Since I have been part of my married family, I have heard about mammaw’s chocolate pie. No one has a lot of information about it, but it was according to everyone it was just perfect. In fact, to both my husband and his father, just the mention of it brings fond childhood memories. They reminisce about their summers in Kentucky and “helping’ mammaw make this pie. Of course, we have no recipe. What we know is that there was no electric machinery used and all the children were part of this pie making process where they had to get the lumps out of the pie, just using a fork. This smoothing out was a long process, maybe an hour or two. After many different family interviews, turns out this pie is a chocolate custard pie piled very high with meringue and then baked off for about 15-20 until the meringue is set and golden brown.
I tried a few different variations and I never could get to a point where I needed to remove the lumps with a fork. Once the custard was cooked and whisked all the lumps were worked out. So it occurred to me that mammaw was a genius. She found a way to occupy her little children and later her grandchildren with some busy work in the kitchen that was later rewarded with a yummy chocolate pie.
In honor of my father in law’s birthday, we decided to attempt mammaw’s pie. This pie is very simple. It does not require a lot of ingredients and it comes together quickly. Though, while I am calling this post mammaw’s pie, I should call it “almost” mamaw’s pie as it is a creation based on what I have been told.
I use a basic pie crust, and bake it at 350 for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Alternatively, you could use a cookie crust or a graham cracker crust. The pie itself makes a shallow chocolate pie meaning it is meant to be piled really high with meringue, probably more meringue than chocolate. If meringue is not your thing, you can easily double the filling recipe and have a taller pie which can be served alone or with some whipped cream.
Next, it is about mixing milk, cocoa, sugar and egg yolks and vigorously whisking until it turns into a thick pudding. It is finished off with a little butter and poured into the crust.
- I pie crust, baked at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cooled.
- 1 cup milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 T cocoa
- 3 T all purpose flour
- 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3 egg whites
- 2 T butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 and bake the crust until golden brown. Let the crust cool before you pour in the pie filling.
- In a small pot, warm the milk until hot but not boiling. In another larger pot, whisk sugar, cocoa, salt and flour. Gently whisk in the egg yolks and turn on the heat to medium. At this point, the mixture will look like a thick paste. Slowly pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. The mixture will need to be whisked for about 5 to 7 minutes. Once it is has thickened and become like a thick pudding remove from heat and add 2 T butter and vanilla. Pour into cooled crust. If not making a meringue, chill the pie for a few hours. If using a meringue, whip up the 3 egg whites until they start to foam then slowly add in ¼ cup sugar. Whip the egg whites until they are stiff and soft peaks form. Spread the meringue evenly over the pie, sealing all the edges. Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes until meringue is golden brown and firm.
- Cool completely and serve.