I know, I know…two weeks in a row with a chocolate dessert recipe. Sorry, but I just couldn’t help myself! After attending Food Blog South last week, I’ve got pie on the brain. On the car ride down to Birmingham, Nicki and I discussed how we’ve been hearing that pie is supposed to be the new cupcake. Neither of us being huge cupcake fans, but both being huge fans of the pie, we’re terribly excited by this news and hoping it’s really true. Once at the conference, we heard even more buzz about this trend, and then it was further confirmed when the attendees were treated to a pie break in the afternoon. Not a cookie break, not a cupcake break, a PIE break! Oh, the happiness.
Then, last Sunday, my new friend Alison posted her recipe for one of my favorite pies, Chocolate Chess. Just a few days after that, my super talented friend/blog designer Lindsay sent out an invite for a pie party at her place. The planets were aligning, and I was being pulled to bake a pie.
You might recall that I’m not a big baker. It’s not because I don’t enjoy sweet treats, it’s just that I’m not fond of the precise process that goes into baking. This is not the case with Lindsay. She is a baking fiend. For proof, check out her blog and the beauty she made for the party. (Also be sure to check out fellow food blogger Vivek’s White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie)
Now, the thing you should know is that I wasn’t required to bring a pie to the party. I could’ve simply shown up and eaten hers and any others that were brought. But I wanted to challenge myself. So that’s what this pie was–a challenge to take my mom’s Chocolate Chess Pie recipe and give it a twist. Make it my own.
As a kid I usually ate the filling out of pies and left the crust behind on the plate (okay, truth be told I do this often as an adult too), except when it was a graham cracker crust. I gobbled up every last morsel of those, even going back to “clean” the pie plate of excess crumbs. So why not replace the standard crust with my favorite? I liked the idea, but that alone wasn’t quite exciting enough. Then, I spotted a bag of coconut. That was it! A coconut graham cracker crust filled with rich, creamy chocolate sounded delightful. And it was.
It might not be as pretty as some pies, but as they say, looks aren’t everything.
Chocolate Chess Pie with Coconut Graham Cracker Crust
Yields 8-10 servings
1 1/4 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (1 pack of graham crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
6 Tbsp butter, melted
4 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 small container evaporated milk (5 oz)
Mix graham cracker crumbs, coconut, sugar, and melted butter until well blended. Press mixture into an 8" or 9" pie plate.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool. (Since the original recipe called for an unbaked pie shell, I chilled for about 1 hour prior to adding pie filling)
Filling and completed pie:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter. Blend butter, sugar and cocoa in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix and then add milk gradually. Blend. Pour into pie shell* and bake for 45 minutes.
*I suggest using a pie shield or aluminum foil around your crust to make sure it doesn't get too dark.
Image Credit: Beth’s Chocolate Chess Pie with Coconut Graham Cracker Crust photographed by Lindsay Landis