So, I figured out pretty quickly that pie was the quickest way to Mr. McKinney’s heart. And more specifically his mama/Grandma’s chocolate pie. Its makes an appearance at every holiday, birthday, or when he is home and just says, “mom, I think pie would be really good.” My grandmother made pies and frankly pies are my favorite dessert too, so I was so ok with that.
Heck, we love pies so much, we threw cake out the window in our wedding planning and had a pie bar instead! I found out who made the best homemade chocolate pies in the town where we got married and I hired a “grandma” to make about 30 chocolate pies that she delivered the morning of our wedding. It was perfection!
Year 2 of marriage found me brave enough to ask for Grandma’s recipe and try to attempt it on my own. I just opted for my grandmother’s or Ree’s recipe in year 1…or when my mother in law asked what she could bring to our house, I would keep it simple and asked for her to bring the chocolate pie and save me messing it up.
You see…she had already made that mistake. As the story goes, she read her mama’s recipe and the original card said, “if you double the recipe, use 5 eggs”. So, she did. But, she didn’t double any of the other ingredients. This went on for years. Like, most of Mr. McKinney’s life. It’s a joke that gets brought up with every bite. The new recipe card is below and the one featured here, but poor Jenny will never live that down.
Not that I was any better! The first time I made it, I thought it called for ½ butter per pie and when I doubled it, I put in a whole stick of butter. Since the recipe card I got didn’t have any instructions on it, I used the method I watched my mom do growing up. After it got hot and bubbly, then I added the butter. Except, our pie never “set up”. It just stayed so runny. I could not figure out what I had done. I called my mom (I dare not tell on myself to my mother in law yet) and walked her through what I did. She agreed I had taken all the right steps. But, something just was not right….
I did go ahead and pour the pie filling in to the shells and crossed my fingers that it would set up by dinner. But, that never happened. We had chocolate pie “soup” after dinner and laughed it off. It tasted fantastic, just like a rich chocolate pie should taste… thankfully when it comes to chocolate pie, I don’t think you eat with your eyes first!
Grandma Shirley’s Chocolate Pie recipe:
1 ½ cups sugar
2 heaping Tablespoons flour
3 heaping Tablespoons cocoa
1 ½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup butter
Homemade or store bought crust(s)
*For 2 pies, double all ingredients except only use 5 eggs
Prepare crust as directed on recipe or package. Mix together dry ingredients in sauce pan. Using a whisk, stir together. Add in eggs and milk. Whisk together until lumps are gone and all is incorporated. Turn on heat to medium and stir constantly. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and comes to a boil. It might seem to take forever, but just stick with it!
Once mixture boils, remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. It should melt and incorporate immediately. Once butter is completely melted and stirred together, pour in to pie shells. Smooth out top, leave it puddled, or top with meringue.
*NOTE: I like naked pie. I think meringue is like cow slobber and growing up my Papa said I had to eat it. So, I would eat it first. But I think the sign of being a grown up is deciding if you want meringue on your pie…and I say no! But you can do what you please – cool whip, homemade whip cream, spray Redi Whip, or nothing…its your call!