I received only one cookbook as a wedding gift and I didn't even crack it open once until after the honeymoon. My poor husband was doomed to years of burnt food, Rice-a-Roni and Tuna Casseroles. He loved me though, he never complained. It wasn't that I didn't like to cook, when your budget is $10 a week there's not much room for experimenting. I dreamed though. I'd go to the Fayetteville library and check out the most glorious cookbooks, laden with full color spreads of Beef Wellington..Baked Alaska..Chocolate Mousse. I copied by hand recipes that I knew that I wanted to make, someday.
Mom was a Midwest cook who relied heavily on meat and potatoes. The meal was planned with those two things, add vegetables and a salad and dinner was ready. She was a good cook who had mastered bread making. Her rolls would fill the house with that heavenly aroma and tempt my brother and me to snitch one before dinner! She cooked strictly from "scratch," we didn't eat boxed puddings or any frozen vegetables. Food value was her main consideration, second only to cost.
I was an odd kid, I didn't like chocolate. Years went by before I tasted good chocolate and the love affair started. There's no turning back now! Mom's from scratch Chocolate Pie is still the best. It's decadent only in the fact that it uses half and half, our access to fresh Jersey milk afforded us the luxury of all the butter and cream Mom could use. Whether you make the pie or just eat the pudding still warm from the pan, you will throw rocks at the boxed varieties after trying this...
Triple Chocolate Pie
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 1/2 cups half and half
4 large egg yolks
3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Baked pie shell
Whisk sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in 1 cup half and half. Whisk in remaining 2 1/2 cups half and half and yolks. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils, whisking constantly, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add both chocolates and butter; whisk until melted and smooth. Mix in vanilla. Cool slightly and pour into baked pie shell. Refrigerate at least 6 hours. Top with whipped cream and chocolate curls.