Friday, July 15, 2011

Fudge Pie

I may be one of the only 40-something Southern females who has not read Kathryn Stockett's much-hyped novel, The Help. I was born in Mississippi in 1963 and grew up on the Gulf Coast, four hours south but a world apart from Jackson where the story takes place. We Mississippians --black and white, High Society Jacksonians and Coast Rats -- are somewhat prickly about the way we are often portrayed. I fear that at best I will finds Stockett's story trite and her depiction of Southern black vernacular annoying. At worst, I fear I'll find the book a cringe-inducing misrepresentation of Southern culture full of condescending stereotypes.

So what does any of this have to do with pie? This month's issue of Food and Wine magazine features Southern food inspired by the upcoming movie based on the book. While some of the recipes are spot on, I find others -- like this one for black-eyed peas -- downright bizarre. And then there is the recipe for Minny's Chocolate Pie which includes a whopping three tablespoons of cocoa powder. That may be chocolatey pie, but it is not chocolate pie.

My grandmother Mimi's chocolate pie, with its custard and meringue, is the quintessential Southern version. And then there is the Southern delicacy that is so chocolatey it can only be called fudge pie. When I was in college in Oxford, Mississippi in the early-80s, my roommates and I regularly trekked down to the Moonlight Cafe at The Hoka Theater for a slice of their hot fudge pie served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. After seeing that wimpy chocolate pie recipe in the magazine, I felt the need to make one.

Fudge Pie

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter
  • 4 ounces good quality unsweetened chocolate (I used Ghiardelli)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour + 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 pie crust
  • Vanilla ice cream and mint sprigs for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Pour the butter and chocolate mixture into a large bowl and cool to room temperature.
  4. Whisk the eggs into the butter and chocolate mixture, then whisk in the sugar, stirring until the mixture is shiny.
  5. Stir in the vanilla and sugar.
  6. Fold in the 2/3 cup of flour and the salt.
  7. Sprinkle a pastry board with the tablespoon of flour, then roll out the pie crust.
  8. Drop the pie crust into an 8 or 9-inch pie plate, fold over and crimp the edges.
  9. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pie shell.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for around 40 minutes or until the middle is set.
  11. Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream and a sprig of mint.
Yield: 8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

Needless to say, the boys were pretty impressed with my fudgy creation.

The recipe is loosely based on one I found in my recipe box entitled Merry Jeanne's Aunt's Fudge Brownies. I'm generally not terribly adventurous about changing up recipes when I am baking, but I trusted my instincts and the pie turned out exactly like I wanted -- intense chocolate flavor with a silky texture. Seriously good stuff.

This post is linked up over at Sweet as Sugar Cookies' Sweets for a Saturday.


Engraved Euniques said...

I have searched for so long for a recipe that resembled my Mother's Fudge Pie. I lost her recipe when we lost our home in a fire in 2005 and have searched from time to time to find it again! She got her recipe from a hotel restaurant in Senatobia I believe and this sounds like what she made when she was alive.
Thanks so much for sharing this. Hope to try it this weekend!
Blessings always,

Lynn said...

Your welcome, Kaye. I hope it is everything you remember. My mother grew up in Crenshaw, MS. I think Senatobia was the nearest "big town"!

Mme. Dakar said...

I agree about The Help. It is to cringe. Although I have to say that the movie trailer I saw looked entertaining enough. What is the recipe for apple slaw? (Also the original fudge pie was at Ruth and Jimmy's, not the Hoka. Somewhere I've seen a recipe for it.)

Lynn said...

I didn't eat at Ruth & Jimmy's much so associate the pie with the Hoka. The other day, I was cooking onions with beef and suddenly smelled Mistilis' hamburger steak with onions. Yum.

There are a could of different slaws with apple on the blog -- one is warm with cabbage, one is made with broccoli slaw. The one in this week's meal plan is cabbage, apple and buttered pecans. Click on the name of the dish and it will take you to the recipe.

Lorrie said...

Here is the basic recipe from the cook at Moonlite Cafe inside now closed Hoka Theater, Oxford, MS. (Class of 1994)

5 tablespoons cocoa
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

Pour in pie shell. Bake 40 minutes at 350*. Should be gooey & hot & served w/ ice cream. Original crust was rather thick: probably made w/ lard or Crisco.