It's just not the holidays without pie

The holiday baking season begins with Thanksgiving, and if your family is like mine, you'll want to bake something for those who aren't fans of pumpkin pie. At my house, the Thanksgiving dessert spread must include something chocolate, so this week I'm offering a decadent chocolate pie.

 

The pie is sweet, rich and easy to make.

If you don't want to buy buttermilk for use in the recipe, you can sour your own milk by stirring a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into regular milk. The buttermilk plays an important role in the flavor of this pie because its slight tartness counteracts the pie's sweetness.

The pie can be made a day ahead and will please the chocoholics in your family. I'm also giving a few of my favorite pie recipes to get your holiday baking off to a great start.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK PIE

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons flour

Pinch of salt

3 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 crust for 9-inch pie (home-made, pre-made or frozen)

Set oven to 300 degrees. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Add dry ingredients.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla and pour into prepared pie crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Makes eight servings.

GROCERIES

Unsweetened chocolate

1 pie crust (refrigerated dough or frozen pie shell)

Buttermilk

PANTRY/REFRIGERATOR STAPLES: 11/2 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 3 eggs, vanilla

ADDITIONAL SWEET TOOTH RECIPES

SWEET POTATO PIE (PICTURED)

The cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg make this pie taste like pumpkin pie and are optional.

1 1/2-1 3/4 pounds sweet potatoes, about 2 large 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons melted butter

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger , optional

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional

Poke the sweet potatoes all over with a paring knife and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Turn potatoes over and microwave until tender, about 5 or 6 minutes more. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove peels and place flesh in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of the puree and place in a large bowl. Set aside to cool completely.

Place the pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Set aside.

Place sweet potato puree in a bowl and beat in the remaining ingredients with a hand mixer. Spread into the prepared crust and then bake for 40 minutes, until firm.

Makes eight servings.

BUTTERMILK PIE

1 unbaked refrigerated pie crust or frozen pie shell

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons flour

3 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Set oven to 350 degrees. If using a refrigerated pie crust, fit into a pie tin, trim and crimp edges and set aside. Combine sugar and flour in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, butter, buttermilk and lemon juice and mix well. Pour into the prepared pie shell. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour, until pie is set. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Makes eight servings.

CHOCOLATE CHIP PIE

Prepared pie crust or 1 frozen pie shell

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled

1 tablespoon vanilla, Kahlúa or bourbon

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels

Set oven to 325 degrees. If using prepared pie crust dough, place one crust in a pie plate and crimp edges. Set aside. Combine eggs, flour, sugars, melted butter and vanilla or other flavoring in a bowl and stir until well combined. Fold in chopped pecans and chocolate morsels. Spread in pie crust and bake for 1 hour, until center is set.

Makes eight servings.

Reach Karin Calloway at karin.calloway@comcast.net. See her prepare the recipe at noon Tuesday on television station WJBF (Channel 6). Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/karincalloway.

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