Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cooking is Cheaper Than Therapy: Chocolate Buttermilk Pie

Did I mention I don't like to bake? Well, I think I don't, anyway. Maybe it's the precision of the ingredients. Baking is not at all like cooking where you can toss in this and that, and measure it by the eye. Baking has to be precise, although my grandmother may have disagreed with that as she was a scratch baker (or else she had her recipes memorized) as every pie crust she made was flaky and melted in your mouth, every cake she made was moist and light, and every cookie she baked, especially her lemon sugar cookies, were full of flavor. 

When I was raising a family and hosting lots of family holiday parties, I always baked, and my pie crusts were by hand, and my cakes were not from a box mix. The only thing I do use a mix for, and admitted my guilt in this blog, is brownies. I always use the "Infallible Brownie Mix," but add my own touches - - and speaking of brownies... 

This pie recipe reminds me of brownies. The top of the baked pie even cracks like brownies often do, and the inside is rich and fudgy. The recipe is not only easy, but my sister (a professional pastry chef) told me it doubles with no problem at all - if you want to double the recipe to make two pies. In fact, my sis recently doubled it "several" times to make 18 pies and was happy with the "doubled" results.  



Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups sugar 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
6 eggs (beaten)
1 cup buttermilk 
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
One 9" unbaked pie crust (your favorite recipe or pre-made)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Place pie crust into pie pan, and form some pretty, but uniform edges around the crust. Put chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl, and melt in microwave for about a minute or more. I micro in 25-second increments and stir, then microwave again, stir and repeat, if necessary until chocolate is smooth and thoroughly melted. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt until well combined. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the sugar/flour mixture slowly into the egg mixture, and mix with an electric hand-mixer or whisk by hand - - vigorously. Once the batter is mixed thoroughly, stir in the melted chocolate. Stir well. Pour completed batter into the piecrust. Place pie in oven on middle rack, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or at least until the top is firm. Insert a knife in the center (or in any of the cracks) and the knife comes out almost clean (a bit of chocolate is allowed on the knife). Remove pie from oven and let cool.  Let stand at least 1 hour before serving, and later refrigerate pie. Serve immediately warm or later chilled. 

To garnish, on top of the pie sift powdered sugar, or serve individual slices with a dallop of whip cream. Say yes to that chocolate craving! 


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Don't usually keep buttermilk around, so you may end up with some leftover - - what to do? What to do? I make my own "Ranch" dressing. Blend a cup of buttermilk to a half-cup of mayonnaise. Pour it in a jar with a good screw top. Go through your spice drawer and toss into the jar a teaspoon here and there of: garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, dried dill if you have it, and a sprinkling of paprika. This is where you do not have to measure. If you have some dried onion flakes, add to it. Sprinkle in some salt and lots of fresh ground black pepper to taste. Have some bites of lovely bleu cheese hanging around in the cheese drawer? Add to the mixture. Shake well. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. Shake again before serving. Use within a week. 

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