My mother's chocolate pie is a big favorite. For a lot of years now, it's what I always ask for on my birthday instead of a cake. Her chocolate pie has just the right amount of chocolate...not too much and not too little. The meringue is also very good and light and fluffy. I don't care for meringue pies when the meringue is too thick and dense. I think people are a little intimidated to try to make a meringue pie and there are a few keys to it being successful, but it's not all that hard if you know the tips. Well, I got the advice of the best pie maker I know today...my mother! The key tips to making this successfully are in the bold type!
Bake your pie shell just until it is starting to brown. Remove from oven to cool slightly.
You are going to need three eggs and they need to be at room temperature, so set those out ahead of time to lose their chill. Then separate the yolks from the whites. Put the yolks in either a microwave safe mixing bowl or a pan (if you do the stovetop method). Put the whites in a glass or stainless steel bowl that is clean and dry. If there is any moisture or anything in the bowl, it will ruin your meringue.
Beat the egg yolks slightly, add 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup powdered unsweetened cocoa, 1/3 cup cornstarch, 2 1/2 cup milk, and a dash of salt. Stir together and microwave for 3 minutes. Remove and whisk well to remove any lumps. Microwave on high for another 4 mintues. Remove and whisk again until smooth. Add 1 Tbs. butter and 1 tsp. vanilla and whisk until melted.
You can mix and cook the pie filling on the stovetop, but it is much easier in the microwave and doesn't stick or burn as easily. If you do it on the stove. whisk almost constantly until it bubbles then turn it down to low and cook for two minutes. You need to keep it moving in the pan with the whisk almost constantly. Add the butter and vanilla at the very end.
Pour the filling into the pie shell.
For the meringue, add 1 tsp. of baking powder to the egg whites and start to beat the whites with an electric mixer on high. Gradually add in 4 Tbs. of sugar, continuing to beat. When stiff peaks start to form (this takes some time) add in 1 tsp. of corn starch and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Don't go too heavy on the vanilla or it will change the color of your meringue or use the colorless.
This is what the meringue looks like when it's stiff enough.
Spread the meringue over the pie filling and be sure to go to the edges of the crust and seal it. This is a very important tip when making a meringue pie, because if you don't seal the edges of meringue around the edge of the crust, your meringue will sink in and not stand up tall on the pie when you brown it. Place it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 13 - 15 minutes just until slightly browned.
See how easy that was!!!
1 10" pie shell
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup cocoa
2 1/2 cups milk
1 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 egg whites
1 tsp. baking powder
4 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. vanilla