I’m currently sitting watching An Imitation of Life (1959, Douglas Sirk) – I’m about 20 minutes in, and so far I’m finding it to be a very weird film, but it’s part of my attempt to watch a pile of DVD’s that I own but have never seen,- sipping my raspberry leaf tea (preparations for my upcoming labor are well underway!) and wondering if I should dip into an open box of Thorntons chocolates sitting on my coffee table for the second time today!
Being in my 37th week of pregnancy, I can’t help but feel disappointed by my lack of writing. In fact I’ve been suffering from “writers guilt” for the majority of my pregnancy. I managed a couple of blogs earlier on, but to be completely honest, I’ve felt too tired and I haven’t really had any inspiration either.
I’m a few weeks into my maternity leave, and I had hoped that my writing would have picked up, but other than hovering over my keyboard lazily for maybe fifteen minutes, I still haven’t done a thing. Not a blog, not a script not even jotting down a new idea!
My husband kindly tells me that it will indeed pick up when I feel ready, but I can’t help but feel a bit panicky that it will only get harder when the baby gets here. Who knows?
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I thought it was probably time that I picked up my trusty laptop and did some work! But what to write about? I’ve three unfinished drafts, but I just don’t feel like that’s what I need to ease my way back into some kind of writing habit.
Something I do really enjoy is writing about recipes that I’ve tried (see my Corned Beef Pie, Easter Cupcakes, and The Best Chocolate Brownies!) so that’s what I’m going to do.
I recently attended my sisters Christmas party, an event that even in my heavy state, I was very excited about! I had wanted to make a Christmassy pie, and I wavered between a pecan pie and a chocolate pie. It wasn’t until I came across Minny’s Chocolate Pie – as in Minny from The Help, one of my favorite novels, and films – that I settled! I even bought a brand new pie dish for it.
New Pie Dish from Sainsburys. Photo Credit – Sweet Silver Linings Blog
The recipe calls for –
Here is what I used –
- Bero shortcrust pastry
- 3 cups of caster sugar
- 6 tablespoons of unsweetwened cacoa powder
- 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 and 1/2 cups of condensed milk (bought accidentally but much better for the flavor I feel, and lovely added into my festive shortbread!)
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- a tea spoon of cinnamon
- a tea spoon of nut meg
For the pastry –
- 225g of plain flour
- a pinch of salt
- 100g of unsalted butter
- 25g of caster sugar
It’s really easy to make, but if you don’t want you can buy a packet mix that you just add water to! For this, mix the flour, sugar and salt together, then add the butter – I would always chop it into small cubes first just to make the next step a bit easier – and rub it in with the tips of your fingers, till it resembles breadcrumbs.
Then add enough cold water for it to form a stiff dough. The recipe recommends about 2 tablespoons, but I always just add till comes together. Start off with the 2 table spoons, cut together with a blunt knife and add a little more at a time till it all comes together. Add carefully as if you add too much, it will be too wet.
Then roll it out to the size of your dish – if you compare my ingredients with the actual websites, you’ll see I have double, that’s because my dish is bigger than that of the recipe. I won’t recommend how thin or thick it should be, as different people like different thickness, just make sure it isn’t too thick as it won’t cook properly.
Now, I don’t usually blind bake my pastry but it does call for it in this recipe, so I did for exactly 15 minutes, but I didn’t want to do over do it.
Once the pastry was in the oven, I started on the filling. It was pretty straight forward, I just put all of the ingredients – including the addition of nutmeg and cinnamon just make it a little more festive – into my standing mixer and whisked it up till it was all combined and smooth. I wasn’t sure about whisking it, as I would usually use my paddle attachment, but it made the pie melt in the mouth!
I found baking it a little difficult though. It was more knowing when it was ready. The recipe calls for it to be set around the edges but jiggly in the middle. It did set around the edges, but the top when crispy – which was lovely – so I couldn’t tell if it was jiggly. It did sink a little but I didn’t mind that too much.
Once out, I sprinkled it with icing sugar, but I had to leave it in the dish! I couldn’t get it out, which lead to use hilariously passing it around with a fork at the party! It was delicious!
For some reason, I don’t seem to have a photo of the finished product, but it did look lovely! I only have a picture before it went into the oven.
I would highly recommend this recipe, it’s easy and delicious and you could easily amend its quantities or ingredients if you wanted to!
And for those of you who are wondering, I did dive into the box of chocolates, just for one though!
Categories: Baking, pregnancy, Recipes, Uncategorized