Weekend Cooking: Minny’s Chocolate Pie

While reading or listening to books, I frequently find myself interested in trying the foods that the authors describe.  The first recipe I remember wanting to try was from the Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  If memory serves, there was some kind of maple syrup and snow candy, and I was dying to try it.

maple syrup snow candy via Mama’s Homestead

These days, I’m tempted by book descriptions of pies, cakes, and fried green tomatoes.  After reading Kathryn Stockett’s The Help a few years back, I had such a hankering for Southern desserts that I entertained the notion of baking something.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to find Minny’s pie recipe (sans the secret ingredient, of course), and put the idea out of my head.

Minny and her ‘special’ pie. Courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures.

Last month, I received a copy of Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp’s updated and revised Book Club Cook Book and was delighted to find the very recipe (and many more!) that I’d been wishing for: Minny’s Chocolate Pie!  The book offers a ton of book-inspired recipes and commentary from the authors and readers alike.

The recipes in this book are generally from contemporary best-sellers and would be a great way to enhance book club gatherings.  Not only could your group discuss Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, but you could also enjoy his Vanilla Kipferls (crescent cookies) during the meet up.

Featuring recipes from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Little Bee, Sarah’s Key, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Minny’s pie is actually the recipe of a domestic named Demetrie who worked for Stockett’s grandmother.  I was surprised how easy it was to whip up and found the flavor and texture divine.  I could actually taste the vanilla in the filling and had to reign myself in to keep from having two slices.  I think the biggest shocker was that I actually had all the ingredients in my pantry.  (For someone who rarely has milk in her fridge, it was quite a surprise.)

The cast of characters for Demetrie’s (Minny’s) Chocolate Pie

In my family, we’re big fans of chocolate pudding pie but traditionally use boxed pudding and a graham cracker crust.  Going forward, I’ll be making this pie in place of our tried and true (cheater) recipe.  Who knew it was so simple to make pudding?

Demetrie’s Chocolate Pie

courtesy of Kathryn Stockett in The Book Club Cook Book

  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder, such as Ghirardelli (Do not use cocoa powder that contains powdered milk)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  •  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 9-inch pie shell, pre-baked (plain or graham cracker)
  • Whipped cream (or you can top with meringue)
  • Shaved chocolate to sprinkle on top
  1. In a medium-size (cool) saucepan, mix water, cocoa, and cornstarch with a whisk until all the lumps are gone, making a thick paste.  Stir in condensed milk and egg yolks.  Turn on heat and bring to just under a boil.  Stir until thick. (Nat’s note: About 10 minutes)
  2. Reduce heat to low and stir in butter.  Add your good vanilla, and keep stirring well.  Turn off the heat and let it cool some.  Pour into pre-baked pie shell.
  3. Cover the pie with waxed paper (pressed onto the chocolate) to prevent a skin.  Place in the refrigerator and let it set up for at least 4 hours.
  4. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and shaved chocolate.  Enjoy!
My pie in all its glory!
Many thanks to Molly at Tarcher/Penguin for sending out a copy of The Book Club Cook Book.  Thanks to Candance over at Beth Fish Reads for hosting my favorite weekly post, Weekend Cooking!
For Two-Slice Hilly

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