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Friday, January 13, 2012

A tale of two Chocolate Pies

I grew up eating my Nana’s chocolate meringue pie at nearly every family gathering.  You know the one.  That creamy chocolate filling and that mile high meringue that was perfectly browned on top? 

My oldest sister has perfected making it.  I, on the other hand, having just started trying, am merely getting by.  I mean, it tastes good… but I still have some work to do on my meringue technique.  The one I made the week before Christmas came out to be a fairly nice and tall meringue and looked like this:

Chocolate Meringue Pie


It was really quite pretty.  But in the course of the day, my meringue deflated a bit.   Not like flat or anything, just a bit.  It tasted pretty good, but I was not thrilled with the end result of the meringue.  (My man says I’m too nit-picky where my cooking is concerned.  I say that it’s just how I get better.)

Therefore, I am not posting the recipe until I get it down.  I can’t tell you what to do until I’ve figured it out myself. 

However, I did try a pie recipe that I had wanted to try for a few months now.  So many people blogged about it a few months ago that I can’t even really give credit to a particular blog. 

Minny’s Chocolate Pie.  You know the one.  From “The Help.” The one that made “Two Slice Hilly” famous.  Except without that special ingredient that Minny added in the course of “the terrible awful.” 

If you don’t know what any of that means, rent the movie.  I haven’t read the book, but the movie is incredible.  It may end up on my top 10 all time favorites list.  You can also see a video clip here. (Be aware of a little bad language.)

But back to the pie.

Because, really, not many things are more important than pie.

Apparently this recipe is the one that was used to make the pies in the movie and was published in some form of the August issue of Food and Wine.  Or at least that’s what every blog that I read credited.

And I’ll tell you what.  It’s super easy and absolutely delicious. 

Minny’s Chocolate Pie


Single pie crust
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream for serving

You will also need:

9” pie plate (I used the shallow glass kind, not a deep dish)
Parchment paper (or foil)
Pie weights or dried beans


Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Place pie crust in pie plate and crimp edges decoratively as desired.  Prick bottom of crust several times with a fork, line with parchment paper (or foil) and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Par-bake the crust for 15 minutes or until set.  Remove from the oven and carefully lift out the parchment paper with weights and set aside.  Return to the oven and continue to bake for 5 minutes longer, just until the crust is dry but not browned.  Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on at 350°F.

While the crust is baking those last 5 minutes, in a bowl, whisk sugar and cocoa powder together.  Add the melted butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt and whisk until smooth.

Pour the filling into the pie shell.  Bake 40-45 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but jiggles just a little in the center.  If you feel the crust is getting too brown in the process of baking, you may cover it with strips of foil or pie guards about half way through. 

Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.  Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

It can be made ahead of time, cooled completely, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated over night.

Minny's Chocolate Pie



Leanne said...

I too have been on the quest for the perfect chocolate meringue pie and have a great recipe from Nanny. My dad and his siblings loved her pies so much that the first one home for the holidays would hide the pies from the others. I've had great results with her filling but never been happy with how my meringue turned out. I recently tried a meringue recipe I found on Cook's Illustrated under the "Ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie" recipe. I had great results! I also love lemon and look forward to trying the lemon filling soon. Happy testing!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I'm just about to watch the movie! I wish I had some chocolate pie right now...