filling to keep it warm while you make the meringue:

In a small bowl, combine and set aside:

¼ tsp cream of tartar

½ C white granulated sugar

In small saucepan, combine:

1 Tbsp corn starch

1/3 C cold water

Heat mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk, until mixture is bubbly and forms a gel.  Remove from heat.

In a very clean bowl of electric mixer, combine on low speed until frothy:

3 large egg whites (be sure there’s absolutely NO pieces of shell or remnants of yolk in your egg whites)

½ tsp vanilla extract

Increase mixer speed to medium, and slowly add the sugar and cream of tartar mixture, one Tablespoon at a time.  Beat until the sugar is thoroughly incorporated and soft peaks form.  Then add the cornstarch mixture, one Tablespoon at a time.  Increase mixer speed to High, and beat until stiff peaks form.  Be careful – don’t overbeat.

The filling needs to be hot when the meringue goes on top, so if it’s cooled too much, reheat it until it’s steamy.  Then pour filling into prepared pie crust, spreading it evenly along bottom of shell.  Using a rubber spatula, immediately spread the meringue mixture evenly around the edge of the pie, making sure that the meringue attaches to the pie crust to prevent shrinking.  Then spread meringue to the center of the pie.  Use the back of a spoon to create peaks and valleys all over the meringue.

Bake at 325 degrees F until the meringue is golden brown, which should take about 20 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Posted in Allspice Chronicles and Appetizers and Desserts and Danica Waters and Dessert and Father's Day and Holidays and Pies and Vegetarian by danica on June 18th, 2011 at 11:11 am.

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