Memories are a funny thing. Two people can share the exact same moment , yet what you take away from it and what memories you’re left with can be totally different from what the other person comes away with. Why is that? Do memories get embellished over time as the intricate details are forgotten so new ones are created to keep the memory alive? Does the attention to detail differ because the moment meant more to one than it did the other? Or are some of our memories painted in a positive light, filled with innocence and naivety, because that’s how we want to remember them? Lets face it, no one wants to carry around bad memories. There are the memories to be cherished and held dear and then there are memories that you wish could be selectively wiped clear and never thought of again. Luckily for myself, there are only a handful of memories I’d like to ditch in a dumpster, never to be found again.
A few weeks ago I made a homemade Chocolate Cream Pie for a dear family friend. Adeline is a very special woman in my life. I have never known life without Adeline. My maternal grandmother passed away before I was born and my paternal grandmother has never really filled the role of grandmother with any consistency in my life. But Adeline… Adeline has always been there. So one overcast, mild-weathered Saturday in August, I went to visit Adeline and we had pie for lunch! Unfortunately Adeline has been feeling a bit under the weather and couldn’t enjoy the pie as much as I know she would have liked to. But it was a good visit none the less. Sitting in Adeline’s company. Listening to memories of times passed. That afternoon is a memory I will always cherish. 🙂
During our visit I was admiring a precious little cupcake ornament that was hanging on a decorative branch across the room. Adeline asked if I’d like it and before I could even answer, she asked her daughter to give it to me. I have a glass cupcake ornament that my mom gave me a few years ago that is slightly larger, but very similar to the ornament on Adeline’s branch. Soon after Adeline gave me the ornament, I learned that she had received it from my mom. The miniature cupcake now takes residence in my china cabinet where every time I pass by, I am reminded of that lovely August afternoon. 🙂
Chocolate Cream Pie
Baked Pie Crust (see below for recipe)
4 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, cut up
Sweetened Whipped Cream (see below for recipe.
Prepare baked pie crust.
Beat egg yolks with form in small bowl. Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in 2-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in milk and unsweetened baking chocolate. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Immediately stir at least half of the hot mixture gradually into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into pie shell. Press plastic wrap onto filling. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until set.
Remove plastic wrap. Top pie with sweetened Whipped Cream.
(although this is a one-crust pie, I used and am including a 9-inch two-crust pie recipe)
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or 2/3 cup lard
2 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
Cut shortening into flour and salt, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until particles are size of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured cloth-covered board.
Roll pastry into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down pie plate, 9 x 1 1/4 inches, or 3 inches larger than 10- or 11-inch tart pan, with floured cloth-covered rolling-pin. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease onto plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.
Heat oven to 475. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on wire rack.
NOTE: this crust was a bit salty. Even for my taste. I’d cut the salt at least by half.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
(this recipe is for 1 1/2 cups whipped cream)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated or powdered sugar
Beat heavy whipping cream and granulated or powdered sugar in chilled small bowl with electric mixer on high-speed until stiff.
Preparing the pie crust brought back childhood memories of my mom baking pies. My mom always made her pie crusts from scratch. If there were any left-over scraps, mom would sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar and bake them off for a tasty and crispy treat. 🙂