Recipe: Chocolate angel pie
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped pecans
Chocolate cream filling
- 4 squares (4 ounces) semisweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- sweetened whipped cream and cocoa powder, for garnish (optional)
For meringue crust:
1 Heat oven to 275°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan and set aside.
2 In a medium bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they are bubbly and foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt, and beat on high speed until the egg whites begin to swell up and hold their shape. Add the sugar gradually, and then the vanilla, while you continue to beat the egg whites, until they are thick, light, shiny, and able to hold firm, curled peaks.
3 Scoop the beaten egg whites out into the pie plate and use the back of a large spoon to shape them into a piecrust with high sides, extending a little above the sides of the pie pan. Scatter the chopped pecans over the bottom of the meringue crust.
4 Place the pan on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 250°F and bake 45 to 50 minutes more, until the meringue crust is lightly browned, firm, and dry to the touch.
5 Place the pan on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate the crust for 3 hours, until very cold.
For chocolate cream filling:
1 Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup hot water and the vanilla and stir well to combine everything smoothly. Set aside to cool completely.
2 When the chocolate is cool, beat the cream until it is thick and light and holds firm peaks. Gently stir the whipped cream into the chocolate and fold them together to make a delicate, creamy chocolate filling.
3 Scoop the chocolate filling into the meringue pie crust and mound it up handsomely. Refrigerate it for 3 hours or more and serve cold, with extra whipped cream and a cocoa powder dusting, if you like.
Makes one 9" pie.
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Excerpted from Southern Pies. Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2010 by Nancie McDerrmott. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.