4th of July–And Chocolate Pie

…in a little red wagon

It’s hot.  It’s summer.  It’s the week before July 4 and the flags are flying at Farm Grove, our country barn homestead.  I am planning to cook a turkey on the grill for plenty of smoked turkey sandwiches.  We had a bird in the freezer and he is begging to join the fun.  How does fresh strawberry pie and chocolate cream pie sound–both with abundant mounds of real whipped cream?  Yes.  I think so too.  I share the chocolate pie recipe below.

We will be joining several thousand on the Peoria, Illinois, riverfront for Methodist Red White and Boom!!!–one of the largest fireworks displays in the nation.  Imagine river barges full of pyrotechnics set to the orchestrated sounds of patriotic Sousa marches and R&B classics–all on the backdrop of the Peoria skyline, if you are on the East Peoria side.  Happy 4th, America.  Celebrate freedom and hold it dear.  We cannot afford to take it for granted.

CHOCOLATE PIE w/Whipped Cream Topping

1 blind-baked 9-inch pie crust


  • 2 tb. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tb. cornstarch
  • 2 tb. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 2 cups milk


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Place the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract in a 2-qt. mixing bowl; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan away from heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt.  Whisk in 1/4 cup of cold heavy cream until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps.  Repeat with another 1/4 cup of the cream.  Whisk in the egg yolks.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and gradually whisk in the remaining cream and milk.
  4. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly as the mixture thickens; boil for 1 minute.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the reserved chocolate and butter.
  6. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Pass the filling through a strainer into a bowl to remove any lumps. Strain while mixture is warm.  Use a flexible spatula or wooden spoon to stir through the strainer.  Scrape the underside of the strainer to help the process.
  8. Place plastic wrap or buttered parchment paper on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and chill thoroughly.  A shallow metal bowl with more surface area will chill the filling most quickly.
  9. TOPPING:  Place the heavy cream in a chilled mixing bowl.  Whip until the cream begins to mound when beaters are lifted.  Add the sugar and vanilla and whip until the cream holds a medium peak.
  10. ASSEMBLY:  Transfer the cooled chocolate filling to the cooled, baked pie crust.  Level the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.  Spoon or pipe the whipped cream on top.  Chill the pie until ready to serve.  Garnish pie with shaved chocolate.

HOW ABOUT AN EASY ALTERNATIVE FROM A POPULAR PEORIA RESTAURANT.  IT IS CALLED BISHOP’S CHOCOLATE PIE:  Blend 1 cup of milk and 1 pint vanilla ice cream in a mixer bowl.  Add 1 large box chocolate instant pudding mix.  Blend until pudding is dissolved.  Pour into prepared graham cracker crust.  Chill.  Top with Cool Whip and chocolate shavings.






About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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