Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Middle Hawthorne! Mommie Loves You!

Rosie's Roses for the Birthday Boy!
I love the colors of my roses. I picked these for you, my Little Birthday Hawthornelet, .... but I'm keeping them for myself. Hope you don't mind.
Middle Hawthorne never wants a cake for his birthday. Middle Hawthorne wants PIE. To be precise, he wants CHOCOLATE PIE. And CHOCOLATE PIE he shall have.
I'm Semi-Ho'ing the pie crust and using Pillsbury's Pie Crust. I thawed three pie shells out, placed them in tins, and forked them so the bottoms don't puff up when they bake.
I placed a sheet of foil over each pie crust and poured in my pie beans to weight it down. Bake these at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, prepare the #1 chocolate filling.
Chocolate Pie For Middle Hawthorne: 7 ounces Dark Chocolate 5 ounces Ghirardelli semi-sweet morsels 2 sticks unsalted butter 6 eggs, room temperature 1 cup sugar ***** 1/4 tsp salt In a double boiler, bring the water in the lower pan to a simmer, and melt chocolates and butter in the top pan.
Stir until melted and smooth.
Beat the eggs and salt and gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Fold egg mixture into chocolates. Pour filling into baked crust. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, until filling is just set. Jiggle it. It should barely jiggle. Let cool for one hour, then refrigerate.
I poured about an inch of water in my pan and set a bowl in it, not touching the water. Turned heat on medium-low, put butter and chocolates in bowl, and let melt.
Whisk ...
... until smooth. Those are air bubbles, not lumps, in case you noticed.
Break six eggs into your bowl.
Beat away at the eggs. Here's Rosie Tip #512: Roll up a kitchen towel and elevate a side of the bowl. You want to beat the bulk of the eggs, on the lower side of the bowl, giving lightness and bubbliness. Beat away, starting at low and continuing to high, until eggs are light and bubblicious.
**** For the sugar, I use vanilla infused sugar. Back last January or so, I was using a bunch of vanilla beans, so I took the pods and stuck them in sugar. I'm using a cup of my vanilla sugar for the pie.
Slowly add sugar to eggs, beating.
Note this color. This is the light color of eggs and sugar you want. Having the eggs at room temperature is key. That way, you get this volume. And remember to tilt the bowl towards the beaters so as to get even more volume.
Pour egg into choc.
Start folding the mixture.
Take a spatula and bring up chocolate from below. Make decorative designs. Have fun! Stir until you get a chocolate mix. Those are air bubbles. Not lumps.
Pour into two partially-baked shells.
Bake at 350 degrees until just set and still kinda just jiggly. About 25 minutes. Check at 20 minutes. Ovens vary. This is Pie #1. Just what Mid Haw ordered. All chocolate. No frills. I had a third crust baked and wanted to do another chocolate pie. Mr. Hawthorne complained about having to drive 5 hours tomorrow and giving our son a pie for his birthday when he, himself, had no pie. So I made Mr. Hawthorne a chocolate pie for the third crust. (He's dropping me off at Dear Maxine's, hence the second pie.) Here's the second pie, from Homesick Texan. Great blog site, by the way. The recipe is adapted from Lisa Fain's (The Homesick Texan) Grandma's Chocolate Pie recipe, written on a stained 3x5 card with everybody's grammy's handwriting.
Here are the ingredients for Pie #2: 4 TB cocoa powder 3/4 cup sugar 5 TB flour 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cup skim milk 1 cup heavy cream 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten 1 TB vanilla 1 TB butter
(Lisa uses milk. I use skim and heavy cream. It's what I have.)
Method: Mix your sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, eggs and milk (all except vanilla and butter) with a whisk. Cook while stirring on medium until it bubbles and thickens, about five to 10 minutes. If it becomes lumpy, just beat out the lumps. (It will not get any thicker in the oven so cook until it's as thick as you want it.)
Remove from heat and stir in your vanilla and butter. Meanwhile, poke holes in your pie crust with a fork and bake it at 350 until it’s brown, about 20 minutes.
Beat your egg whites with salt and when they start to get fluffy add the sugar. Pour the chocolate custard into the baked pie shell and top with the beaten egg whites. Bake it until it the peaks on the meringue are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Grandma says: “It’s real good hot, wonderful cold and you can even eat it frozen—then it’s like a popsicle!” Note: All that's happening in the oven is the browning of the meringue. So be sure and keep cooking the custard in the pan until it's your desired consistency.
Egg yolks going into milk/cream.
3/4 cup sugar whisked in.
I LOVE those four lines of salt going in.
5 TB flour in.
4 TB of cocoa in.
Start stirring.
Stir and cook over medium low until the chocolate bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes.
Love the swirl.
Constantly whisk, scraping the sides so they don't burn. The whole thing should clump up into a blob. See above. You want to cook this until it's the thickness and texture you want. It's not going to thicken any more when you bake it. Cook it now.
Take off heat. Whisk in a tablespoon each of vanilla and butter.
Pour into partially baked crust and spread evenly.
Start on the meringue.
2 egg whites 1/4 tsp salt Beat, beat, beat the egg whites with the salt. You want foamy.
Beat in 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly and gradually. Increasing speed of beater.
Give it some 'nilla love.
Pour meringue onto chocolate base.
Spread out with offset spatula.
Make fun swirly tops.
Bake at 350 about 30 minutes or so until tips of swirls are browned.
Like this. I'm giving Middle Hawthorne his basic chocolate pie. Then I'm halving the two other pies and conjoining. I want to taste both in one pie. For the two other pies, I'm halving both and switching halves, so each pie has 1/2 #1 Chocolate Pie and 1/2 #2 Chocolate Pie. You'll see. They will be divine. I'll keep one for Rosie and Maxine. And give the other to Mr. Hawthorne for his family. Mr. Hawthorne and I are going to Greensboro today to take out the boys for Mid Haw's B-day, then Mr. H. will drop me off at Maxine's in Danville, and then he'll go on to Basset/Martinsville/Collinsville. Where ever. It's a birthday. It's Happy.
Oh, and anyone thinking about dropping by the Hawthorne house this weekend, I have a huge burly ex-Seal house-sitting, so don't think about it.


Lea said...

Have you read and/or seen "The Help"? Never look at a chocolate pie the same again.....although yours are tempting!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Lea, what's "The Help?"

Lea said...

It's a book and, now, a movie. It's a civil rights era based novel about a white girl in Mississippi who decides to write a book about her maid, and all the black maids in town. It's a good book, and, amazingly, the movie is very, very good and true to the book! I think the movie is out on DVD this week.