Day 283: A Chocolate Chess Pie for JoAnn

15 Jan

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
3 eggs
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.

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10 Responses to “Day 283: A Chocolate Chess Pie for JoAnn”

  1. crafthanded January 15, 2012 at 12:10 AM #

    Thanks for the recipe, and lucky JoAnn!

    • pieadaygiveaway January 15, 2012 at 2:41 PM #

      You’re welcome Caroline… let me know how you like it!
      KA

  2. woodcreative January 15, 2012 at 4:15 AM #

    I agree with your comments about JoAnn. She is an amazing woman and showed the same kindnesses to my daughter.

  3. JoAnn January 15, 2012 at 12:16 PM #

    So there I am on a Saturday afternoon, following doctor’s orders…taking it easy by reading
    the backlog of newspapers I missed while “out of circulation,” and who should arrive on my doorstep but a trio amazing folks – Karen, her daughter Alex, and my son Josh – surprising me with Pie #283! And what a beauty of a pie! A treat for the eyes, and a delight to the palate. I feel so honored to have this tasty creation be a part of my Get Well regime. Trumping all of the above, however, is the incredible saga of Karen’s disciplined determination to share her culinary skills, her kind and loving spirit, and her statements of gratitude through pastry presents. “Thank you” seems so simplistic and understated a response, Karen. Since receiving your present and visiting with you yesterday, your resolve to show gratitude has been on my mind constantly. I am truly awed by your Pieadaygiveaway and the many layers of human connections you have established. With love…and gratitude…JoAnnn P.S. Thank you for sharing the recipe – it is a keeper!!

    • pieadaygiveaway January 15, 2012 at 2:52 PM #

      JoAnn,
      You are most welcome. I am very glad that you liked the pie… and hope your recovery is speedy. Most of all, thank you for your kind words… they mean a lot to me.
      love,
      Karen

  4. pieadaygiveaway January 15, 2012 at 2:42 PM #

    Your daughter is a lucky girl!

  5. Drew Gibbs January 15, 2012 at 2:53 PM #

    I can’t think of anyone who really deserve a pie more than JoAnn.

  6. David Lowe January 16, 2012 at 10:26 AM #

    Nice looking pie 🙂

    • pieadaygiveaway January 16, 2012 at 12:25 PM #

      David – thanks so much for the recipe! JoAnn and family have enjoyed it thoroughly… thanks to you!
      best,
      Karen

  7. Jan Martin January 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM #

    What a wonderful concept! And your choice of JoAnn as a recipient was a wise one, too. the pie looks delicious. I’ll give the recipe a try one day soon.

    Jan Martin

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