Thanks to my wonderful friend Katie, here is a fabulous recipe for what has to be one of the most delicious pies ever! Her heritage story of this recipe is truly sweet.
I have grown up in the shadow of amazing cooks my entire life. My grandmother was legendary, my mother was renowned throughout the neighborhood for her baked goods, and my aunts were admired for their recipes at each potluck and social occasion.
Growing up under this burden, I was always intimidated to try my hand in the kitchen - especially when it came to baking. It wasn't until I moved into my first apartment in college that I started to enjoy experimenting with different spices, inventing new flavors of baked goods, and hunting down my family's favorite recipes.
In the past few years, my grandmother has had to stop cooking because of various health issues, but she has been generous in passing along family treasures - in the form of stories and recipes. One of my favorites she has shared is her mother's (my great-grandmother's) recipe for "Black Bottom Pie" - practically a staple in the deep southern heart of Mississippi where my maternal family hails from. The stories she shares while eating this treat are some of my personal favorites.
My grandmother shared both the typed version from her mother, and a re-written version courtesy of my aunt (who was responsible for the crayon scribbles on the original version at a young age). I share them now with you to enjoy and savor. I wish you a tasty dessert and plenty of fun stories to go along.
Black Bottom Pie
From Forrest Milam Bowen (my great-grandmother)
18-20 graham crackers rolled to fine crumbs, mixed wel with 5-6 Tablespoons of melted butter
Line a 9" pie plate with this and pat out like a pastry
Bake for 10 minutes at 300 degrees
Soak 1 envelope of gelatin in 4 Tablespoons of water
Take 1/2 cup sugar, 2 heaping Tablespoons of flour and mix
Beat in 4 egg yolks and add 1 3/4 cups scaled sweet milk (regular milk is fine)
Cook over slow heat, stirring constantly until thick
Add gelatin and stir thoroughly
At the same time, slowly melt 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate
Pour a little over half of the custard over the melted chocolate
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla to chocolate mixture
Pour into the pastry and let cool
Make a stiff meringue of 4 egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1/2 cup sugar
Beat stiff and add to the remaining custard mixture while still smooth and soft
Pour this into the pie and chill about 30 minutes
Take 1 cup of cream, whip, and add 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Spread over the top of the pie
Grate semi-sweet chocolate over the top and set in fridge until cool.