Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
This pie was my Mother's take on chocolate pie -- intended to satisfy the cravings of a family full of "chocoholics." Family members have been known to slip into the kitchen at night to hide a slice so that they can have it the next day. There is usually a friendly argument over who will get the last piece. Prepare to be the referee in your family -- or just to be on the safe side, double the recipe and make 2 pies. Be sure to use evaporated milk as called for in the recipe.
- 1 pie shell, prebaked - 9-inch works best
- 3 tablespoons cocoa (I prefer Hershey's)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 2 cups evaporated milk, not sweetened condensed milk (I use Carnation)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar (for meringue)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar (for meringue)
- 1 pinch salt (for meringue)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (for meringue)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, or the top of a double boiler, sift cocoa, sugar, flour and pinch of salt together and stir until well mixed.
- Carefully separate eggs, setting whites aside for meringue. Place yolks in small bowl, beat lightly, then add 1/2 cup evaporated milk and mix well.
- Slowly add egg mixture to dry ingredients, whisking as you pour, then add remainder of evaporated milk and whisk together until smooth.
- Place directly over medium heat and cook until thickened, stirring often. If using double boiler bring water in bottom to just below the boil, place top pan with mixture over and cook until thickened. Double boiler takes longer, but until you get some experience it gives you more control.
- As mixture begins to thicken stir constantly and do not let it scorch or burn.
- After mixture thickens, stir in butter and vanilla, stir until butter is melted, remove from heat and pour into prepared pie shell.
- If you suspect there might be any lumps in the mixture pour and press through a fine mesh sieve for a silky smooth texture.
- Prepare meringue by placing the 3 egg whites (at room temperature) in an immaculately clean mixing bowl (clean it with a paper towel with a bit of white vinegar if there is any question). Beat slowly at first to break up whites.
- Add cream of tartar and small pinch of salt, increase mixer speed and beat until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add sugar, 1 T. at at time, continuing to beat, until all sugar is added, then add 1/2 t. vanilla extract, and beat until stiff peaks form, but meringue should not be dry.
- Spread meringue on top of pie, starting at edge of pie, being sure to press the meringue to the crust, and work toward the middle. When all meringue is on pie, shape into swirls and peaks.
- Immediately place in preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until well-browned, but not burned.