Chocolate Pie, Demetrie’s

Chocolate Pie, Demetrie’s

Kathryn Stockett:
Demetrie’s Chocolate Pie from The Help

From author Kathryn Stockett, the original chocolate pie made by Minny in The Help.



StockettOur maid, Demetrie, didn’t write recipes down. She put in a pinch of this and a drop of that, adjusting her ingredients with the humidity or her mood. Her cakes and pies were exquisite. Finally, my grandmother asked her to please, put her recipes on paper, and that was probably the first time any of us admitted that one day Demetrie wouldn’t be there to cook for us.

Demetrie was best known in Jackson, Mississippi for her caramel cake and her recipe was printed in the Junior League of Memphis cookbook. Since caramel cake is both labor intensive and hard to get just right, I thought I’d submit Demetrie’s chocolate pie recipe instead.

I ought to tell you, you might get some suspicious looks if you serve it at book club. If you’ve read The Help, you’ll understand why.

Demetrie’s Chocolate Pie from The Help DemetriesChocolatePie

Prep time: 40 minutes

1-2/3 cups water
5 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder, such as Ghiradelli
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 9-inch pie shell, prebaked plain or graham cracker
Whipped cream (or if it’s not too humid, you can top with meringue) 
Shaved chocolate to sprinkle on top, for looks

  1. In a medium sized, cool saucepan, mix water, cocoa, and cornstarch with a whisk until all the lumps are gone, making a paste. Stir in condensed milk and egg yolks. Heat to just under a boil and stir until it’s thick.

  2. Reduce heat to low and stir in butter. Add in your good vanilla, and keep stirring well. Turn off the heat and let it cool some. Pour into a prebaked pie shell, storebought if that’s how you do things.
  3. Let the pie set-up in a cool spot, like a plug-in refrigerator, covering with wax paper so you don’t get a skin. Dollop cream on top or top with meringue.

Yield: 1 9 inch pie, 6-8 servings