Emergency Pie

Sometimes you just need pie.

Well, let me rephrase that: there are moments in my life where I have a sudden and uncontrollable urge for pie. I’m not sure it happens to other people quite like that, but it absolutely happens to me.

Last Sunday, after the guys ran the marathon, and while we were entertaining my inlaws, it happened. I needed a pie.

I didn’t exactly have time to go to the grocery store, and I didn’t exactly have the energy to make a pie, but I did it anyway, because it was an E-M-E-R-G-E-N-C-Y.

The requirements for this pie were A) not too hard and B) made from ingredients I had in the pantry.

Emergency Chocolate Pie

emergency pie2

Here’s what I did:

You have to make the crust first, and I know it sounds hard but it isn’t – IF you have a food processor. (If you don’t have a food processor I have no idea how to make pie crust and I’m very sorry.)

PIE DOUGH. Grab your food processor and throw in 1 and ½ cups flour, ¼ tsp. salt, and 1/3 c. shortening. Pulse until pea-sized balls form. Grab a small cup of ice water and your tablespoon, and get ready to move fast. Press “ON” and quickly drizzle (sorry that’s an oxymoron I know) 4-5 Tablespoons of ice water in until it turns into dough. Press “OFF” as soon as it is dough. It takes about 45 seconds and yes, it is seriously that easy.

PREP CRUST. The way you prepare your crust depends on what type of filling you will use: hot or cold. If you choose a filing that requires baking, your crust is ready. If you choose a filling that does not require baking, you need to bake your crust. I chose a pudding base so I had to bake:

(a) poke fork-holes all along the bottom of the pie crust with (you guessed it) a fork,

(b) line the crust with two sheets of aluminum foil,

(c) fill that foil up with dry beans,

(d) bake at 450 for 8 minutes,

(e) remove foil and beans and bake for another 6 minutes.

Let it cool before you fill it with pudding, but the dough is currently ready for consumption.

PREP FILLING. Because emergency pie requires that you have all ingredients on hand, I recommend this pie recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I used skim milk and it was fine. Two tips for making this recipe:

  • It is probably more delicious if you use whole milk but I used skim anyway. I’d personally rather save the calories and eat two slices of skim milk pie.
  • Add cinnamon and cocoa powder to the pudding at the end. It makes it rich and slightly spicy.

FOUR HOURS?!?! This is emergency pie. Four hours of chill time is unacceptable. Once I stirred in the extra flavorings (see up there^^) I put the entire pot of chocolate pie pudding into an ice bath. In my huge, deep skillet I put two handfuls of ice cubes, about two inches of water, and set my hot pudding pot in the middle. I poured in a bit more water so that the ice water came up along the sides of the pudding pot without getting inside the pot. Then I spent 10 minutes stirring my pudding while it was in the ice bath. It chilled it very quickly, so when I poured it into the crust it was pretty well cooled. We sliced and ate after only two hours of refrigeration and it was delicious.

Is this pie beautiful? No. Is this pie something I would typically photograph and instagram and brag about? No. Well, probably – I mean, I did make this pie from scratch. While my inlaws were visiting. After waking up at 6:00 AM and biking six miles and dealing with crazy marathon crowds. That’s pretty impressive.

(Confession — we ordered pizza for dinner because after surviving that crazy day and making this pie? I was exhausted.)



  1. Suzanne Terry

    I really love pie. I totally understand needing pie.

    Without a food processor, it is just as easy – it’s just not as quick. You basically process with your hands.

    • Mary Beth

      I think I need a video tutorial of this because every recipe says that and I still have no idea what to do with my hands. I always feel like such a dummy. Thank you Lord for the food processor.

    • Mary Beth

      It was the best I could come up with under the circumstances. I probably broke a few cardinal pie-making rules but I think the ice bath is nothing compared to the way I edged the crust: which is not at all. I didn’t even try.

  2. Jamie

    I keep seeing chocolate pie. I keep wanting chocolate pie. Eventually I will be out of excuses to make it. Maybe I should do this for my birthday next week instead of cake? Ugh, choices! Yummy, yummy choices!

      • Jamie

        Sadly, so seem the calories. Endless, that is. I’ve already mysteriously regained 3 of the 10 pounds I’ve worked hard to lose. Grr. But I guess if there is one day calories don’t count, it should be my birthday. ;)

        • Mary Beth

          Exactly! Calories don’t count on your birthday. But — losing is such hard work so don’t feel any pressure to sacrifice your awesome accomplishment. I’m remembered this week that saying no to delicious things is SO HARD.

  3. Kate Schell

    I bet if everyone in the world could have an #emergencypie, all the war and murder and sexting which haunt our broken planet would cease, and a brighter age would dawn.

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