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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Judy's Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate cream pie has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. In my family chocolate cream pies were made for every get-together; but some family members liked one kind of pie more than another, so we usually had a chocolate cream, lemon meringue, coconut cream, and chess pie. One for every taste bud!

Most cream pies start with the same basic recipe with the addition of chocolate or coconut, etc. I found my mother-in-law's recipe for chocolate cream pie in a recipe book from her high school in Maryville, Tennessee. I use it every time I create one of these luscious desserts! My husband especially likes pie. He complains that I don't cook them nearly often enough.

My Tips and Suggestions

When I first started making this pie I wondered why the instructions said to stir a portion of the hot mixture over the beaten egg yolks. So I conveniently skipped over this step. Then I noticed my pie mixture had stringy cooked egg pieces all through it, similar to that found in fried rice! I reread recipe and followed it to the letter next time, and like magic, no more stringy cooked egg pieces.

I like to sift my cocoa with my sugar, salt, cornstarch, and flour before placing in saucepan. This eliminates any lumps forming while heating.

While making meringue and after pouring the chocolate pie mixture into baked pie shells, gently place a piece of Saran Wrap or other similar wrap over the chocolate, pressing out the air bubbles forming underneath the Saran Wrap and pushing it to the edges of crimped pie shell. This prevents the chocolate pie mixture from forming a layer of thickened "skin" on top.

I follow my stepmother's advice while making meringue. She always added about ¨รป teaspoon baking powder - she called it a "pinch" when adding the sugar. The baking powder makes the meringue higher and fluffier.

I also find that the modern version of meringue works better: beat the sugar into egg whites 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed of mixer about 4 minutes more or till mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks and sugar dissolves (rub a little of the meringue between your fingers - it should feel completely smooth).

I hope you'll try making a cream pie of your own. They are delicious.

Ingredients:

2 baked pie shells

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon flour

3 cups milk

4 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 egg whites for meringue

Instructions:

Bake pastry shells and cool.

Blend together in a saucepan the sugar, salt, cornstarch, flour and cocoa. Gradually stir in the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir a portion of this mixture over the beaten egg yolks, stirring briskly. Then blend into hot mixture, return to heat and continue cooking over low heat until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Cool. Pour into cool pastry shell. Top with meringue.

Meringue

Ingredients:

3 egg whites

6 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

Beat well the egg whites. Use 2 level tablespoons sugar for each egg white. Fold in sugar gradually. Use a folding motion. Do not beat in sugar.

Recipe submitted to Porter PTA Cookbook
By Mrs. Elmer Scarbroug

Also published by Judy Shubert at Associated Content.

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