About a week ago I mentioned that I was looking for new pies to make and had found a recipe for Chess Pie. It’s a custard-like pie that has one unusual ingredient: cornmeal. There are many stories about where this name might have come from that you can read here.
When I mentioned Chess Pie on my blog, I asked if anyone could vouch for it. A man named David Lowe wrote back and endorsed the idea and then sent me a recipe for a Chocolate Chess Pie. Here is that recipe:
Fancy Chocolate Chess Pie (from Ken Hadrich’s book “Pie”)
9″ partially pre-baked crust
1/2 cup butter
4oz bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp fine cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup half & half
1 tsp vanilla
Melt the butter & chocolate gently.
Combine dry ingredients. Whisk in eggs, egg yolk, cream & vanilla. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Pour into cooled pie crust. Bake 55-65 minutes at 325F, turning in the middle to bake evenly. It’s done when it’s formed a thin, crisp top crust and barely jiggles when shaken. Cool at least 90 minutes.
Today I made this recipe and it is incredibly easy to make and this is what it looked like when it came from the oven.
It sort of looks like a Brownie Pie doesn’t it? It has the same kind of texture on top – which sounds like a slight crunch when you touch it… and it smelled divine. But I couldn’t leave it alone… I wanted to spruce it up a bit more.
So, I made whipped cream and piped it around the edge because I still wanted to show off the top of the pie.
Then I decided it needed one more touch…. shaved chocolate….
… there! Now it was ready for delivery!
Yesterday afternoon my daughter Alexandra suggested a name for a pie. The lady that she suggested is the mother of one of my daughter’s best friends and her name is JoAnn. We’ve known each other for about ten years and while I haven’t seen her in a while, I always think of her fondly. Each time I see her I am impressed by her gracefulness and her sense of humor.
Tonight Alex and I called upon JoAnn and presented her with this Chocolate Chess Pie. She thanked me for the pie and invited us in for a visit. We spent an hour or two catching up and before we knew it, it was time to leave. Then we gave hugs all around and we were on our way. And it occurs to me now that I did not share these thoughts with JoAnn – and I should do that now.
I want to recognize JoAnn for being a remarkable mother to two fine sons and for being a friend and confidante to Alexandra. I would also like to thank JoAnn (and Facebook) for helping our kids stay connected, even though they live 3,000 miles apart. Our lives our fuller (and funnier) because of their friendship.