Thursday 10 May 2012

Minny’s Chocolate Pie - Gluten Free Version

Several months back I went to the cinema to see ‘The Help’ The film adaption of Kathryn Stockett book by the same name. It’s set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962 and is about the struggle of black maids raising the children of rich white families. One of the maids, Minny, is a wonderful cook and becomes well know for her special chocolate pie. The pie features quite heavily in the story (I won’t give the plot away) but a lot of the characters went crazy over it and I came away wondering what it tasted like. A short while later I was doing some background research into the story itself and happened to come across a recipe for ‘Minny’s Chocolate Pie’ submitted to a magazine by the home economist who made the actual pies for the film! I had the actually recipe and would get to taste the pie after all – hurrah!

Somehow it got added to my ‘to bake’ list and then I forgot about it for several months, until I rediscovered it again last week and decided it was high time I baked myself a Chocolate Pie.

The pie itself was very easy to adapt to being gluten free as the filling contained no flour at all, so it was simply a matter of making my own GF pastry. I was delighted about this as the chocolate pie filling is essentially the essence of the pie and so I was thrilled I’d get to taste it in its true form, without the need for any substitutions.

The filling contains evaporated milk, which you can find it tins next to the long life milk. Regular milk or condensed milk is NOT the same and can’t be substituted. Surprisingly enough for a chocolate pie, it contains no actually chocolate and instead gets its flavour from cocoa powder. I was initially a little sceptical of this – how good could a chocolate pie be made with no actual chocolate? Well, let me say this is by far the BEST chocolate pie I have ever tasted. Actually, it’s the best of any kind of pie I’ve ever tasted. It’s truly amazing!

The filling is unlike nothing I’ve quite experienced before. Its soft and satin smooth, but also rich, sticky and ever so slightly chewy. You know the wonderful sticky layer in the bottom of a treacle tart or pecan pie, well it’s that sort of texture and stickiness, only in rich chocolate form. Utterly divine!

It’s not too sweet and stays fabulously soft and jiggly even a couple of days after baking. It also didn’t seep or make the pastry go soggy, all in all was the perfect pie. Adorn each slice with a little swirl of lightly whipped cream and its forks at the ready! Seriously, you MUST bake this pie – after that first bite you’ll understand just how good it is!

Don’t forget to submit your entries to my Go Gluten Free! event, in the run up to Coeliac awareness week.

Minny’s Chocolate Pie - Gluten Free Version
(Recipe adapted from Food & Wine magazine)
Sweet Gluten Free Pastry – my own
220g gluten free plain flour (I used Doves Farm)
100g soft butter
30g icing sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
1 egg
2-3 tbsp cold water

Chocolate Pie Filling
335g caster sugar (I used 260g)
40g cocoa powder
60g butter
2 eggs
180ml evaporated milk (not regular milk or condensed milk)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt

Method – Pastry
Mix the flour, sugar and the xanthan gum together in a bowl to combine.
Make sure you butter is soft, if not blast it in the microwave for a few seconds. Add to the flour along with the egg and 1 tablespoon of water. Beat with a spoon or spatula to form a dough. (Yes I know this goes against all traditional pastry making!)
Switch to your hands to bring the mixture together at the end. Add a little more water if necessary. Knead the dough gently for 30seconds to ensure everything is well combined. Use straight away or wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate until required.
Makes enough for one 8-9inch pie

Method – Pie Filling
Preheat the oven to 180C. Place a large baking tray into the oven to heat up.
Roll out your pastry between two sheets of clingfilm until 2-3mm thick and large enough to fit your pie dish.
Remove the top layer of clingfilm and flip the pastry into the pie dish and ease it into the sides. Use the clingfilm to help you, and then remove it.
Roll any overhanging pastry up under the lip of the dish and then use your fingers to crimp the edges in a decorative design.
Prick the pastry lightly with a fork and place on the preheated baking tray (this will help brown the base) Bake for 18minutes until lightly golden and set (see note below).
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a mixing bowl and add the rest of the filling ingredients. Whisk until smooth and no lumps remain.
Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for about 40-45 minutes (not on the baking tray). The filling should develop a thin top crust but still wobble when lightly shaken.
Remove from the oven and transfer the pie to a cooling rack. Leave to cool completely for 3-4 hours before serving.
Serve with lightly whipped cream
Makes 1 x 9inch pie
The pie will keep for 3 days and can be made a day in advance

Note: If you use regular pastry, then fill the pastry with baking beans or rice to blind bake it during the initial baking stage


cornercottage said...

That looks really delicious, I loved the book but havent seen the film yet - after seeing this pie I now have craving for a huge slice of it. Not Minny's special one though..!

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Oh wow this looks amazing! and sounds so delicious, you've definitely sold me on trying it! and I'm definitely jealous of your pastry making skills, look at that beautiful edge! I've made two pies this week and come to the conclusion that pastry making is not where my skills lie! I could only dream of a pretty crust like you have made!

freerangegirl said...

Wow - this looks amazing, the chocolate pie dreams are made of!!!!

Unknown said...

I loved that movie. I still need to read the book though :(

This pie really does look amazing! And the sticky chewy part between the filling and the pie shell is one of the best parts of eating a pie. I love that stuff :)

And I would love to submit something for Gluten Free Week. I even tried baking with fluten free flour, but the recipe flopped and with school and finals to study for I haven't had to time to search for a new recipe that works :(

Caroline said...

That looks utterly delicious! Such a gorgeous gooey looking filling, yum!

The Caked Crusader said...

Love the pie and loved the Help (unusually for me I loved the film as well as the book). Glad to see you left out her "special" ingredient!!!

Choclette said...

Having loved the book, I must now make this pie. Must also see the film. Thanks for sharing this.

TravelJunkie said...

i wanna watch the movie or read the book (whichever i find first) and i want to taste this pie! I love eating food that has a rich history, it makes it more exciting! thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Looks great!

What brand of cocoa powder are you using?