A month or so after Charis was born, I had a craving for a Chocolate Pie. The only way I had ever thought of making a Chocolate Pie was to use a box of pudding mix--either instant, because it's easy and takes 5 minutes, or cook-n-serve, if I wanted to be really fancy. Now, in my life, I have not been a very discriminating pudding consumer; I was always more than satisfied with these box mixes. But now, at a time when I wanted Chocolate Pie--yea, NEEDED Chocolate Pie, I had nary a chocolate pudding mix box in the house. Shootfire.
Luckily for me, my mother was staying with us at the time, and she suggested that we make Chocolate Pudding from scratch. Pshaw! I thought. I don't know if I want it that bad. But she hauled out the Hodgson Mills cornstarch box and showed me the recipe for vanilla pudding, and, by george, it did look easy. She suggested adding chocolate chips to the hot pudding to make it a chocolate pudding--so we did.
Land sakes, it was good, and much simpler than I expected. The resulting pudding was much richer and tastier, and less chemical-y than its boxed counterpart. We layered it in a cooked pie shell (I use Pillsbury Pie Crusts because I have never met a crust recipe whose flavor I like better, and hey, how easy is pre-made?) with a whipped cream topping, and it was divine. Now, it's one of Abe's most requested desserts.
1 pre-baked 8"-9" pie shell
2 c. whipped topping of choice (I usually use Cool-Whip, but we've also used the real stuff, and it's wonderful, too.)
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips (I prefer Hershey's Special Dark Chips)
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in milk until smooth, then whisk in the egg yolks.
Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat, and let boil for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat, and add the vanilla and chocolate chips, stirring until the chocolate is all melted.
Pour into prepared pie shell. Cover surface with plastic wrap or waked paper to prevent a tough skin from forming. Chill until firm, about 3 hours. Remove wrap, top with whipped topping, and serve!