“…seemingly endless waves of meringue piled up on top all golden brown.”
This was my vision when I attempted my first ever lemon meringue pie. That’s what I was going for. Having never made meringue before I didn’t know what I was doing. Oh sure, I had the basics down. I knew I needed to beat egg whites furiously. I knew that I shouldn’t use a plastic bowl because it absorbs oils from other things that were previously stored in that plastic bowl. I also knew that there was going to be cream of tartar in there somewhere. Lastly, I knew that I wanted to beat those eggs until they formed “stiff peaks.” Even though I had never done this before, how hard could it be?
If you happened to read that post, you already know that I was less than thrilled with the lack of height as well as the much smaller than desired, meringue peaks on top of my lemon pie. Right there and then I vowed to conquer the meringue. Well, let me just tell you… Attempt number two has been declared a spectacular success!
Things I’ve learned…
Use more egg whites!
You’re probably going to need a little more than just a pinch of cream of tartar and apparently significantly more sugar.
Lastly, but probably most importantly… Even if a recipe tells you to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks and states that can be accomplished in 1-2 minutes, I highly doubt it. This time around the egg whites were beat for about 10 minutes. Big difference! Better results.
So, this time around I decided to make a chocolate meringue pie. This chocolate was so very decadent and rich. It was the type of pie that even the most seasoned pie eaters would only eat a small piece of because that’s all you needed. This isn’t a sugary sweet chocolate. It’s a deep chocolate that almost fills you with a satisfying warmth as you eat it. Then there’s the meringue… the ingredient that started it all.
I accomplished “seemingly endless waves of meringue piled up on top all golden brown.” There is no better description. Light and fluffy golden meringue waves. The perfect finishing touch on top of deep, decadent chocolate. This recipe will be loved and impress whoever you make it for.
Chocolate Meringue Pie via Better Homes & Gardens
Baked Deep Dish Pastry Shell (recipe follows or use a pre-made refrigerated pie crust)
9 egg whites
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
3 c. milk
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Prepare the baked pie shell. Cool completely.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Meanwhile, place egg whites in a bowl and allow to stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- For filling: In a medium saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and cornstarch. Stir in milk and chocolate. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to saucepan. Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cover and keep hot.
- For meringue: Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on low-speed until foamy.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar and the cream of tartar; beat until combined. Gradually add the remaining powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high-speed about 8 minutes or until stiff, glossy peaks form (tips stand straight).
- Pour hot filling into pastry shell.
- Immediately spread meringue over hot filling, carefully sealing to edge of pastry to prevent meringue from shrinking. Using a small spoon, swirl meringue to create large peaks.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees F. Bake about 50 minutes more or until meringue is golden brown and set when gently shaken.
- Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Chill for 3 to 6 hours before serving.
Baked Deep-Dish Pastry Shell:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1/2 cup shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of flour mixture; toss gently with a fork. Push to side of bowl. Repeat with additional cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time (5 to 7 tablespoons total), until all is moistened. Shape into a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edge into a 14-inch circle. Wrap pastry circle around rolling pin; transfer to a 9-1/2 to 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edge as desired. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes more or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.