Sunday, January 28, 2007

Teeth destroying goodness

As part of new year's resolution to eat more pie, I made a "fancy chocolate chess pie" last night. The recipe came from Ken Haedrich's Pie, a truly great pie cookbook. The only downside to this book is its thickness. I have the softcover which has to kept carefully open, lest the spine be damaged. Chess pies come from the American South and are custardy pies like pecan, but with other ingredients. Haedrich says that a key ingredient is cornmeal, but I have seen recipes that call for other ingredients. The name "chess" is a bit of a mystery, but I am partial to the unlike folksy explanation. In this tale, the creator of the ur-chess pie served it up and when asked what it was called said "It's 'ches pie" (imagine a country southern accent).

The pie recipe is called fancy because it has yolks in addition to eggs and calls for a higher grade of chocolate. There is another chocolate chess pie recipe in the book, but this one looked better. I also enjoy lemon chess pie so I was happy to see a recipe for that as well.

The result is a delightful dessert. The upper layer is a rich chocolate with a consistency somewhere between moist brownie and mousse. The lower layer is a custard like you would find in a pecan pie. Together they are quite good, if perhaps too sweet for some.

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