Some foods develop a following.
Take the crave-worthy Pennington’s Black Bottom Pie, for example. It’s been of the most requested recipes by Tulsa World readers for decades.
A recipe for the pie served at the Pennington’s Drive-In circulated for years until a reader who had “The Original Pennington’s Cookbook” called and shared the correct ingredients. The secret, as it turns out, is cornstarch.
There’s also the St. Michael’s Alley white chili, Fountains’ Mushroom Whatnots, Italian Inn’s cheese spread, The Garden’s baked fudge and Tulsa Public Schools’ cinnamon rolls.
The Pennington’s Black Bottom Pie recipe can be tricky. Truth be told, we have had our fair share of fails with this recipe. The ingredients that make it unique are butter extract and a bit of red food coloring.
And, as far as the method, the recipe requires cooking the chocolate filling down for an hour on the stovetop and then carefully folding in whipped egg whites.
But Molly Martin, one of the owners of Antoinette’s Baking Co., said they have had success by altering the recipe’s method somewhat to adapt for large batches that they can cook in their bakery.
“We use the recipe from the Pennington’s cookbook,” Martin said. “But we cooked it like a normal custard.”
We talked to Martin on Thursday as they were letting the custard cool in advance of adding the egg whites. It’s important to make sure the filling is cool before going on to the next step, she said.
They made six times the amount that the original recipe called for, Martin explained, which requires about 20 cups of milk.
It’s also important to let the pie set up overnight, she said.
“We are going to have the pie for sale here this weekend and next week,” Martin said. “I have had a lot of people call who are interested in it. I hope it tastes like their memories and that they come back for more.”
Try your hand at the recipe below or stop by Antoinette’s, 3305 S. Peoria Ave., where you can buy a version of the Pennington’s pie made by the experts. Pies are $30 for a whole and $5 a slice.
Here are all nine of the most requested recipes, in case you have a craving.
ST. MICHAEL’S ALLEY WHITE CHILI
2 yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds cooked chicken, chopped
6 (1-pound) cans great Northern beans
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
3 cups chicken broth
⅓ cup chopped jalapenos
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons oregano
1. Saute onions and garlic until onions are clear.
2. Add remaining ingredients and cook on medium heat, stirring every 10 minutes or so until mixture is hot and well-blended, about 45 minutes.
FOUNTAINS’ MUSHROOM WHATNOTS
20-25 medium mushrooms
Small piece of American cheese for each mushroom
½ pound Philadelphia cream cheese
¼ pound sour cream
¼ pound mayonnaise
1 scallion, finely chopped
¼ cup bacon bits
1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1. In a mixer, beat cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and continuing mixing until creamy.
2. Wash and dry mushrooms and remove stems. Fill hole in cap with cream cheese mixture. Top each mushroom with piece of cheese. Place a dab of seasoned butter on top of cheese.
3. Place mushrooms in shallow baking pan and cook at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
½ pound butter, room temperature
Juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
½ small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
1. Whip butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
PENNINGTON’S BLACK BOTTOM PIE
1 9-inch pie shell, baked
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon butter extract or flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3¼ cups milk
6 tablespoons cocoa
1⅓ cups sugar
⅓ cup cornstarch
1 capful red food coloring
1 cup whipping cream
¼ cup to ⅓ cup powdered sugar, or to taste
1. Make a high-fluted edge on pie shell when preparing shell to hold the filling.
2. Melt butter in a large double boiler over high heat. Add red food color, vanilla and butter extract. Add about three-quarters of the milk and heat through. Reserve a quarter of the milk.
3. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl; add in remaining milk, blending until smooth. Separate eggs, storing whites in a metal bowl in the refrigerator; add yolks to mixture, whisking until smooth and well-blended.
4. When the mixture in the double boiler reaches 180 degrees, add cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Turn heat to low and cook for 1 hour, then let chocolate mixture cool.
5. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg whites very gently, just until no white streaks appear. Spoon mixture into cooked pie crust and refrigerate until pie is completely cooled. Top with whipped topping just before serving.
6. To make whipped topping, pour whipping cream into chilled mixing bowl. Add sugar and mix with chilled beaters. Mix on medium speed until peaks begin to form. Spread on pie with spatula. It should have peaks and waves on the surface.
Note: It can be hard to get this recipe right. You could also try adding red food coloring and butter extract to your favorite chocolate pie filling recipe to re-create this pie.
BISHOP’S RED WINE SALAD DRESSING
2½ cloves garlic
2 cups salad oil
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup wine vinegar (red or white)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Add garlic cloves to the salad oil. Let stand overnight, then remove garlic cloves.
2. Put honey and salt in blender. Blend until creamy. Add vinegar and lemon juice. With blender on slow speed, add salad oil slowly. Blend until thick. The secret is slow blending.
THE GARDEN’S BAKED FUDGE
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup pecans, broken into large pieces
4 tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Beat eggs well. Add sugar and butter, and beat well again. Sift cocoa and flour together. Add broken pecan pieces. Fold into sugar, butter and egg mixture. Add vanilla.
2. Pour in a 9-by-12-inch baking dish. Set dish in a large pan of hot water (enough to come ½ inch to 1 inch up on sides of pan) and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Fudge will have the consistency of firm custard and will be crusty on top. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream on each piece.
ITALIAN INN CHEESE SPREAD
24 ounces Wisconsin cold-pack cheddar cheese
½ cup Miracle Whip
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1. Let cheese soften. Mix all ingredients together in mixer until smooth.
Many of the Tulsa Public Schools cafeteria recipes were standardized throughout the district, but cooks at each school put their own touches on certain recipes. Here’s one of the most popular versions of the cafeteria cinnamon rolls.
TULSA PUBLIC SCHOOLS CINNAMON ROLLS
Makes 12 servings
1 ounce yeast
1¼ cups water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup shortening
2½ tablespoons powdered milk
4 to 4½ cups flour
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1½ tablespoons cinnamon
Powdered sugar glaze:
½ pound powdered sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
Water or milk
1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water. Add melted shortening and beaten egg. Add flour, powdered milk and salt, and mix thoroughly. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
2. Mix brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon mixture.
3. Work down dough and roll to ¼-inch thickness. Brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon mix, and roll up lengthwise. Cut into 12 2½-inch rolls. Place on greased tray and let rise until doubled. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
4. To make glaze, combine powdered sugar, melted butter and enough water to make it a spreading consistency. Brush on top of baked cinnamon rolls.
COPYCAT BISTRO CHOKES AND CHEESE
1 (8-ounce) jar artichoke hearts
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
8 ounces cream cheese
2 minced garlic cloves
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.
2. Place in a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or bread.
COPYCAT FULL MOON CAFE TORTILLA SOUP
Makes 16 8-ounce servings
½ gallon chicken stock
½ teaspoon white pepper
1. Combine these ingredients and bring to a boil.
To thicken, make a roux:
½ cup butter
1½ cups flour
1. Melt ½ cup butter. Stir in 1½ cups flour.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and thickened. Stir roux into chicken stock.
1 cup Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, mixed
1 pint half-and-half
2 teaspoons diced jalapenos
1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes with chilies
1 cup cooked, diced chicken meat (Full Moon marinates chicken in fajita seasonings)
1. Add cheese to stock and stir until melted. Add remaining ingredients to stock and heat.
2. To hold, place soup in top of double boiler over hot water.
3. To serve, sprinkle individual servings with strips of flour tortillas that have been deep fried. Garnish with a dollop of guacamole and mixed cheese.