We called my father's mother Granny. She's been gone more than 50 years now but we think about her at family dinners because Granny's Chocolate Pie is my father's favorite. It takes him back to his east Texas roots and the sweetness of his mother's love.
He's 90 and likely won't be with us much longer so we make Granny's Chocolate Pie often. The recipe is Granny's only representation in our family book, but that one is enough.
Granny's Chocolate Pie is like a lot of life, we each have our own version. Mine (recipe below) leans toward deep chocolate.
Granny's Chocolate Pie
Makes a 9" pie; 6 large servings or 8 smaller ones
Pie Crust: We don't have Granny's pie crust recipe so feel free to use your own. Put the crust in the oven to bake until light golden brown while you make the filling.
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 T flour
7 T good cocoa
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
1 T butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1) Put the yolks in a medium saucepan. Reserve the whites for the meringue.
2) Stir the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt into the egg yolks.
3) Turn the heat on to medium and slowly whisk in the milk, stirring to eliminate lumps. Cook until the mixture boils and you see big bubbles on the surface. Continue cooking as it thickens until it almost holds soft peaks. This will happen quickly.
4) Take the pan off the stove and stir in vanilla and butter until the butter blends into the filling.
5) Set filling aside while you make the meringue.
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar1 tsp cornstarch
1/3 c sugar
Tip: Letting egg whites come to room temperature before beating helps make a higher meringue.
Using a mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and cornstarch (helps to stabilize meringue). Continue beating, drizzling in sugar. Beat until meringue forms stiff peaks.
Filling will still be warm when you pour it into the crust and may still be warm when you top with meringue, which is fine.
Pile meringue on, taking care to seal the edges of the meringue to the crust.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes until light golden.
Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. The filling will set as it cools.
If you can't wait, you can always serve it in bowls. Any way you want to do it, Granny's Chocolate Pie can cure the blues.
Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.