Chocolate_Custard_Pie_web

Old Fashioned Chocolate Custard Pie

I am starting a new tradition this year. One of Keith’s childhood memories is of his grandmother’s chocolate pie. A dear friend made him one the last couple of years for Christmas. Now it’s my turn. I will make him one every New Years Eve. This is an old southern style custard pie with meringue! There is nothing, I say nothing like a real custard pie. There is no substitute.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie
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Pie Crust
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. ½ teaspoon salt
  3. ⅓ cup shortening
  4. 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
Chocolate Custard
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  3. ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. 1½ cups whole milk
  6. ½ cup evaporated milk
  7. 4 extra-large egg yolks, beaten
  8. 2 tablespoons butter
  9. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Meringue
  1. 5 extra-large egg whites, room temperature
  2. ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  3. ¼ cup sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Prepare Pastry
  1. 1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut shortening into flour with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas. Push mixture to one side of bowl.
  2. 2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon water along edge of flour mixture. Use a fork to toss some of the flour mixture into water. Move mixture to opposite side of bowl and repeat with 2 more tablespoons of water.
  3. 3. Gather the dough together with your hands. You can add a little more water if the mixture is too dry, but it is best to add as little water as possible. Shape dough into a disk and place on a lightly floured work surface.
  4. 4. Roll dough to ⅛-inch thickness and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Trim excess pastry and fold edges under and crimp. Prick bottom and sides with a fork and bake for 9 minutes, until golden brown. Set pie crust aside to cool and reduce oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare Chocolate Filling
  1. 5. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, unsweetened cocoa, and salt. Gradually whisk in both milks.
  2. 6. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute whisking continuously.
  3. 7. Remove from heat and gradually whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks. Continue to add hot mixture to egg yolks while whisking constantly until approximately ¼ of the mixture has been added to the egg yolks.
  4. 8. Pour egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and whisk well.
  5. 9. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  6. 10. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Pour chocolate filling into pie crust.
Prepare meringue
  1. 11. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves.
  2. 12. Spread meringue over filling, sealing the edges. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, or until meringue is golden. Cool completely before slicing.
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dinner-rolls

Old School Dinner Rolls

Old School Dinner Rolls
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c. whole milk (if you’re in a pinch, you can use 2%, but whole is best. Don’t use 1% or skim)
  2. ½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  3. 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) butter
  4. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  5. 2 packages active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.), preferably bread machine yeast
  6. 2/3 cup warm (105-115-degree) water
  7. 8-9 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 3 beaten eggs
Instructions
  1. Combine milk, 1/2 c. sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm. I usually rub some ice cubes along the sides of the pan or pop the entire pan in a sink full of ice cubes to cool the mixture down because this step can take forever. This step is really important because if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
  2. While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. If the yeast hasn’t bubbled, you’ll need to repeat this step–moving on with yeast that hasn’t been activated properly will only end in heartache for you.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 c. flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes. Add beaten eggs. Why should you beat your eggs first? Same reason you should combine your dry ingredients before adding them to moist ingredients when making cookies and cakes–it ensures everything is well-mixed and can be evenly distributed through your dough or batter. If you add the whole eggs, your dough may not be as consistent.
  4. Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft–it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. Don’t worry, it will firm up during the rising process. Part of what makes these rolls so good is that they’re so soft and light; if you add too much flour, they will be heavy and dense. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour.
  5. Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half.
  6. Spray 2 9×13 glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle and then cut it into 12 equal-sized pieces. I like to use a pizza cutter because it has a blade on each side, so it cuts right through dough without sticking to the blade. This dough should be very easy to work with, almost like playdough. Shape each piece into a ball and place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough in the second pan.
  7. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When dough has about 15-20 minutes to go (depending on your oven), preheat oven to 375.
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden-brown.
  9. When done, remove from oven. Rub a stick of cold butter over the tops of the rolls.
  10. You must now eat one! Now! While it’s hot! Its your reward!
  11. Then pop the rest into a bowl and no one will ever know that you cheated. Makes 2 dozen rolls.
Notes
  1. These are the real deal from my childhood. I grew up in a German family in Kenosha, WI. Every time we got together with my cousins, my Aunt Marge made the most incredibly delicious dinner rolls. Soft buttery, slightly sweet, with that comforting yeast smell. If you take the time to make these you will be rewarded. This recipe makes two dozen. We often bake all and gift half away, because seriously we can eat them all.
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