Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Evolution of a Pie...

Wish I could give y'all a slice!
click on pie to see it life~size


Being a newly married Air Force wife, stationed in a foreign country, meant one thing during the holidays: I must carry on the sacred food traditions, alone. Hands down, the most sacred for each of us, my husband and me, is the near holy status of the chocolate pie! In my family, Aunt Mary, knowledgeable on many topics, most certainly is the authority on chocolate pie. Jo Ann, my mother-in-law, was the expert pie maker for my husband's family. Aunt Mary's recipe was first followed, since Jo Ann's recipes were not of the written down variety. You know the sort, " Some of this, a little of that, after it thickens and looks like this, then do that!" Jo Ann was a wonderful cook, unfortunately living away, made her, "Watch what I do,” teaching style impossible for me to follow.

As time went by, I grew more confidant in the kitchen, so when the creek overflowed into our home, ruining the cookbook, Aunt Mary gave me as a new bride, I began experimenting with pie recipes, jotting down dates and notes by each, changing it up here and there, making it my own. When Jo Ann passed, I became the chocolate pie maker, for the family, along with that came her two, 10 inch, Pyrex pie pans. Pie making is sometimes stressful, like any holiday cooking, but mostly I find it peaceful. Chocolate pies from scratch won’t allow you to multitask, requiring you to slow down. Visiting and daydreaming are the only tasks that can be managed while rolling and pinching crust, measuring then continually stirring filling, or finally whipping meringue
, as you gradually stir in sugar.

Memories of my mother-in-law visit me, keeping me company as I stir the filling in her heavy pot, standing where she stood... I hear her voice, reminding us younger women not to tap our spoon so hard on the side of her cooker... letting the grand kids lick the spoon, twitching her nose for goodies hidden in the freezer for them...all the while background sounds of the past envelop me… the pressure cooker jiggling with pent up steam, doors slamming back and forth, and the muffled conversations coming from the living room. This Christmas, Nancy, my husband’s little sister, slowly savored a bite of my chocolate pie, then quietly proclaimed, “Lezlee, you’re a good pie maker,” and I thought, “So goes the evolution of a pie and family.”


Recipes

Chocolate Pie Filling
(This makes 2, 10 inch pies)

4 1/2 cups sugar
6 heaping T of cocoa
6 T flour
9 T cornstarch
3/4 t salt
12 egg yolks ( whites used for meringue)
3 12oz cans evaporated milk
4 cups whole milk
6 T butter
3 t vanilla
2 1o inch baked pie crusts

Combine dry ingredients in heavy saucepan, combine then gradually stir in whisked egg yolks and milk . I use Jo Ann's old pressure cooker, because it is so heavy and thick the filling won't burn. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. I love to use an egg spatula to stir, because it is flat and scrapes the bottom and sides of the pan better. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter, stir well, then pour into baked pie shell. Top with meringue.

Pie Crust
(3- 9 inch or 2- 10 inch crusts)

2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups Crisco
1 t salt
1 cup flour
3/4 to 1 cup cold water

Combine 2 cups flour, Crisco, and salt. Blend until resembles coarse meal. Combine remaining cup of flour and water to make thick paste. Pour over flour and Crisco. Stir with fork or pastry blender until just moist. Bake until golden brown at 425*

Meringue
(Tops 2- 10 inch pies)

9 egg whites
salt
3/4 t cream of tar tar
1 cup of sugar

In a glass or metal mixing bowl beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until foamy, gradually add sugar while beating until stiff peaks form. Spoon on top of pie filling, being sure to seal to the edges, brown in the oven.

Enjoy! Lezlee

17 comments:

Primitiques 'n Poetry said...

Aww! Such sweet memories and such a sweet pie! Thanks for sharing your own recipe. ~Mindy

alice said...

Lezlee,
I love that story and YOU should just come on over with your pie! I really need to be the taster!!!!!!
Smiles, alice

Kathy said...

Lezlee...Nice to meet you and thanks for stopping by with the sweet comment!.I think we should have have a piece of pie to celebrate!
Thanks for sharing...I'll be back , xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...Stop in again, loved having you.

My Grama's Soul said...

Lezlee, Thanks for stopping by to say hi!

I LOVE CHOCOLATE PIE!

Blessings,

Jo

glenda said...

Sometimes only Chocolate pie will do...
And the story of the pie is enchanting.Bravo!
I am copying the recipe to see if I can make it as good as you can...
And thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such sweet comments...
Glenda

Lee said...

That is the most beautiful pie I have ever seen...I made them in my teens...what happened, I gained weight and stopped.
Thank you for your sweet comment...I am taking a bloggy break... so see ya another day.
Lee

nancy said...

I am SO thankful you make the chocolate pies! And I wasn't expected to carry on Mom's tradition! You do a delicious job and I don't have the patience.

Jenny said...

Oh my. The pie.
The beautiful pie.
Oh my.

Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

Yum! Puts my choc pudding pie to shame!
Thanks for visiting the other day.

red.neck chic said...

Oh my gosh... my stomach is growling right now... that looks SO good!!! And! What wonderful memories!!!

;-) Robelyn

Pat & Ron Harris said...

Hi Lezlee, your post brought back so many memories. Chocolate pie in my house was always part of any celebration. I could see those times in my minds eye as I read your story. Wonderful memories, thank you!

I could hardly believe the army would scrap those boxes and not let others have them. I love working with the ammo boxes and you're right they have good wood. I wish you would do a post about the bookcase your hubby made. I'd love to see it. Have a great weekend. Pat @ junkblossoms.

Embellished Bayou said...

OMG, that looks sooo yummy! Great story, too!

Nora said...

I am going to have to try this. My family loves the pudding pies.

Thanks for sharing..

Keep On Junking
Nora

Dreama said...

Dad's Mom use to make me chocolate pie when I was little. She use to say that you weren't really a "Moore" if you didn't like chocolate pie!

Rhonda said...

Oh my that looks scrumptious! Thanks for sharing...I may have to try this...YUMMY!

marineswife said...

That looks so delicious!!!

C.J. said...

wowee! does that pie look delicious, copying down the recipe right now, ok, really copying and pasting. :) thanks!