My Family's Best Chocolate Pie Recipe
Chocolate, the most noble food, the sweetness and decadence that drives away unhappiness and replaces it with bliss and tranquility. And if chocolate is the most noble of foods, then among the hallowed and esteemed ranks of the desserts that are made with chocolate (I'm specifically referring to chocolate pies) must assuredly claim their rightful position as perhaps the most glittering and grand among their serried rows. I myself have made many chocolate pie recipes and of course consumed yet more—and yet the one that for me will always constitute my favorite, and that's my family's chocolate pie recipe. Moist, sweet, deliciously rich in chocolate, with a superb crust and endless possibilities of what can be made with it, it poises at the edge of decadence and stares into the realm of gluttony, then retreats with a sigh, having come so close to that hazy border.
For my family, the recipe that we treasure for for satisfying our cravings of chocolate is passed down from my Uncle—well, great-uncle to be precise—Bill. Unfortunately I didn't get to spend much time with Bill, as he died when I was still relatively young, and I never did make this pie of his with him around—but for me, it is a way of continuing on the culinary tradition of our family. And if we happen to get a chocolate pie out of that, well surely there is no self-interest involved there at all.
This recipe is quite easy to make, the ingredients elegant in their simplicity, and produces a delicious crust recipe that I often use for other pie projects, flavor profile permitting. It also can produce up to 4 egg whites if one is desirous of having these, or these can be used to produce a meringue. The great advantage is that it is highly flexible; it can easily be a simple chocolate pie, even a pudding pie if one reduces cooking time, or it can be a sophisticated and elegant chocolate dessert with fruit or cream or meringue.
- 4 eggs
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 cup 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup, 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup oil
- The first step in the preparation of the pie is the crust. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup chopped nuts, and 1 tsp salt together in a bowl. Measure oil and 1/4 cup milk into the same cup, but do not mix. Pour into the flour, and stir until mixed.
- Following this, apply to the pie dish. This can be done in one of two ways. The first is that the dough is shaped into a ball, then rolled between two sheets of wax paper to make into a smooth, flat, circular layer, the wax paper removed from one side, and then transposed onto the pie dish and the edges fluted. Personally however, I simply place the dough into the pie dish, and work it with my hands to cover the dish. Either way, I advise fluting to give a decorative look. Use fork to pierce crust in several places, to let out air while it cooks.
- Place in the oven for 13-15 minutes at 425 degrees fahrenheit. While it cooks, prepare the second stage of the process. Separate four eggs, placing the yolks into a medium bowl and the whites into a separate bowl, and add 1 cup sugar, 2 cups milk, 2 tbsp vanilla extract, and 4 tbsp cocoa powder to the egg yolks. Beat and if clumps remain use a whisk, until smooth. Add additional flour or milk to either increase or lessen thickness, depending on desire.
- Cook, stirring constantly, over stove top until the liquid thickens, which will not take long at all. When it is thick, take off stove top and allow to cool, then pour into the pie dish.
- This completes the production of the pie itself. At this point, if one desires, one can either use the egg whites to form a meringue, discard them, or add other toppings. If creating a meringue, beat egg whites with some sugar until a meringue is formed, apply this on top of pie, and brown meringue in oven.
© 2017 Ryan Thomas