Lenita’s Chocolate Pie

by Kelsey 

This recipe is brought to you by my friend Anna’s grandmother, Lenita. Anna made this pie in college a few times, and the first time, I probably demurred something about preferring cake to pie then proceeded to eat it straight out of the pan with my friends. To this day, it is one of the very few pies that I genuinely adore.

I’m made this delight a few times since college, and I still eat it much the same: wearing sweatpants, standing over the counter in my kitchen, fork in hand. Plates are for amateurs.

The recipe is below (to make 1 pie), with a few additional comments from me (i.e. how not to make my mistakes):

1 ‘deep’ dish pie crust.  She used the frozen ones and you bake it for about 2-3 minutes before you add the filling. (if I’m using a frozen pie crust, I’ll throw it into the oven at the same temp. for the pie-baking: 350 degrees. I’ve also made homemade pie crust once, which I did not regret, although I did regret making it too thick/not cooking it long enough beforehand).

Filling

  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa.                Get a good one like Hershey’s or similar. It’s worth it.
  • 3/4 stick butter               Don’t use light butter or margarine. (Words to live by, am I right?)
  • 1/4 T. vanilla
  • 1 can Pet evaporated milk
  • 3 egg yolks – beat well and set aside
In a double boiler (remember, fancy word for bowl over a pot of boiling water – I bought mine on – yes, you guessed it – Amazon) add sugar, flour and cocoa. Gradually stir in the Pet evaporated milk over low-medium heat for at least 5 minutes. If you don’t get it hot enough, it won’t cook. (Straight talk. I tend to put mine on medium-high. Also, keep a close eye to ensure that your water in the double boiler does not run dry.)
Sweet double boiler action.

Sweet double boiler action.

Take a few spoons of the hot mixture and add it to the beaten egg yolks. Stir well and then add a few more spoons and stir again. Gradually pour the egg yolk mixture into the bouble boiler and continue to stir and cook until thick.

Last, stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into pre-baked pie shell.
Meringue
  • 3 egg whites*
  • 1/4 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 t. cream of tarter
  • 1/3 c. sugar
Beat egg whites with electric mixture at high speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla until stiff peaks are visible when you lift up mixer out of meringue. Spread over the top of the pie filling. Bake 10 -15 minutes on 350 until golden brown.
*Real talk. For those that love to eat raw cookie dough and brownie batter as much as yours truly, I tend to  buy pasteurized eggs, as I’m also paranoid (read: salmonella). That said, pasteurized eggs, for some reason, do not make good meringue, folks. For this recipe, I suggest using non-pasteurized eggs. Also, I tend to use 4 eggs whites, because I don’t play around with meringue. I want some serious volume on this pie.
Look at that volume.

Look at that volume. If meringue were hair, this pie would have its own shampoo ad. You know what I mean.

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4 comments

  1. Hi…you don’t know me, but I am Anna’s cousin. Her mom, Linda, sent this to me…and I was so moved by your post I wanted to tell you. Our grandmother was a wonderful woman and a wonderful cook. Seeing that someone else loved it as much makes me very, very happy. And she would be tickled that she is now “famous” b/c she is now online. 🙂

    Like

  2. Kelsey, I Love the Lenita’s pie post. My mother was very proud of this pie. She only made it for holidays, so every year the whole family couldn’t wait until she made one. She would be thrilled to know her pie recipe is getting passed along to others.

    Thanks again,
    Linda

    Liked by 1 person

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