Chocolate pie is an emotional subject. This was my sister Juanita’s favorite dessert years ago. She had married and moved away, living everywhere from Hawaii to Germany with her Army-officer husband. Every time she came to visit with her young family, our mother would make a chocolate pie to her specifications–no meringue, the traditional family recipe, no variations. Juanita would cut a sliver, “just to taste it,” and walk away from it. Put down that knife! In no time, another sliver would be gone, and another, and another, until someone else cut a slice in self-defense.
I got Mother’s recipes after she died (see “Home Cooking,” April 14, 2011). The chocolate pie recipe lacked a lot of information, like oven temperature and how long to bake. I canvassed the family, consulted other recipes, and experimented a bit. Here’s the result. This is not like chocolate pudding pie, or the stuff you get in diners. It’s very easy, and very chocolate. I highly recommend it when you’re feeling down and can’t deal with a double boiler.
Mother’s Chocolate Pie
1 unbaked 9″ pie crust (make your own, use refrigerated or frozen)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1/2 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
Mix all dry ingredients, then add egg yolks, milk, butter and vanilla flavoring. Cook in a saucepan on top of stove until thick. Put in unbaked pie crust and bake at 350 degrees until crust is brown.
If you like, you can use the egg whites to make meringue. No advice on that topic!