Custard, BrΓ»lΓ©e and Pudding · Pie · Recipes

Dark Chocolate Pie

I had a great day yesterday! Carrie and I went through old family recipes and decided we’d make my Aunt Norma’s Dark Chocolate Pie. Aunt Norma is married to my Dad’s brother, Dane. She’s a great Southern cook and I always love eating anything she makes! She shared her Dark Chocolate Pie recipe with my mom years ago and we made this many times when I was growing up. Carrie loves chocolate and asked if we could make it. Heck, yeah!

IMG_8748

I had some homemade pie crust in the freezer. I always made this pie with the traditional meringue topping and I’d stick it in the oven to brown a little. I never liked that type of meringue (sorry to all my family members who’ve always topped their cream pies with it). It’s just not my thing. I switched it to a light whipped cream and that’s what I told Carrie we could use since I had whipping cream on hand. She asked if we could make “our meringue”. She was referring to the one I use on her beloved Carrie’s Campfire S’mores Cupcakes. It’s a cooked meringue and tastes like gooey marshmallows. Sounded like a great idea and simple twist on this family classic! I mean, would you just look at those beautiful swirls? Carrie’s so smart!

IMG_8694

When I was a kid, I remember standing at the stove, stirring for what felt like hours to make sure the milk didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and eagerly wait to see those first boiling bubbles pop through the surface. My arm hurt. My hand cramped up. I whined and complained. I was eager to share that experience with Carrie and teach her how to make the pudding component of the pie! Sounds fun, huh?!

This pie requires a baked pie crust so Carrie rolled it out and blind baked it then let it cool. The pudding filling is sugar, arrowroot (or flour or cornstarch), salt and milk. Cook those over medium low heat FOREVER or until your hand cramps up–Carrie’s words, “My arm is going to fall off! Can I sit down?” πŸ™‚

Once the mixture has thickened, temper egg yolks and add them back to the pan to bring back to a boil for a couple minutes. Then remove from the heat and add nice quality chocolate and vanilla.

Once the chocolate melts, add a little butter to give it that silky finish and cover in plastic wrap (press the wrap directly onto the pudding to prevent it forming a skin). Let cool slightly. Close your eyes and lick the spoon.

Fill the baked crust with the filling and top with the meringue or whipped cream. We added chocolate pieces to the center for fun but you can let your imagination run wild and get creative! I think Carrie’s arm finally felt better! I really love her smile!

What a fun time teaching Carrie an old family recipe and having her put her own spin on it! We ate the pie after dinner and it was so good! Homemade chocolate pudding is delicious! We decided the marshmallow meringue is really yummy on top but we think whipped cream might be our favorite because it’s not quite as sweet. This could work with a graham cracker crust as more of a s’mores pie. We inhaled it and didn’t mind the meringue but I’m definitely in the whipped cream camp!

IMG_8750

Oh, I didn’t get photos of these events, but I broke the edge of our pie dish and Carrie’s first piece of pie slid off her plate right onto the floor. It’s not all swirls of beautiful meringue and rich chocolate decadence all the time in this house!

If you’re like us and staying home, this is definitely a nice, comforting treat to make. You can use store bought crust or graham cracker crust or just make pudding and plop some whipped cream on top. If you’re not a chocolate fan, simply omit the chocolate, add extra vanilla for vanilla pudding and serve it with sliced bananas or any kind of fruit. Stir in some coconut for a little taste of the tropics or add a fresh fruit puree. It’s very versatile! This is one of those family recipes that never goes out of style. It was nice to pass it on to Carrie and enjoy some fond memories of baking with my family when I was a kid. Stay healthy and I hope you’re finding lots to do with loved ones during this crazy time in our lives. I’m treasuring the time as much as I can and doing my best to keep us well!

