Chocolate Cream Pie with Meringue Crust
Looking like a classic chocolate cream pie, Kathy Ruiz’ version is anything but. The crust is made of pecan meringue; the silky filling is flavored with chocolate and espresso. The combination is delicious.
- Egg Whites - 3
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Pecans - 1/2 cup, chopped
- Vanilla Extract - 1/2 teaspoon
- Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate - 9 ounces, chopped
- Espresso or Strong black coffee - 1/3 cup
- Eggs - 4, separated, at room temperature
- Heavy Cream - 2 cups
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate - 2 ounces, shaved
Preheat the oven to 300 F and lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.
To make the crust: In the bowl of a mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar at medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and slowly add the sugar, beating until stiff peaks form and the meringue looks glossy. Fold in the pecans and vanilla and spread the mixture into the pie plate, building up a rim of meringue. Bake for 30 minutes, then cool at room temperature.
To make the filling: Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in the espresso. Continue stirring until the mixture has cooled somewhat, then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Whip 1 cup of the cream until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture.
Pour into the baked pie shell and chill until set. Before serving, whip the remaining 1 cup of cream with the confectioner’s sugar and spread on the pie. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings.
Note: If the pie is served the day it is baked, the crust will remain crisp. It will become a chewy meringue by the next day.