Updated: Jan 20
Whenever I host Thanksgiving I always ask my guests for their pie requests. Everyone is quick to respond. Their choices usually include the traditional Thanksgiving pies, apple, pumpkin, and pecan, sometimes coconut custard or cherry, but there’s always one chocolate fan in the crowd. And if my Dad is visiting I know exactly what he will be looking for on the dessert table, NEVADA’S Chocolate Cream Pie.
This pie begins with a blind baked crust. Use a pie weight to keep the crust from puffing up
Living in the Sonoma Valley for 5 years gave me the opportunity to make the 4 hour drive North in the summers to Lake Tahoe. The lake is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which hugs both California and Nevada. Days can be spent exploring the sprawling forest, hiking to waterfalls, splashing in the crystal blue waters, and lounging on the beach. If you find yourself on the California side as dusk sets in, the walk isn’t too far to Stateline, Nevada where the nightlife is alive. Whether you visit in the summer or winter you’ll be in awe of the majestic views of The Sierras.
Fold the smooth, chocolate pudding into a cooled crust
Of course when you ask people what’s in Nevada, everyone says ‘Vegas Baby’.’ Although I’m not a big fan of Vegas, I love the beauty of the desert that surrounds it. On a move from Connecticut back to California we drove through Nevada. We traveled for hours in the vast, dry landscape. The sun began dipping in the horizon, painting a scene I’ll never forget. I’ve never witnessed a sunset so far and wide. Orange, red, and purple set the sky on fire. A type of sunset that draws your soul in. Simply. Breathtaking. This is reason enough to visit Nevada. We spent another hour driving in blackness before the twinkling lights of Vegas guided our path the rest of the way.
I see the beauty of the Sierras in this pie
At first I struggled to find a connection with Nevada and the chocolate cream pie, until I learned that Nevada is the Spanish word meaning ‘snow-clad.’ As I made this creamy, chocolate-y pie I imagined the Sierras snow capped peaks and the brown foreverness of the desert. The pie took on the form of Nevada’s beauty. I started with a blank canvas of an empty shell and filled it with heaping spoonfuls of the silky, smooth, chocolate pudding. Homemade whipped cream completed the masterpiece. The richness of the pie perfectly representing Nevada’s magnificent frontier.
A little photography help from my Family :)
Originally published December 3, 2019