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Chocolate Pie from The Help

My favorite book so far this summer has been The Help by Kathryn Stockett – a deeply moving story that takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in the sixties, weaving together the lives of some twentysomething women (some married with children, others not) and their household help. It’s told from the perspective of three of the characters; Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter, who come together for a clandestine project that puts them at great risk. It’s a great read – having spent 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, it’s about to be released as a movie. There’s a chocolate pie in the storyline – an obvious choice for any book club gatherings on the subject.

If you like, use chocolate wafer crumbs instead of graham crumbs in this pie, or use a regular pastry crust, baked before filling. (Tip: paint the bottom of a cooled, baked pastry crust with melted chocolate, then let it cool until firm – this will keep any soft fillings from making the bottom of the crust go soggy.)

Classic Chocolate Pie

Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter

Filling:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large egg yolks
3 cups milk
1 cup chopped dark chocolate
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325F. In a small bowl, stir together the graham crumbs and butter; press into the bottom and up the sides of a pie plate. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until pale golden around the edges.

Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt in a medium saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and whisk in the egg yolks, then the milk. Cook until the mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla. Let sit a minute or two, then stir until smooth. Pour into the pie shell and chill completely before serving topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 8.

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