For a single 9” (22cm) pie crust:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (165g)
1/3 cup unsalted butter (70g)
pinch of salt
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water (45-60ml)
Extra flour for rolling
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar (125g)
1/3 cup cornstarch (43g)
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped (56g)
½ tsp. salt (2g)
1 ½ cups milk (360ml)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (3ml)
1 tsp. almond extract (3ml)
5 egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp. cream of tartar (2g)
½ cup sugar (62g)
For blind baking the crust:
Place the flour, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of an electric food processor. Using a pastry stirrup, food processor or two table knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water a spoonful at a time, stirring between additions so that you have a cohesive dough. Dough should feel a bit dry and not sticky. Gently roll into a ball and wrap in parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C). Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap and place on a floured surface. Roll the dough to approximately an 1/8” thickness (3mm) and then transfer the rolled dough to a 9” pie plate (22cm). Press gently into the pan and trim and crimp the edges. Place a sheet of aluminum foil inside the prepared crust and fill the crust with uncooked beans to weight it down as it bakes (see notes on weights)
Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the aluminum foil along with the uncooked beans. Return the crust to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
For the Filling:
In a heavy 2 qt. saucepan (2lt.) combine the sugar, cornstarch, chocolate and salt. Add the milk and stir to combine well. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer while continuing to stir. Once the mixture comes to a boil, allow to simmer gently for 1 minute while continuing to stir constantly. Remove from heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in the bowl again. As you are whisking, add a spoonful of the hot chocolate/milk mixture to the eggs. Continue to add the chocolate mixture a spoonful at a time into the eggs while whisking until most of the chocolate has been incorporated into the eggs. Return the whisked chocolate/egg mixture to the saucepan, stirring to combine well.
Return the pan to a medium heat and return to a simmer. Stir constantly and cook for one more minute. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and almond extract. Allow the filling to cool slightly.
To make the meringue:
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and add the cream of tartar. Turn on the mixer and whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the sugar a spoonful at a time until all of the sugar is incorporated. The meringue is fully whipped when stiff peaks form.
To assemble the pie:
Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) Fill the pie shell with the warm chocolate filling and then spoon over the prepared meringue, spreading the mixture to seal to the inside edge of the crust. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, until the meringue is golden. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.
Tart sized pie shells should be baked for less time. The smaller ther tart, the less time it takes to bake the pie shell. My 5″ (12.7cm) tarts took 7 minutes with the weights and seven minutes without.