Sunday, November 20, 2011

Me Oh My, Pie!

Remember that goofy pie song Andie MacDowell sings in the movie "Michael?"  It sticks in my head...'s pie season.  And why is that?  Why isn't it always pie season?  Unless it's an icebox, or no-bake pie, we don't seems to eat as much during the summer.  Obviously, nobody wants to heat up the kitchen with baking, and a lot of really good pie ingredients aren't in season until the fall, like pumpkin and apple. So, it's pie season.  And if you know me well, you know that when I do crave a sweet, I really like pie.  Better than most cakes.  One of my favorite recipes is Don's grandmother's Chocolate Pie.  It's so good.  And beautiful.  I like the meringue challenge.  When it comes out well, it can be a thing of beauty.  I made it recently-a few weeks ago actually-sorry for not posting sooner.  Mom's gotten to where she makes the pie crust recipe in the Strand Family Cookbook and it makes a few crusts at a time, so when I saw that she was making a batch, there was no way I was going to let all of it go to the freezer.  The good thing is, we always have the Chocolate Pie ingredients handy.  I'll bet you do, too.  Here ya' go:

Chocolate Pie

Mary Jane Emerson

Make (or thaw) pie crust, place in pie pan and prick bottom and sides with a fork.  Bake until golden brown and set aside.
Separate 3 eggs and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

1 C. sugar                                             
4 T. flour
¼ t. salt                                                 
2 C. milk
3 egg yolks (from above)                     1/3 C. cocoa
1 T. butter                                             1 t. vanilla

Mix and sift dry ingredients.  Put in large saucepan over medium heat and add milk.  Once warm, add cocoa and dissolve.  Add egg yolks, then butter, then vanilla.  Stir constantly and cook till stiff.  Pour into baked crust and set aside.  Make meringue:  In a small mixing bowl, combine ¼ t. cream of tartar and egg whites.  Beat on high till foamy.  While beating, add 6 T. sugar, one at a time.  Add ½ t. vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.  Cover chocolate with meringue making sure to cover completely and seal meringue all the way to edges, touching crust.  Bake till brown in a hot oven.  Let sit for a few hours before cutting.

Gosh it's good! Just look at that meringue.  I love to let it get really brown on the peaks--they come out a little chewy.  In a good way. 

So this is my ode to pie, and to Granny Emerson, of course!

Here's that "Never Foil Pie Crust" recipe in the Family Cookbook, submitted by Aunt Louise:


Never Foil Pie Crust

Louise Strand Russell

1 lb. Lard
5 ½ C. flour
1 t. salt
Blend together until pea sized.  Make a well.

2 beaten eggs
1 T. vinegar
Water to make 8 oz.
Combine and add to flour mixture-mix well.

This is a good crust.  Does not mind handling—in fact, quite likes it.  I cut this into 5 portions and freeze.

Happy eating.  And Happy Thanksgiving!