Black Bottom Pie


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The South takes credit for this recipe, which was a favorite of Floridian Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of Cross Creek Cookery (and of The Yearling).

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  • Chocolate Cookie Crust:
  • 1 package (8 ½ oz.) chocolate wafers
  • 1/3 C. butter, melted
  • Filling and Topping:
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 2 C. cold milk
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 2/3 C. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp., cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbs. dark rum
  • Sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings, for garnish

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Make the crust: Place the wafers in a food processor or blender and process to form fine crumbs. Turn the crumbs into a bowl, add the melted butter, and blend well. Press the crumb mixture evenly into a 9 inch pie plate to form a crust; set aside. Make the filling: In the top of a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water, melt the chocolate. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and set aside. In a small bowl, lightly beat the 4 egg yolks. In another small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 C. of the milk. In a third bowl, stir together the cornstarch and another 1/4 C. of the milk. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, scald the remaining 1 ½ C. milk. Stir ½ C. of the hot milk into the egg yolks; then stir in 1/3 C. of the granulated sugar, the cornstarch mixture, and the salt. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan of hot milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the gelatin mixture. Divide the custard into two parts. Stir the chocolate mixture into one part, then immediately pour it into the crust. Set the remaining custard aside to cool. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 C. granulated sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold the beaten whites into the cooled custard, then gently stir in the rum. Spread the mixture carefully over the chocolate layer in the pie crust. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled and set 3 to 4 hours. Just before serving, top the pie with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Makes one 9 inch pie.

Reviews (1)

  • Ah! Major error! While it''s true that MKR loved this pie, as she says so in her wonderful Cross Creek Cookery, her crust is NOT made with chocoalate-- it''s made with ginger snaps. And, to my taste, her version is far superior to the chocolate cookie crust, which is what one usually sees.

    Flag as inappropriate redlotusblossom  |  July 9, 2007

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