When you think of pie, you probably conjure up images of heaped berries, spiced apples or silky pumpkin.
Yeah, well not in our family.
It’s all about the chocolate.
We all adore crusty fruit-filled pies, don’t get us wrong. But for my immediate family and my in-laws, the first pie to go at any gathering is the chocolate chess pie.
Chocolate chess pie has been a staple holiday food for decades – and not just because it tastes dreamy. It’s one of those recipes that seems indecipherable, with its dense, chocolate torte body, but is so easy that I’m almost embarrassed to print the recipe. Almost.
This much loved recipe came from the late Ukrops grocery store chain in Richmond, Va. Ukrops printed recipes on handsome index cards and gave them out at the front of the store. My mother handed me her chocolate stained card years ago with such reverence that it could have come from a cherished ancestor – if that ancestor had owned a blender. Yep, I said blender. You may think it is a sacrilege to make a classic, homey Southern dessert without a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon. I used to to think that too. But I have made the pie both ways and the blender version just comes out silkier and finer textured – and faster.
The thrill of this pie is that it needs no doctoring, – no scoop of ice cream to bring it to perfection. You can, if you are so inclined, substitute almond, rum or peppermint extract for the vanilla in the recipe. This recipe makes two 9-inch pies. Don’t be tempted to make one, deep dish pie because the additional baking time needed ruins the texture. And, of course, you will need two.
Blender Chocolate Chess Pie
1 1/4 cup evaporated milk
2 1/2 cups sugar
7 Tbsp. unsweetend cocoa
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) salted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 9-inch pie crusts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put all ingredients in a blender in order given and blend until mixture is smooth and cloudy looking. Pour into pie shells and bake for 35-40 minutes.