I have a grand total of two kinds of pie that I like. (I will allow that there may be others that I have yet to try, but two so far.) They are Key lime pie and my chocolate chip pie.
I am always tempted by Key lime pie on a menu, even though I rarely order it. My favorite experiment last spring was making little Key lime pies in tiny mason jars to take out on our picnic for Easter lunch. I think it is the clear cool tang of the lime mixed with the smoothness of the cream that keeps drawing me back. I’m going to have to make them again.
But the pie that has been part of my cooking repertoire since I started cooking is my chocolate chip pie. I must have gotten the recipe from momma from somewhere, but twenty-three years later I have no clue where. I’ve claimed it as my own, and it continues to be my best pie.
I remember making it for the first time for a covered dish at the Open Door, where dad worked in Columbus. I made it, we brought it, and then when we went through the line, we couldn’t find it anywhere. One of the women who was preparing the dishes for people to have them took one look after cutting into the deliciousness, and moved it to the kitchen so the servers could have some.
The second memory I have with it was when I made it for a dessert cooking competition in Woodbine, and I won. The reason I was given is that the judge hates walnuts, but there are walnuts in my pie, and he loved it. I won an apron for my feat. (I don’t win many things, so winning this was special. One of my few happy memories at Woodbine.)
I know I made it a few more times, because I had made it often enough to memorize the recipe by the time I was in Peace Corps. The United States embassy families opened their homes to all the Peace Corps Volunteers to celebrate Thanksgiving. And my host asked me if I wanted anything special. I wanted my pie, so they let me make it, buying fabulous chunk chocolate and letting me have free reign. The family’s Kenyan cook made a homemade piecrust for me to use, and we dined on delicious memories for dinner. (He also made a pecan pie, and it remains to be the best pecan pie I’ve ever eaten, better than any southern cook I’ve ever had, it was more like candied pecans in a crust than anything else.)
I make the pie for anyone who loves chocolate and it does not disappoint. It’s rich. It’s decadent. It’s good with vanilla ice cream. And, it is good both warm and at room temperature (which really does make it perfect to take for a covered dish). And, now that I’ve altered my diet, it is just as good vegan.
I’d love to make it for you, if you come to visit. Just let me know so I can make sure I have everything I need. And, if it is a while until I see you again, you can make it at home:
(Award Winning) Chocolate Chip Pie
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs (or 2 T ground flax mixed with 6 T water)
1/2 c (1 stick) melted butter (or earth balance)
1 t vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (vegan, if available)
1 cup chopped walnuts
9″ deep dish pie crust
Mix flour and sugar. Blend in eggs. Add butter and beat until creamy. Add in vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour in pie crust and bake at 325 F for 60 minutes until set. Cool on rack and serve with vanilla ice cream if desired. (And why wouldn’t you?)
Postscript: Upon further reflection, I can come up with at least one other pie that I like, my dark chocolate frozen silk pie. But. No whipped pies. No meringue. No fruit pies. No cobbler. Apple crisp is ok, but only the way I make it. Normal pecan pie loses out because I don’t like the gel syrup filling. Pumpkin pie is a no because: pumpkin. Bake me a cake instead.