My Grandma Baker would always bring pies at Thanksgiving, my mom would make the pumpkin pie along with apple cake and a family favorite Texas sheet cake, but her mom (Mary Baker) would bring Apple, Minced Meat, Coconut Cream and sometimes my favorite Chocolate Cream pie with a marshmallow meringue topping. Grandma Baker was not only a great cook but she was an awesome baker…..So if you have been following my blog so far you can see I have had wonderful inspirations and teachers coming from Bubba ( who I never got to meet in person) Grandma Baker and mom, Peggy.
…….Back to the story: This had been my first year as an apprentice, I did my apprenticeship at Oakmont Country Club, so I would attend classes all day on Monday and then the rest of the week I put in 20 hrs.+ and add 30 minute commute to and from work. So I missed a lot of family functions that summer and would miss most of the upcoming holidays as well. I asked my mom to call Grandma Baker and see if she would make a chocolate pie for Thanksgiving and just save me a piece of pie because I would be at work during the time we would be having our Thanksgiving Dinner. When I arrived home shortly after dark, I was surprised to see that my grandparents were still at my house, My grandpap was waiting for me to come home so we could have a piece of that Chocolate Pie together. In fact my grandpap said nobody was allowed to have any chocolate pie until I came home. So That year I had Chocolate Pie before my turkey dinner. Even though I had missed most of the day, this was one of my Favorite Thanksgivings!
Ingredients for Filling
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened Cocoa Powder ( I use a dark cocoa powder )
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of Espresso Powder ( this is optional, I’ve added this over the years)
- 4 large Egg Yolks ( Room Temperature) “reserve egg whites for topping”
- 2 cups of whole Milk ( Room Temperature)
- 1/2 cup Whipping Cream (Room Temperature)
- 5 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or Semisweet chocolate Chopped (note Chocolate chips are fine to use)
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Procedure for making the Filling: Whisk Sugar, Cornstarch, Cocoa, and salt in heavy, medium saucepan to blend. Add egg yolks, milk and cream; whisk until smooth. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add Chocolate, butter and vanilla, whisk until melted and smooth. Pour filling into crust. Place plastic wrap over top of filling so a skin does not form. Place on rack and cool.
Ingredients for Never Fail Pie Crust: this recipe makes enough dough for 2 double crust pies or 4 single pies.
- 3 cups Flour ( all-purpose is fine to use but my preference is bread flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1 cup of Lard or Butter
- 1 whole egg (Room Temperature)
- 1/2 cup of Ice cold milk
- 1 Tablespoon of Vinegar
Procedure for making of the crust:
I do this by hand but you can use a food processor: combine all your dry ingredients together, now cut in your fat until your mixture looks like corn meal. Whisk your egg and vinegar together and add to your mixture along with the milk and mix until if forms a ball. Cut the dough into four equal pieces, form into balls and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day. Note: I make my dough a day ahead.
Baking of the Crust: Preheat Oven to 375 F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 13-14-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch, deep glass pie dish. Fold dough edge over and crimp decoratively, securing dough edge to rim of dish. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 15 minutes. Place baking beads on the bottom of the crust then bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Once baked put on rack and cool and prepare your filling. Note:If you do not have baking beads you can do one of the following tips. Place Foil on the bottom of your crust and pour a bag of dried beans on top and bake, carefully remove the foil in the last 5 minutes of baking so the center can get a golden brown color. 2. You can press back any bubbles that occur during the baking process with a fork.
Ingredients Marshmallow Meringue Topping:
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1/3 cup of water
- 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 4 large egg whites ( about 1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
Procedure for Marshmallow Meringue:
Place 1 Tablespoon of water in a small bowl or cup and sprinkle your unflavored gelatin on top set aside to bloom. Place the small bowl or cup in a small skillet; add enough water to skillet to reach depth of 1/2 inch.
In a heavy, medium sauce pan whisk sugar, corn syrup and 1/3 cup water and blend. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Boil without stirring until candy thermometer registers 240 F. While the syrup continues to boil, beat egg whites in large bowl with mixer until stiff peaks form. When Thermometer in syrup registers 240 F, slowly beat hot syrup into egg whites. Continue to beat until whites are stiff and glossy, about 4 minutes. During this time add vanilla, and bring water in skillet to a simmer. Stir Gelatin mixture in cup/bowl until the gelatin is dissolves. Gradually pour gelatin over egg whites and beat until topping is cool, about 8 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently spread topping over filling, making decorative peaks. (Don’t forget to remove the plastic cover on your pie before you spread the topping over the filling) Preheat broiler. Broil pie until topping is light brown, about 1 minute, watch carefully this sometimes can go quickly. If you own a kitchen torch, this also can be used to brown the topping. Chill pie 1 hour. Garnish with chocolate shavings, optional.
* Pie can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature before you cut and serve. Enjoy 🙂
***Personal note and message: if you are intimidated by the Meringue, do not fear alternate topping options leave plain or use whip cream. Leave your pie covered with plastic wrap and chill for an hour, again let stand 1 hour at room temperature before you cut and serve***