Ms. American Pie, by Beth M. Howard (Race Point Publishing, 2014), shares Howard’s pie recipes for strawberry crumble, shaker lemon, banana cream and dozens more. Howard also shares her pie principles and stories of connecting with other people through pie. The following excerpt, from the chapter “Pies to Seduce,” is a recipe for chocolate cream pie.
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This was one of my favorites to make at Mary’s Kitchen in Malibu. I used to make moaning noises while stirring the pudding over the stove. My pleasure was so obvious, the staff teased me about it. About a year after I left my pie-making job, I got a note from Mary in the mail. The card read: Sending you this chocolate pie recipe. After the “performance” at the store whenever you made it, it is sure to be a hit with any new male friends you may have. Keep stirring. Love, Mary. Oh, believe me, I’m still stirring.
Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, chilled and cut into large chunks
• 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
• 1 1/4 cups flour, plus at least 1/4 extra for rolling
• Dash of salt
• Ice water (fill a 1/2 cup but use only enough to moisten dough
• 3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 3/4 cup flour
• 1 tsp salt
• 3 cups whole milk
• 5 egg yolks (save whites for meringue topping)
• 3 tbsp butter
• 1 tbsp vanilla
• 5 egg whites
• 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
• 1/2 cup sugar
To make the chocolate cream pie:
1. Prepare the Blind-Baked Crust.
2. Prepare the Filling: In a heavy saucepan, mix together all filling ingredients except for eggs, butter, and vanilla, and cook over medium to low heat until thickened.
3. Remove from heat and beat in the egg yolks thoroughly. Cook again until thickened.
4. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
5. Mix well and pour into pre-baked pie crust.
6. Prepare the Meringue: In a clean bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until frothy.
7. While still beating, add cream of tartar and gradually add sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
8. Spread meringue on top of pudding, making sure to take it all the way to the edges to “seal” the top. Jab at the meringue with the back of a large spoon, pulling back with each stroke to create curlicue peaks.
9. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until meringue turns golden, about 10 minutes.
More from Ms. American Pie
Reprinted with permission from Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales From the American Gothic House, by Beth M. Howard, and published by Race Point Publishing, 2014. Buy this book from our store: Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales From the American Gothic House.