Monday, May 19, 2014

Chocolate Meringue Pie

"Meringue, huh? Well, I didn't know them so I guess it would be OK."
This is a straightforward pie to make, you do however need to plan ahead. Make certain that your crust and filling are completely cool (chilled in the case of the later) before topping with meringue, and browning in the oven. The dough for the crust is very fragile, but forgiving. I ended up patting the pieces that broke back into the pan with no harm done. After fitting the pastry in the pan, place it in the freezer for at least twenty minutes to ensure it won't shrink in the oven. The meringue does get heated over a double boiler, but I would still start with the whites at room temperature. If you own a copper bowl, this is a good time to use it.

The recipe comes from the wonderful book, Chocolate by, Nick Malgieri. I've made many of the recipes from the collection, and they have all turned out well. The instructions sound overly complicated on the first read through, but when you are properly following along, they make more sense. You could top this pie with sweetened whipped cream instead of meringue if you prefer.

You Will Need:

For the pastry:
1 cup plain flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1 large egg

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in butter until very fine rubbing with your fingertips at the end. Beat the egg, and add it all at once. Mix gently with your hand until it comes together in a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in  cling film and chill several hours or overnight.

Roll dough to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Press gently into pan, then freeze 20 minutes before baking.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. (that's about 180 C. for those of you outside the US)
Line the pastry with parchment (or foil) and fill with beans (or pie weights if you have them). Bake 20 minutes. Remove the benas and parchment and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until done. It is hard to tell with dark crust, so you'll really need to give it a feel. Don't burn your fingers.

Remove to a rack and cool completely. If your crust is sturdy enough, I like to remove them from the pan to cool-this helps keep it crisp. Mine slipped out easily, but if it won't no big deal, just cool it in the pan.

For the Filling:

1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch (that's cornflour outside the US)
2 cups milk (I used 2 % because that's what I had)
3 large eggs
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the milk slowly over medium heat. When it boils, remove from heat. Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add 1/3 of the heated mixture into the eggs, then add it back to the pan with the rest of the heated milk, Whisk until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat again. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir in gently with a spoon. When mixture is smooth, pour in a bowl and cover with wax paper (I've stopped pressing cling film onto hot food, but if you're OK with it, do as you see fit). Chill completely before using.

For the meringue:

4 large egg whites (save the yolks for pasta or ice cream)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer. Combine eggs, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl. Place bowl over pan of water, and whisk gently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and with an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until cooled, and whites hold their shape. It should not be dry. Place filling in pastry case, and top with meringue making sure to get it all the way to the edge. Make some swirls (go on, DO IT) and place the pie on a baking sheet. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the meringue is coloured evenly. Cool on a rack.
(That's some nice swirling if I don't say so myself).

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. Do not feed to birds, no matter how they beg.

1 comment:

Sue said...

I have just gained weight looking at that!!