Chocolate lovers – prepare!
Grab your rolling pin, and get a fork. This pie is so good, you’ll want to eat till it’s gone. (I haven’t done this myself, of course, I’m just saying that you will want to.)
It’s so good, it earned me first place in the one-crust cream class of the Machine Shed Pies division at this year’s Iowa State Fair. This is definitely the best chocolate cream pie I’ve ever tasted. The chocolate flavor is rich and intense, and after you make this pie, you’ll want to make the filling alone for your next chocolate pudding fix. It’s really that good!
It’s so good, that I call it Classic Chocolate Cream Pie, because that’s what I think of when I eat this pie. Though perhaps I should name it again, as The Best Chocolate Cream Pie Ever. After all, that’s what it is, in my not-so-humble opinion.
Two Chicks from the Sticks named it Chocolate Whipped Cream Pie for their cookbook, Two Chicks from the Sticks: Back Home Baking. And this is one of the best baking books ever. (You’ll recall that I love to read cookbooks like novels, and this is one of them.)
Jill Schwalbe Means and Jamie Greenland Gorey, also known as the Two Chicks from the Sticks, grew up on neighboring farms near Grand River in southern Iowa. As best friends, they did everything together, including learning how to bake. As adults, they created a cookbook, to share their love of baking and the recipes they grew up with, as well as to pay tribute to all those hard-working rural women who taught them how.
Jill’s and Jamie’s cookbook is more than a compilation of the best recipes they enjoyed back home in their small community. It’s also full of photographs from their childhood days and stories about the women who influenced their culinary abilities. And it’s like reading the history of my own childhood.
When I came across this…
|Jill, with her sisters on the first day of the new school year.|
...it reminded me of this.
|Me with my rolled-up jeans, and my sister, Amy, with her Trapper Keeper (and her perm).|
Not only do the recipes remind me of my culinary adventures growing up, courtesy of the many women in my own life of the rural community of Wellsburg, Iowa. The stories and photos take me back to my days spent as a 4-Her, to church and community dinners and potlucks, to Sunday afternoon tea with my grandparents, to popcorn balls we made with my mom for Halloween, to riding horses with my cousins on my grandparents’ farm, to sleepovers and slumber parties and the treats my friends’ moms would prepare for us, to homemade birthday cake, and to my sister and I rolling up our jeans for the picture our dad would snap of us standing in the driveway on the first day of school each year.
There’s just one thing I wish I could change. I wish I could have ridden the school bus, so my sister and I could share dessert from the night before as our breakfast, the way Jamie and Jill did on their hour-long bus ride every morning. I would happily have taken a duct-taped seat just to have the chance!
If you’re wondering, there are plenty of pie recipes in this cookbook from which to choose, including apple, mincemeat, and specialties like Zucchini Pie. There are also three pie crust recipes, and of course, stories that will make you wish you grew up on a farm near a small rural Iowa town back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, too.
Here’s what Jill has to say about the Chocolate Whipped Cream Pie, the one I made for this week’s pie on Sunday:
This recipe was inspired by Ramadean Shields, a family friend and a highly respected member of our rural community. She is known for her signature chocolate pie. This pie was so popular at community gatherings that it was the first to disappear. Try this creamy, chocolaty, and incredibly yummy treat, and you’ll see why.
I couldn’t agree more!
Yours in pie,
I listed the recipe for how I made the pie. I made a few minor alterations, such as my directions for baking the crust. If you have the Two Chicks cookbook and you make this pie, be sure to either update your recipe from the one listed on their blog, or follow my instructions below. There was a mistype in the directions printed in the cookbook, but if you are experienced at making cream pies, you will easily catch it and adjust anyway.
Classic Chocolate Cream Pie (or, The Best Chocolate Cream Pie Ever)
For the crust:
Pastry for a one-crust 9” pie
Roll out and ease crust into pie plate. Line pastry with parchment paper and pie weights. Bake at 450° for 8 minutes, remove paper and weights; bake 5-6 minutes more or until golden. Cool completely.
For the filling:
1 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
½ tsp. salt
2 T. cocoa
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 c. whole milk
3 beaten egg yolks
2 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
In medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cocoa; mix well. Gradually add milk and semisweet chocolate, whisking until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat. Slowly and gradually stir 1 cup of hot mixture into beaten egg yolks in a small bowl. Add this to hot mixture in pan and return to stove. Stirring constantly, cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Transfer to a glass bowl and cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap; chill in refrigerator for several hours. Once cool, pour into pie shell and spread evenly.
For the topping:
2 c. heavy whipping cream
¼ c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Milk chocolate shavings
In large mixing bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form while gradually adding powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Spread about half of whipped cream over pie. Pipe remaining whipped cream onto pie to decorate. Garnish with chocolate shavings.