Archive | September 2013

Chocolate Meringue Pie

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I’m pretty much down with any recipe that has chocolate.

I think chocolate makes everything better. Seriously. If you have a mediocre lemon bar, drizzle some chocolate on it! If you have a plain pint of vanilla ice cream, sprinkle some chocolate chips over it. If you have some Brussels sprouts that your kids won’t eat…. well, I don’t know the eating habits of your kids, but chocolate and vegetables doesn’t sound that good, so maybe there is an exception.

Seeing as my grandmother raised four kids and spent 60+ years of her life in the kitchen, she’s been less eager to cook these days. I do what I can and once a month or so I cook up a storm to make sure she has a few meals worth of food. One day I was busy whipping up bread, jambalaya and roasted vegetable and barley salad when I realized I needed a dessert for her.

In an effort to find a simple pie to make, I thought a chocolatey custard based pie might be nice. While I can make pie dough, I tend to prefer graham cracker based pies (you can’t mess up ground up graham crackers). I found The Homesick Texan’s (grandma’s) pie and thought it would be a perfect candidate for an easy pie to make with a graham cracker crust. I might even call it a s’more pie (despite a lack of marshmallow). After making it on a Thursday, I made it again on a Friday with a few alterations, and then again on a Saturday.

The original recipe was perfection and it didn’t need changing, but I think everything is better with more chocolate (and maybe other things) so I altered just a few things.

My only regret: I wish I had taken at least one picture of the pie… besides this sad one where the pie is in the corner and barely visible. But, despite a lack of photographs, I wanted to share this recipe because it’s so good… and I wanted you to know what a considerate, outstanding grandson I am.

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Adapted from Homesick Texan

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted

Filling:

  • 5 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Topping:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar

For the crust:

In a bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press into a standard pie pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven until lightly brown. Set aside.

For the filling:

In a sauce pan over medium heat, mix the sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, coffee powder, eggs and milk (all except vanilla and butter) with a whisk.
Cook while constantly stirring on medium until it bubbles and thickens, about 10-15 minutes. It may be a bit lumpy, but keep whisking, it will smooth out. After 10-15 minutes, it should thicken and resemble a pudding. Keep in mind it won’t thicken any more in the oven, so if it’s a thin consistency, continue whisking until it’s thickened.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and butter. Pour into prepared crust.

For the topping:

Beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar and when they start to get fluffy add the sugar. Beat until mildly stiff peaks form (you don’t want dry egg whites, but you want stiff ones).

With an offset spatula or flatware knife, spread topping over prepared crust and custard. Bake at 375 for approximately 10 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and cook a few more minutes until topping is lightly browned.

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