Holidays were special times when our clan of cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings and parents gathered for a meal as a family. Preparations started before daylight for a full morning of cooking turkeys and baking cakes and pies.
When it grew close to the lunch hour, we would gather around in the Florida room, lured in by the delicious aromas which wafted into the back yard where we were playing. The festive table was set with platters of every sort of food imaginable from roasted turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, salads, cranberry sauce, casserole dishes, and of course, an entire table dedicated to dessert.
There was a variety of cakes and pies including mincemeat pie, pecan and strawberry, but the chocolate cream pie was always my favorite and usually the first one to disappear. Thoughts of those times bring fond memories of those pies made from scratch by someone we love.
It's not hard to duplicate this homemade pie, whether using a store-bought crust or making your own. Cooking the filling takes about twenty-five minutes, during which you can bake the single pie crust and let it cool. Here's how to do it:
Pie Crust Dough Recipe for a One Crust Pie
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour; 1/3 cup of solid vegetable shortening (like Crisco) or butter; 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2-3 tablespoons of cold water.
Sift the flour and salt together into a mixing bowl. Using two knives (in crisscross fashion) or a pastry cutter, cut in the shortening until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Slowly add the cold water, a little at a time, until the dough sticks together in a ball but is not sticky. More water or flour may be needed if the mix is too dry (add drops of water) or too sticky (add a little flour).
If you have time, refrigerate the dough for about an hour. This is usually not needed if the room temp is cool.
Transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured surface and roll it into a circle one inch larger than the pan to allow for a fluted edge. I made a video for Instructions on forming the pie crust:
- Place the prepared dough into a deep-dish, 9 inch pie pan.
- Trim and fold under the excess edges of the dough as you work your way around the rim.
- Shape the edges into scallops by pressing the dough between two fingers and forming an indentation between them with the thumb of the other hand.
- Make sure there are no cracks or tears in the uncooked crust. If repair is needed, a drop of water or milk will help mending the cracks.
- Since the pie crust must be baked before adding the pudding, use a fork to prick tiny holes all around the edges and bottom of the crust. This allows steam to escape when baking.
- Bake the crust at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
Ingredients and Instructions for the Chocolate Cream Pudding filling:
Ingredients: 2 cups of milk (regular or two percent), 1/4 cup of Corn Syrup, 4 Tablespoons of Corn Starch, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 egg yolks, 4 Tablespoons Hershey's powdered cocoa, 1 Tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract.
Mix together about a half cup of the milk, all the sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch and cocoa in a medium sized, heavy-duty saucepan.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and add the yolks to the mixture and stir thoroughly with a whisk.
Add the rest of the milk and heat the mixture slowly over low to medium heat stirring constantly so it doesn't scorch. It may take between 11 and 15 minutes to reach a boil.
When the mixture comes to a boil and starts to thicken, immediately remove it from the heat and add the butter and vanilla extract stirring until the butter melts.
Let the mixture cool before spooning it into the cooled, baked pie crust.
Refrigerate the pie for at least an hour before serving.
- Be sure to watch the milk mixture carefully as it comes up to temperature and stir continuously.
- Resist the temptation to raise the heat too high. Medium heat is best to avoid scorching the milk and sugar.
- When the hot mixture starts bubbling up unexpectedly, take the pan off the heat.
- Allow the pudding to cool completely before pouring it into the crust. This helps keep the crust from getting soggy.
- If the pastry puffs up in places when baking, use a fork to prick the bubble and release the steam or the crust will bake in the raised shape.
This family recipe is one of my husband's all-time, most requested desserts.
|Chocolate Cream Pie|