I am snowed in. Sort of. My Northern friends will laugh at this, but there is a half inch of snow on the ground. However, we have an extremely steep driveway and no four-wheel drive and the thermometer did not see a speck above 20 degrees today. So I could easily have careened down the driveway, but I could not have gotten back up.  Actually, I realized this yesterday after I did careen down the drive to go to lunch with a friend and then couldn’t negotiate the hill on the return trip. Mark did his best Evil Knievel impression and drove the car up the driveway.

So, in my mind, I’m snowed in. Unless Mark takes me for a Diet Coke, which must be a fountain Coke and must be in a Styrofoam cup. But I digress.

So, I thought chocolate pie was in order. I cannot claim authorship of this recipe, but I don’t know who can. I got it from a candle. A soy candle that smells exactly like chocolate pie. The recipe was attached to it. I searched the internet trying to find out who manufactured the candle and I hit a dead end. Perhaps the company that made Uncle Joe’s Chocolate Pie Soy Scented Candle is no longer in business, which is a damn shame because it’s a great candle. But his recipe for chocolate pie will live on.

You can use a store-bought pie crust for this recipe, but I strongly suggest you make your own crust using the recipe that Crisco has perfected through countless testings so that you can make it perfectly the first time. I deviate slightly from the directions. I leave my Crisco sticks in the freezer. Try that.

Here you go:

Uncle Joe’s Chocolate Pie

3 cups whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons cocoa

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla


Scald half the milk (heat it up until a skin starts to form). Mix the other half of the milk with the sugar, salt, flour and cocoa. Beat well with a hand mixer. Add to the scalded milk and cook slowly until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Whisk constantly while you do this. Beat the egg yolks, then add some of the hot liquid and mix well (and quickly!). Add the egg mixture to the hot pudding in the pan. Cook slowly until thickened, stirring constantly. Cook one more minute. Remove from the heat and add vanilla and butter. Cool completely and pour into a baked pie shell.

A couple of notes. If you put the filling into a plastic container and cover it with waxed paper before putting it in the fridge, the pudding won’t form a skin. Also, I know you are going to ask me if you can just use chocolate pudding mix. No, you can not. It’s better to make your own pudding. Just like the crust. Promise.

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