I don’t remember exactly when my mom started making chocolate cream pie. To my recollection, it’s been around forever. It might be a recipe that started with the Pilgrims for all I know. Maybe chocolate cream pie is what brought the Pilgrims and Indians together. Maybe my mom could make a pie and take it to the Middle East- I guarantee there would be no more war after sharing a pie so heavenly!
My mom has long been known in our family for her desserts. When my brothers were born, she tried to balance part time work and motherhood. It wasn’t what was best for her or the family so she became a stay at home mom. She started to bake to fill the time when the boys went to school, I think. For a while, our family meals and holidays were filled with the most amazing breads. Braided breads, rosemary breads, rolls, biscuits, and more. She quickly went on to desserts. A few quickly became family favorites that were staples at every family gathering.
White chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce and that old recipe for chocolate cream pie were required.
We bent the rules sometimes. Mom played with the cheesecake recipe- going from gourmet recipes that required cheese cloth and baths and such things. She played around with swirls and flavors and crusts. That was fine. We accepted it.
But the chocolate cream pie was sacred and not to be messed with. There were times she insisted it wasn’t as good- the humidity messed with her meringue, for instance. But for the family, the pie was always perfect.
I don’t know that my brothers ever really appreciated that pie. My mom started to make it for them throughout the school year. Field trip? Send along a little cup of chocolate pudding made from that recipe! Friends coming over? Make a pie! You went to school today? Come home to a pie!
Mom stopped making the pie for holidays and family gatherings.
This was a huge problem. Several of us relied on that rich chocolatey goodness topped with light, cool meringue. And the only time we ever got that pie was at my mom’s house.
Why did she stop? She says she got bored. (Maybe because she started making it for my brothers all the time, perhaps?)
We’ve suffered for years without this pie. Mom attempted to “help” me by giving me the recipe. There are 2 problems with this. 1. It will never taste the same if I make it. 2. It isn’t the kind of dessert that I can transport by car for 2 hours so bringing it from my home to hers for a holiday wouldn’t work.
Yesterday, I surprised my mom with a visit from me and the kids. We had a free day. Jeff had work to do in the yard and he works better without the distraction of his family. I took the kids and we drove the 2 hours to Ohio to spend the day with my mom and dad, my brother Daniel, and my grandparents. When I called my mom and told her we were on our way, I was delighted to hear her say, “I’d better get off the phone and get this pie going!”
I might have started salivating right then and there.
I get to my mom’s house and see that gorgeous pie in the oven.
Then it was set out to cool and I sat and admired the peaks of meringue.
We play outside, we go to the store, we make dinner, we eat dinner. It’s almost time for dessert. Mom brings out the pineapple upside down cake she and the kids had made together.
I ask about the pie.
And I’m told it isn’t going to be ready today. And that the pie is for DANIEL for his birthday.
Daniel’s birthday was a week before mine. We had a huge family gathering for my parents’ anniversary, my grandpa’s birthday, and Daniel’s birthday. My birthday was a week later- there was a phone call at the end of the day and lovely text messages from my dad and brothers. But no pie.
The best part? Daniel looked as shocked as I did to hear that this was HIS pie! Mom insisted that I ask him if I could have a piece. He suggested that I just take the entire pie home (have I mentioned that I really love my brother??). My mom finally let me have a little slice.
It was heaven.
My only regret? That I didn’t literally lick the plate clean.
Mom- I know you’re reading this. Please don’t retire the pie. Please stop making it just for my brothers. Please add it back to the holiday menu.
For the sake of the world… don’t stop making that pie!