It was only a couple of months ago when I was tired of chocolate. This was a shock to me, as I am a self-confessed chocoholic. It just seemed, at the time, I was overwhelmed by the recent chocolate covered holidays and sickly sweet sentiments. My, what a difference a couple of months makes. Perhaps it is the uncertainty of the pandemic and the negativity of daily news feeds reporting the worst that causes us to return to our past and what seemed like simpler times, that makes us crave the flavors of childhood.
Last week, it came back to me with a fury. I wanted chocolate cream pie. There was no rhyme or reason to it, I just fancied a homemade chocolate cream pie, the kind like you see displayed under a glass cake dome in the local diner, or offered among the many desserts while standing in line at the K&W Cafeteria.
I tried to remember the last time I had tasted a truly homemade chocolate cream pie. It would have been before my teen years. Yes, it was that long ago.
My mother made chocolate cream pie using chocolate pudding as the filling for the pie, topped with mounds of whipped cream. I still rememebr the long wait for the pudding to set and scraping the bottom of the plate for the last bit of chocolate and flaky pie crust.
But without ready-to-serve pudding mix in my cabinets, I looked through my cookbooks for a recipe that would come close to what I remembered. I found this particular recipe in a cookbook dedicated to pie making. I tweaked it a bit however by adding two 2 ounce squares of dark chocolate to the custard mix while it was still hot for an added punch of rich chocolate flavor. The picture was from what was left of the pie after my mother and I indulged. That’s what happens when you neglect chocolate cream pie for too long!
Diner Worthy Chocolate Cream Pie
9 inch baked pastry pie shell 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar 5 beaten egg yolks
1/3 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons baking cocoa 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt whipped cream for topping
1 1/2 cups water (or coffee for a more mocha flavor)
(2) 2 ounce squares dark chocolate (86% cacao)
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, water, (or coffee), and evaporated milk. Stir until smooth. Cook mixture over medium heat until thick and bubbling. This may take 3 minutes or longer depending on your stove and heat source. Reduce heat and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
Remove mixture from heat and slowly stir in beaten egg yolks. Return to heat and bring the mixture to a slow boil. Stir continually.
Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Continue to stir to allow mixture to cool slightly and add two 2 ounce squares of dark chocolate to the mixture. (optional)
Pour warm; not hot, mixture into pie shell and cool for at least 1 hour, then place pie in refrigerator and allow pie to set. Garnish pie with whipped topping.
Hint* Place cling film over slightly cooled pie before placing in refrigerator so as not to allow a skin to form on top of pie. Remove before serving with whipped cream.