Wednesday, November 18, 2015

In honor of my husband, Chuck Gerber: Sugar-free Chocolate Cream Pie #recipe

From Daryl aka Avery

On  Mystery Lovers Kitchen we like to keep things up and bright and fun. Good stories, positive stories.

However, today, my sweet friends, I need to share my sorrow. My husband, who battled cancer bravely for the past 10 months, passed away last week after a quick downward spiral. We thought he was going to beat it. We always kept a positive spirit about his recovery. Needless to say, I am heartbroken. He was the light of my life. He made me laugh. He was my mental match.  My soul mate. And he was my first reader. He always encouraged me to believe in myself. 
When we first met!

I have posted a tribute to him on my Facebook page, so I won't dwell here. If you'd like to know more about him, check out the tribute -- he was a force at ESPN in college sports and afterward, as a consultant to many athletic conferences. He was honored on TV and in many news articles. 

Right before he went into the hospital, he had a request. Chocolate cream pie.  How could I say no? I used to make chocolate cream pies when I was a girl (of ten) and roamed the neighborhood selling my wares. I'd sell 5-10 a week. Why didn't I pursue becoming a baker as a career? Not sure. I am still in the "foodie" business.  :)

However, for the past few months, due to the illness, Chuck had to limit his intake of sugar.

So I made this one sugar-free. 

I've mentioned before that Swerve (a natural sugar substitute) seems to work best for my purposes as far as taste and as far as an equal-to-sugar ratio. PER THEIR WEBSITE: What is Swerve? Swerve is a great tasting, natural sweetener that measures cup-for-cup just like sugar! Made from a unique combination of ingredients derived from fruits and vegetables, Swerve contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavors. I learned about it on a sugar-free blog. It's great stuff and I'm now seeing it sold at upscale stores like Whole Foods. I'm sure regular stores will carry it soon. You can also purchase it online.

FYI, this is an "easy" recipe because I used a pre-made pie shell (as a girl, I used pre-made graham cracker bursts) and I used canned whipped cream for the topping (yes, there is sugar in the canned whipped cream, but it's less than 1 gram per 2 tablespoons).  You can always make your own pie shell and whipped cream. I won't stop you. And you can also make this with sugar, if you don't need to watch the sugar content. It's an equal exchange in the sugar as well as the boxed pudding mix.

Please enjoy. And when you take a taste, remember my husband, full of life, full of fun, a real "foodie", who loved what I wrote and loved what I baked. He was very grateful that I started participating on MLK 5 years ago. He got something "new" every week to devour. Keep him in your thoughts. And wish me luck as I do my best to find my smile.


(*whipped cream topping not entirely sugar free)

1 pre-made pie shell
1 cup cream
½ cup Swerve sugar substitute, all natural
2 boxes (2.1 ounces) sugar-free chocolate pudding
2 cups milk
Reddi-whip whipped cream or Cool Whip, for topping (*not necessarily sugar-free)

Heat oven to 400°F. 

Pre-bake the pie shell for 15-18 minutes, until light brown. Let cool completely.  Tip: If you lay parchment paper on the pre-made pie shell and top with rice, it will keep the pie shell from puffing up.  Remove parchment and rice after shell has cooled.

When the shell is completely cool, in a large bowl, whip the cream and Swerve together to form soft peaks.  Add the pudding mix and milk. Mix well.

Pour the mixture into the cooled pie shell. Cover pie with plastic wrap. Place pie in refrigerator to set. It will set fast!

When ready to serve, cut slices and top with whipped cream topping, as desired.

Savor the mystery!

And cherish the loves of your lives.

Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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  1. Such a lovely tribute to your husband! And how wonderful to have created recipes to associate with precious memories of your life together. Sending prayers to you and your family during this incredibly difficult time of loss.

  2. I am very sorry to hear of your husband's passing for he sounds like a wonderful husband and generous person. You have my deepest sympathy. Please take all the time you need to heal. Sending prayers to you and your loved ones.

    Thank you for the Easy Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding Pie and the information about Swerve.

    1. Jen, thank you for your sweet thoughts. And you are welcome.

      ~ Daryl

  3. Daryl, thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I am so very, very sorry to hear of your loss. I am praying for you, and your family. Please take care. Nicole

  4. My thoughts are with you at this impossibly hard time.
    Remember all the good and know how many virtual friends you have in bookland--all thinking about you.

    This looks delicious.

    1. Libby, I'm remembering the good all the time. Thanks so much.

      ~ Daryl

  5. Heartfelt sympathy...lovely tribute on your Facebook page.

  6. Daryl, I'm so sorry for your loss.

  7. What a wonderful tribute to your husband, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Thank you for the great recipe.

  8. So, so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures and link here and on your Facebook page. Your online friends are real and I know we all have you in our thoughts and prayers.

    1. Sally, there has been such a wonderful outpouring of love on FB, I'm just in awe and feel such support.


  9. It is an impossibly hard time--we are all there with you, Daryl, surrounding you with love and good food! xoxo

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your Family. <3

  11. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  12. Take your time finding your smile. My dad passed away three years ago and it took me a long time before I didn't feel frequently like throwing myself on the ground, sobbing. It takes time! We love you and our virtual arms are around you! And good for you for making him his pie. You are amazing!

  13. I'm so sorry for your loss, Darryl. You wrote a wonderful tribute to Chuck here and on FB, & I thank you for sharing with us. I think it's lovely that you honored your husband by giving us the recipe for his requested chocolate cream pie. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts during this sad time. xo

  14. Thank you for sharing his pie with us and taking the time to let us know what has happened. You are amazing and I am sure he will be with you forever. Smile for him soon. But take your time for everything else.

  15. I am so sorry for your loss. The tribute on facebook is beautiful.

    The pie looks delicious and easy!

  16. Marc and I continue to send our thoughts and prayers to you and your family for your tremendous loss. What a good man, what a good life. A beautiful tribute, Daryl, a sweet pie for your sweet love - a love that clearly will live in your heart forever.

    ~ Cleo (Alice and Marc)

  17. I am so sorry for your loss.

  18. We are all sending love, Daryl. What a sad time. XOXO MJ/VA

  19. a beautiful and loving tribute...wishing you comfort and peace...

  20. Pat ( 20, 2015 at 8:29 PM

    I am so sorry Daryl. Chuck fought the good fight, didn't he? He'll always be with you.
    May light perpetual shine upon him.