I have heard for years about this chocolate pie. A long-time family friend has shared her grandmother's recipe and what a treasure it is. I placed a phone call to my friend's mom to learn the intricacies of making this pie. At the end of the call I asked her "do you refrigerate the leftover pie or can you leave it out?" There was a long pause and she replied "well, we never have any leftovers." Neither did we.
1. 1 ¼ C sugar, separated (1 C for filling and ¼ c for meringue)
2. ¼ c cocoa
3. 6 T flour
4. 1 ½ c milk, scalded
5. 3 eggs, room temperature (separated into egg yolks for filling and egg whites for meringue)
6. 1 heaping T margarine, not butter
7. 1/8 t salt
8. 1 t vanilla + a few drops
9. Pie crust, 9 inch, regular depth (not deep dish)
Bake pie shell according to the directions on the package.
Measure out 1 C sugar, ¼ c cocoa and 6 T flour, mix and place in the top pan of a double boiler (or in a heavy duty saucepan). Set aside for a few minutes.
Pour 1 ½ c of milk into a small saucepan. Scald it which is essentially “pre-boiling.” Turn the burner on high. When bubbles start to form on the sides of the pan, remove from heat and pour over the sugar, cocoa and flour mixture in the double boiler. Stir until combined and not lumpy. Cook in top of double boiler and over low heat. Stirring continuously.
Add a little of the chocolate mixture to the beaten yolks of 3 eggs to warm up the eggs. Then pour the eggs into the chocolate mixture and add in 1 heaping T margarine, 1/8 t salt and 1 t vanilla. Cook and stir until thick and smooth. Make sure your filling is nice and thick – it will not cook and thicken further when in the oven and you don’t want a runny pie. Once thickened, pour into the baked pie crust.
To make the meringue, place the 3 egg whites in a mixing bowl and start to beat them with an electric mixer. When they become frothy, gradually pour in ¼ c sugar. When the meringue is white and forms stiff peaks, turn off the mixer. Pour in a few drops of vanilla and mix gently with a spatula. Spread the meringue over the chocolate filling. Be sure to “seal” the pie by spreading the meringue to the edges of the pie and touching the crust. Using your rubber spatula, make some peaks in the meringue but not too high or they will burn.
Bake in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes until the meringue is browned, but not burnt. Allow to cool. Pie is best eaten the day that it is made.