German Chocolate Pie

Have I told you how much I love pie? Okay, just checking. It’s true. Fruit pies, especially, are my favorite thing to make and have. The tender, flaky crust + the warm, sweet and juicy filling – the combination is wondrous. But my plans of making my first ever recipe post a fruit pie recipe were hijacked by the popularity of this German Chocolate Pie. I kid you not – I first made this pie last weekend but have had to make it two times since, upon the request of people in my family (my cousins wanted one to celebrate their balikbayan mother’s homecoming and my mother wanted one for her birthday lunch with friends).

A quick search for the words “chocolate” and “pie” led me to this recipe on the internet (which I’m told is from “Amish Country Cookbook, Volume 1). It’s the easiest recipe I have ever tried and yet it doesn’t skimp on chocolate-y rewards. Seriously, this pie is packing some serious chocolate richness. The almonds and the coconut are great additional flavors, but they don’t and can’t distract from the chocolate.

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(What makes a pie a pie? Is the mere presence of a crust enough to have something qualified as a pie? The filling turned out to be thick and gooey. It was reminiscent of a really fudgy brownie or a flourless chocolate cake, except even richer and with a crust. Ah, well. Mini-philosophical objection aside, this “pie” definitely has its pleasures.)

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No, it doesn’t have its origins in Germany. The German Chocolate Cake/Pie is named in honor of American Chocolate maker, Sam German, who, in 1852, developed the type of baking chocolate that became commonly used in the recipe.

For the crust:

2.25 oz / 64 g / 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
4 oz / 113g / 1/2 cup / one stick of butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
4-5 tbs ice cold water
1 tbs lemon juice or vinegar

For the filling:

8 oz / 226 g semi-sweet/bittersweet baking chocolate
2 oz / 57 g / 1/4 cup / 1/2 stick butter or margarine
13 oz / 368 g sweetened condensed milk
1 & 1/3 cups flaked coconut
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3 & 1/2 oz / 100 g / 1/2 cup of sugar
1.4 oz / 40 g raw, sliced almonds (this is optional, but I find the almonds to be a nice touch)

For the crust: Combine butter (cubed for easier handling) and mix in 2/3rds of the flour, salt, sugar and water. Work until no dry flour remains and the dough is clumpy. Add vinegar or lemon juice. Sprinkle the remaining flour and work until all the flour is incorporated. Roll into ball. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Roll and place in a 9-inch pie pan.

For the filling: Melt chocolate and butter. Add condensed milk, coconut, beaten eggs and sugar. Stir until blended. Pour into unbaked pie shell.

Bake in a preheated 400ºF / 204ºC oven for 40 minutes. Cool. You can (and should) serve it with whipped cream or ice cream. Have a chocolate overload.

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