From the heart,
Shannon

IMG_8711

Dark Chocolate Pie

Pie Crust
Ingredients:
Butter: Diced into 1/2” cubes: 9 TBSP in the fridge; 5 TBSP in the freezer
Pastry Flour: 2 1/4 cups
Kosher Salt: 2 1/4 tsp
Sugar: 1/2 TBSP
Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 TBSP with 1/2 cup cold water

Instructions:
–Place 9 TBSP cold butter and all dry ingredients in food processor and pulse until it resembles the texture of sand.
–Add in the frozen butter cubes and start with 5 TBSP of the apple cider water and pulse until it holds together.
–Dump it out and work the dough on the counter until it holds together and is smooth.
–Divide in half and form into discs and wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate (preferably overnight). You can also freeze at this point.
–Remove dough from fridge to soften a little. Place disc on floured surface and roll out.
–Butter and flour pie pan. Once bottom crust is in prepared pan, place a piece of parchment paper and some pie weights (or dried beans, coins, rice) to blind bake the pie. –Bake for 15 minutes at 400 then remove pie weights and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and let cool.

Chocolate Pudding
Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup AP flour (or 1/4 cup corn starch or arrowroot powder)
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 TBSP butter

Instructions:
–In a sauce pan, combine sugar, flour (or corn starch or arrowroot) and salt and gradually stir in the milk.
–Cook and stir until thick and bubbly over medium low heat. Reduce heat and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
–Whisk egg yolks and temper by adding a little of the hot milk mixture then pour it all back into the pan and return to a gentle boil. Cook and stir (just keep stirring!) 2 minutes then remove from heat.
–Add chocolate then vanilla and butter and cover with plastic wrap or wax paper or parchment to let it cool a little.
–Pour filling into baked and cooled crust and top with meringue or fresh whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours then slice and enjoy! Don’t drop your slice on the floor! πŸ™‚

Meringue
6 large egg whites
1 Β½ cups granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whisk egg whites, sugar and salt over simmering water until sugar is dissolved. Mix with a whisk attachment in mixer until fluffy, add vanilla.

Uncategorized

Christmas Cookie Swap

Hi! I hope your holiday activities are bringing you lots of joy and very little stress!

A few weeks ago, I sent a quick message to a handful of friends I haven’t seen in a while to see if they’d be available for a Christmas Cookie Swap. The cookie part was really just an excuse to get us together, eat snacks, have a couple drinks and catch up. Of course, I was excited when most of them could make it and was super excited to see what kinds of cookies they’d bring!

It means the world to me to get time with friends and I don’t do it nearly enough. When I do, I’m so grateful for the time and laughs! I made a few savory appetizers including a cheese board and these little Greek bites. Easy and cute!

59803846446__E1929DDD-26F6-4EFD-8E6D-A6D1C1940255

I also whipped up Holiday Cheermeister Bourbon Punch from one of my favorite bloggers, Half Baked Harvest. It was delicious and the perfect holiday cocktail! I didn’t get a picture but there are lots on HBH’s site. Trust me, it’s beautiful and it goes down real nice!

My cookie for the evening was a Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip cookie. Hannah introduced me to these a few weeks ago. They’re one of my new favorite cookies! You can find the recipe here on Baker by Nature’s site. Please add these to your cookie recipe files! Also, I think Santa would be quite grateful to have one or two of these on Christmas Eve!

IMG_7196

The cookies my friends brought were AMAZING!

Snickerdoodles. Seriously, so good! I always thought Snickerdoodles were thin and crispy. These were fluffy and chewy and I ate way too many! No I didn’t!

IMG_7197

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. I’ve never had these before and have always found them to be so pretty. They’re beautiful and they didn’t disappoint on flavor! Chocolatey and gooey!

IMG_7206

Traditional Almond Biscotti. These just feel special! I had a quick bite last night but really enjoyed two of these with my coffee this morning. Light and perfect for dunking and the anise flavor makes them divine! What a treat!

IMG_7208

Red Velvet Thumbprints. Come on!!! They taste as good as they look! I love how pretty these are! So festive and yummy! Again, Santa would be grateful for these on his/her plate!

IMG_7205

Pretty neat, huh? I had a great time with the exception of missing a few gals who couldn’t join. When I got the wheels in motion to host this, I found all kinds of ways on Pinterest to do a Cookie Swap/Exchange. I kept this simple. Everyone made 7 dozen cookies and showed up. We had snacks, drinks and then filled our containers and shared a little about why we chose our cookies and/or where the recipes came from. Some of these are Grandma’s recipes! I love that!

It’s a busy time and I’m so grateful I got to spend some of it with dear friends! Thanks for showing up, ladies, and sharing your cookie creations!

From the heart,
Shannon