Sweet Tooth Friday: Lonely Chicago Pie

Lonely Chicago Pie

Lonely Chicago Pie

One of my favorite movies is The Waitress, starring Kerri Russell.  It’s a film about a depressed young girl in an abusive marriage, who waitresses at a diner.  She is also the diner’s pie maker.  The film is a bit odd but resonated with me, in a strange way, when I accidentally stumbled upon it one late night. 

She is so depressed, but is able to shine creatively with her pie making.  She hates her husband and her life -- creating pies keeps her sane.  With each conflict that occurs, she makes a pie in its honor. 

I love this movie because it’s unconventional in the way the characters interact.   The ending is also unexpected.   Most importantly, I relate to the character in the way she uses her imagination to create delicious food.  She lies in bed compiling ingredients in her head for her next pie.  I also do this when creating recipes. 

I love working through a dish in my mind before I step into the kitchen to make it.  I picture ratios, ingredient combinations and method over and over until I get it right.  Once I feel happy with my idea, I begin to create.  I believe my best dishes are the ones I cook, in my head, prior to practice.

Towards the end of the film, she makes ‘Lonely Chicago Pie.’  In this scene, she stands by the stove melting dark chocolate, mashing berries and sprinkling cinnamon sugar.  I love this scene because she is so unhappy in her life but she begins to sing as she bakes because no matter how terrible she feels, baking makes her feel better.  “Baby don’t you cry, gonna make a pie. Gonna make a pie with a heart in the middle.”

And for me, not only did I love the way this dish was portrayed; it gave me a serious hankering for pie.  So, like the character, I found myself working this recipe through my head for the next few days.  How much chocolate?  I needed it to be dark chocolate, because it’s a “lonely pie.”  I added some booze to the berries to represent her sadness and of course, I wanted to add sugar, like she does, to the base, because no matter dark a day may seem, maybe there is a little hope and sweetness somewhere beneath.

I hope you like my interpretation of The Waitress’ Lonely Chicago Pie.  Make it for some friends and you will never be lonely again.

Lonely Chicago Pie


Prep time:        Total time: 

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
12 oz dark chocolate
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blackberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Frangelico
Pie dough (your favorite recipe or store made)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon on the bottom of the crust evenly to coat.
  3. In a double boiler, melt chocolate until smooth.  Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream.
  4. In a small bowl, mash strawberries and blackberries with Frangelico and sugar. 
  5. Pour chocolate over the cinnamon sugar.  Swirl berry mixture over the top.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.  Chill on counter for ½ hour and then in the refrigerator for another 2 hours.

Buon Appetito!  

Lonely chicago pie, step by step.

Lonely chicago pie, step by step.