I hinted last month about my favorite pie of all time and history and space and knowledge: the chocolate cream pie my mom makes.*
Seeing that photo of the peppermint pie immediately makes my mouth water for chocolate pie. I'm no therapist, but I think that's called transference.
First, my mom chop-shaves the baker's chocolate.
Then we mix it with milk and salt and other stuff in the saucepan, and I stir until the chocolate melts into the mixture and thickens. Or: until my arm cramps.
Here comes the hard part. Hard for me to write, not hard to actually do if you're making the pie. I actually had to get frozen yogurt in order to offset the literal heart ache pictures of this pie gives me. I MISS IT.
It hurts so good. (You bake the pie crust ahead of time--again, my mom's special recipe--and pour the cooled pudding mixture into it). Here's what it should look like if you're on the doorstep of Nirvana:
It's so hard to wait the 2 hours (at least) it has to sit in the fridge, but it's worth it. This year for Christmas we decided to put a little candy cane on top before sticking it in the fridge.
It was beautiful. Until we took it out two hours later and saw that we should have waited to put on the candy cane. The pudding was still warm and had melted all the candy cane, so all that remained was a coat of red liquid food coloring on top of the pie, making it look bloody. I did not take a picture of that. I did take a picture of me covering a piece in whipped cream to hide the bloodiness (and because I fucking love whipped cream).
*Now I know what you're thinking, why does your mom have to make it? Surely you could enjoy this pie anytime you wanted because you could make it yourself. That's where you're wrong. First of all, my mom does all kinds of special 'less sugar' and 'less fat' shortcuts that keeps the pie from being too rich, but that also means it diverges from the recipe in the book. I know what you're thinking (again). Why don't you have her write down the changes for you? But this still wouldn't help. You see, for me, recipes that include verbs other than 'chop', 'slice', or 'peel' become an issue. It's like math. I was horrible at math. Horrible. I use the past tense because since leaving school I strictly use calculators or other people's minds for any math above a 2nd grade level. Seriously. Ask any of my friends--every time we get a bill at a restaurant I use a tip calculator on my phone. Every. Time.
You see, I could learn some things in math really well. Like formulas! Take 'A' and multiply it by 'X' and then divide it by 'B'. Sweet. That makes sense. But when it came to tests or homework or class or life I would accidentally take 'b' and multiply it by 'a' and divide it by 'x.' And it applies to cooking! I mix the wrong ingredients before I should have, or I get intimidated by more complex formulas with too many variable like 'use a mixer' or 'quarter' or 'remove meat from bones' or 'beat but do not whip.'
I realize I should have maybe applied myself more in math classes during high school (but how could I when fellow classmates were trying to say that the greatest selling book of all time is the Wiccan-producing Harry Potter series and not the obvious answer THE INERRANT WORD OF GOD), but I did apply myself in cooking class! Granted I only took one class, and we did stuff like 'what are the differences between types of apples' and less 'how to trim fat' or 'how much flour is too much flour when trying to keep your rolling pin from sticking.' I mean, when we did our final and were supposed to make a meal in class for the teacher, I did waffles.
My friend Leigh is an amazing cook (and so is Bridget and Holly and Allie and I could go on and on) and whenever you ask her how she made one of her incredible dishes--one of your bucket list items should be to taste her toasted pita turkey wraps/burgers with basil aioli and carmelized onions--she always says, "It's so easy!" Sure, sure. Easy like math is for my sister. Easy like being out of touch with modern culture and society is for the pope. Easy like eating a whole chocolate cream pie made by my mother would be for me (if I was ever allowed to do so).
Which leads me to a second reason why I can't eat the pie: it's all I would ever eat until I was sick of it and it would lose its magical power as the greatest pie of all time.