Minny Jackson thinks fried chicken just tends to make you feel better about life. So does this chocolate pie. The social structures of 1960’s Jackson Mississippi may be difficult for modern audiences to swallow, but this pie isn’t. It’s a dessert that also plays an important role in the plot of this film. Though rest easy, this version has nothing to do with Minny’s ‘terrible awful’. It’s just sweet, stickily rich and comforting as all get out. If you’re a dab hand in the kitchen you can make the crust yourself, or else feel free to buy one from the store. All that’s left to do is respectfully meld together the lily hues of condensed milk with cocoa, butter and eggs and hope that everything plays together nicely. Cream on top is optional.
Makes one 9 inch pie, 6-8 servings
9 inch pie dish (preferably with a removable bottom). 1 whisk. 1 strainer. 1 saucepan. 1 can opener. 1 spatula.
One 9 inch sweet pastry crust (shop bought, or recipe below*)
½ cup water
5 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch
1 (14 ounce/ 400 gram) can sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream, to serve
Here’s how we roll
1. Sift into a medium size pan the cocoa and the cornflour/cornstarch. Add the water and whisk until it’s a smooth paste.
2. Stir in the condensed milk and the egg yolks. Heat until it’s simmering and stir for five minutes until thick.
3. Reduce heat and add the butter and vanilla and stir well.
4. Take it off the heat and let cool before transferring it into the pie case. If there are any lumps, strain it on its way into the pie case.
5. Let it cool in the fridge for an hour or so. Serve with whipped cream on top.
*Sweet Pastry Crust
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) plain flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) white sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Tablespoon of milk
Here’s how we roll
1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 395 F. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually add the beaten egg until just incorporated.
3. Add the flour and salt and mix with a spatula until it just forms a ball.
4. Line the bench with clingfilm and tip the mix out on top. Bring together into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes/
5. Lightly butter and then dust with flour an 8 – 9 inch (20 – 23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.
6. Evenly pat the chilled pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
7. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 395 F. Cover with plastic wrap and place the pie crust in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
8. Line the pie case with baking paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and brush with milk. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes to brown the base.