Somewhere before the beginning credits of The Help there should be a disclaimer that reads DO NOT WATCH ON EMPTY STOMACH.
Perhaps it’s my soft spot for home-style southern cooking, or the sight of two-foot cakes on the big screen that had me drooling when I should have been jeering or cheering.
These mini pies are inspired by the legendary chocolate pie baked by Oscar-nominee Octavia Spencer’s character Minny in the movie The Help. This particular version may stray from its southern roots, opting for a graham cracker crust over a butter one, but it keeps true to the pie’s essence and transitions smoothly from the family dinner table to a party, and the best part is everyone gets their own!
6 premade miniature graham cracker pie shells
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving
Chocolate shavings, garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except whipped cream and mix until batter is smooth and ingredients are well incorporated.
Spoon filling into pie shells, until nearly at the crust’s rim. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange pies on sheet. Allow to bake for about 45 minutes or until edges are firm, but center is still soft and bouncy.
Transfer baked pies to a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before serving. Serve with a generous dollop of homemade whipped cream sprinkled with bittersweet chocolate shavings.
Note: Pies can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight without whipped topping.
6 individual pies