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August 22, 2011

A Little Slice of Heaven


God bless you, Quilter in the Gap.

She posted a link to a chocolate pie recipe at 6:30 Saturday morning, and it looked so delectable that 3 hours later, the pie you see above was cooling on my counter. Words cannot describe this pie. It is without a doubt the best pie I have ever eaten (and I don't say that lightly, because I've eaten a lot of pie in my day). So ladies, stop whatever you're doing, and go make one. Even if you hate baking, I promise you it's worth every bit of the effort, and then some.

I took this pie to a cookout Saturday afternoon (a bunch of the young married couples from our church were getting together), and I'm not lying when I tell you it was completely gone 10 minutes after the first slice was cut. There was complete silence as we all sat around eating it - men and women alike. I'm pretty sure this pie could single-handedly bring about world peace if given the chance.

So, before I share the recipe, I'll give you my 2 cents...
  1. The blogger that originally posted this recipe is right - the crust is inconsequential. It feels borderline blasphemous saying that, because I'm a firm believer in homemade pie crusts. If I'm gonna eat the calories, it's gonna be a flaky, delicious crust, rather than a cardboard pre-made one. But in this instance, no one cares about the crust...it's merely a vehicle for transporting the smooth, heavenly filling into your gullet. Therefore, don't waste your time making a homemade one. Just slap one from your grocer's freezer section in that pan and roll with it. 
  2. Growing up, I remember sitting in my grandma's kitchen listening to seasoned Southern cooks compare recipes and share tips that had been passed down for generations. Sadly, a recipe for Chocolate Pie wasn't in my family's repertoire, but I do remember one important thing from listening to those ladies all those years: any chocolate pie worth it's salt has a secret ingredient - caramel. 
So. Because I'm a notorious recipe tinkerer...and because, 20 years later, I still have the cooking wisdom of those ladies in my noggin', I changed a few things from the original recipe. Here's my take on it:

Southern Chocolate Pie
(adapted from this recipe)

1 frozen/refrigerated pie crust
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa (I substituted Hershey's Special Dark Baking Cocoa)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp. salt
1 - 5 oz. can evaporated milk (it's the teeny tiny can, not the normal 12 oz. can used in most recipes)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup caramel (caramel sundae topping works fine)
Pinch of cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press crust into a 9" pie pan. Crimp edges and prick bottom and sides with a fork.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, combine sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon. Start the mixer and gradually pour in the melted butter. 
  3. Add eggs, one at a time (making sure the first egg has been incorporated before adding the second). Once both eggs have been added, mix for 3 minutes. 
  4. Add salt, evaporated milk and vanilla. While the mixer is still running, drizzle in the caramel.
  5. Pour filling into unbaked crust and bake for 35-45 minutes or until crust is brown and the filling is slightly set in the middle. Cool completely before serving.
Note: This pie doesn't "set up" and get as solid as most pies, so I definitely recommend waiting until it's fully cooled before serving.  Also, don't freak out if you peek in the oven and notice the top of the pie has risen really high and is bubbling around...it will deflate as soon as you take it out :)

8 comments:

  1. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I am going to have to give this recipe a try (your version of course). Thanks!

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  2. BTW would you mind putting a link in my name? http://gapquilter.blogspot.com. If you don't want to edit I understand.

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  3. Definitely going to give this one a try!

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  4. looks delicious... (but I have to know if you've read/seen the Help... this post makes me laugh). :)

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  5. It is commonly known as a chocolate chess pie. I will have to try the caramel addition. My mother-in-law made it for Thanksgiving a few years back and it was gone so fast that now we make always make two. You can make lemon too and it is good but not nearly as good as the chocolate one.

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  6. I resisted making this the other day when you were talking about pie as I'm on a diet but while I was pondering I asked my husband about making it. Well, he just got on board with the dieting thing and looked at me like I was crazy. So I'm just having fond memories of this pie for now.

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  7. That looks so good Kaelin! I'm definitely going to try your recipe out next week once the hubs and I (and our stuff) are finally reunited. Though I think I'll go the homemade crust route. I was a pastry chef for years and after making hundreds of pies a day around thanksgiving, I can bang out a pie crust faster than driving to the store!

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