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My Favorite Redneck Desserts of All Time Part 2
Don't Try This With Jell-o
Ok, we've talked about banana pudding and how to correctly build one, on another hub. Now, we've moved on to the next best redneck dessert of all time, chocolate meringue pie! Oh, yea, my Momma used to treat us to this at least once a month and she put in the most important ingredient of all....LOVE! That's what makes a dessert a favorite. LOVE! If you love the people you're cooking for, food can just tell and it makes itself taste so much better.
We're going to make an unusual exception here for one reason only. There are so few people out there anymore who actually know how to build and bake a great pie crust. Those of you who do in fact have that talent and know-how, are to be highly commended. You should pass that information down to your children or anyone who will listen because your talent is becoming more and more rare. So, with that in mind, we're allowing the crusts to be "store-bought." I know...this goes against all Momma's boy redneck philosophy but there are some pretty good pie crusts available out there that are frozen and made in a factory and since I am one of those who does NOT possess the superior crust making abilities, I have to use the store-bought ones myself. What the store-bought crusts don't have is the LOVE that you deserve but they have a reasonably decent taste factor.
That is the ONLY ingredient that should be allowed to come from a box or a freezer display. Everything else in the chocolate pie simply MUST be made from the basic ingredients.
Regarding the specific recipe: we're not going to give you the quantities of ingredients because....well....we don't know them at this very moment, however, it is my guess that there will be all kinds of offers on this page with specific recipes in them. Look them over and make your choice but remember, for the best homemade recipes, use only the following ingredients, especially if you've never made chocolate pie before. If you have, you can experiment a little but believe me, there's nothing better than basic homemade chocolate meringue pie. Our job here is just to explain how to properly apply the right technique to make your Momma's boys happy. If they're happy, so will everyone else be and you'll become the Goddess of Domesticity that you so richly deserve to be.
What are those basic ingredients? Well, let's see...you're going to have to have milk (whole is best but if you insist, low-fat will work), flour, sugar, eggs and none other than Hershey's cooking cocoa. No, I did not say that any other brand was to be substituted. NO WAY! Only Hershey's. Also, don't forget the butter and vanilla flavoring. That's all there is to it. With no more than these seven easily found basic ingredients, you can make a wonderful, tasty, mouth-salivating, top notch chocolate pie, You've just got to pay attention to what you're doing.
If you're not going to love the people you're making this for, just forget about it, especially if it's your son(s). Mama's boys will worship you more than you can imagine if you throw in that love, 'cause they'll know....they'll know for sure.
Alright then, start out by mixing your flour, sugar, chocolate powder and milk in a large cooking pan (about a 3 quart). Dry mix them together until they're well mixed up, kind of like a soft sandy texture. Then add your milk.
Place the pan and its ingredients on the stove and turn on the burner to about medium. Start the stirring process at this point. You'll be stirring for the better part of the next hour so get ready for it.
When the mixture gets pretty thick, you'll need to add the eggs. You do this by taking a separate bowl and placing the eggs (minus the shell for you feeble minded folks) into that bowl. Then you spoon some of the pudding mixture into the eggs (about five tablespoons) and mix it all up real good. Then, as you continue to stir, pour the mixture into the pudding. Stir like crazy for a few minutes and then just stir normally. Continue to stir the pudding until the entire mixture begins to boil. Then add the butter and vanilla flavoring. Do not cook it too fast or it will stick to the bottom of the pan despite your stirring. Keep the stove on the medium setting. If you don't use this method to add the eggs, they will clump up and cause little lumps in the pudding and that does NOT equal LOVE in the mix.
By now, you should have already had your pie crusts (either the homemade ones or the store-bought ones) baked. (You can have one of the kids or a helper stir for you while you take care of this task until you get used to doing this alone and then you'll need to fire them). If you use the store-bought variety, all you have to do is put it in the overn for the alloted time (read the directiosn) and at the specified temperature...not too difficult. If you cannot handle this task you are probably better off buying a pie and taking cooking lessons somewhere.
Now, pour the chocolate pudding into the pie crust until it's about 1/4 of an inch from the top. Let it set while you prepare your meringue. Whomever was helping you stir the pudding now has the privilege of cleaning out what pudding remains in the pan. This is commonly known as "licking the pan" in redneck terminology. It is a highly favored task and children and husbands have been known to get on their hands and knees and beg for this highly sought after job.
Now, in order to build a perfect meringue (pronounced Muh-rang' by the way), you simply MUST have an electric beater. You can't do this without one, period. So if you don't have one, go get one from a neighbor, a friend or a store. Gotta have it!
Here's the tricky part about meringue. You have to separate the egg yolk from the egg whites. There are instruments that will help you do this. They're called "egg seperators" for short. Use them and separate those two delectable parts of the eggs. Do this with about half a dozen eggs. Be VERY careful not to get ANY of the yolk in the whites. If you do, you ruin the whole thing. It won't work. Nada will happen. You've just ruined your meringue and will need to start over. I think you get the message, right?
If you are so lucky as to not get any yolk in the whites, you then start the mixing/whipping process. Start the mixer on medium and begin to whip those egg-whites. Whip them until they just start to stiffen and then add about 1/2 cup of sugar and whip about ten more seconds and STOP! If the egg-whites are too stiff they're difficult to spread so leave a little tenderness in them.
Now, once you've whipped the meringue into a beautiful soft mound of white clouds, take it and gently spread it over the top of your topless pie.
Once done, heat the oven to about 350 degrees and put the pie into it for about ten minutes. You'll need to watch the meringue. When it begins to turn a golden color, you're done. Take the pie out of the oven and let it cool for about an hour and then offer it.
You can use it as a great bribe to get things done or you can just use it to impress the family or anyone else as a wonderful after dinner dessert. Whatever the case, if you've added that special ingredient, "love," you will get raving reviews and the children will be talking about it well into their adult years. The grandkids you'll spoil rotten anyway but they too will taste that love that you've prepared for them over and over again. Do it, you'll love yourself afterwards.