Back in the day, folks from South Texas and Northern Mexico would gather at the local Luby’s to enjoy a thick slice of Chocolate Meringue Pie. Velvety chocolate cream filling with a mile-high meringue that reminded us of a church lady’s hairdo – it was my favorite. The only problem was that the meringue was so high that the take-home box would crush the summit of the meringue’s deliciousness. So if we wanted a beautiful Chocolate Meringue Pie, we had to make it at home.
Blind Baking Pie Shell
One of the details of making Chocolate Meringue Pie is “blind baking” the pie shell. Once I started thinking about how I could describe the technique of blind baking, I decided the blind baking instructions would be more clear if I made a video of the process. It’s a little mind-stretching to think you need to bake uncooked beans in an uncooked pie shell in order to achieve a delicious pie, but like the church lady, you must have faith. Blind baking is a tried and true method for making a simple pie crust for cream filled pies.
Blind baking pie shells is also a necessary step when you make fresh fruit filled pies, such as Fresh Strawberry Pie or Fresh Grapefruit Pie. Obviously, the pie shell is baked and the fruit isn’t. And if you are sheltering at home these days and don’t feel like running to the store for a pre-baked pie crust, this recipe will provide some stay-at-home convenience.
Chocolate Meringue Pie is a Texas Fave!
There are few desserts as delicious as chocolate pie. Even though I adore the old-fashioned mile-high meringue, you can always opt to top the pie with whipped cream instead of meringue. Simply blind bake the pie shell, fill with the delicious chocolate filling and then top with whipped cream. Or you can present your Chocolate Meringue Pie with the mile-high meringue AND whipped cream. That might be too much. But in the spirit of church ladies everywhere, you should go for it. Like they say, the higher the hairdo, the closer you are to Heaven!Print
Chocolate Meringue Pie
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: US
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:
Place the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl whisk well until lemon colored. Set aside.
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.
For pie weights, use either uncooked rice, uncooked beans, or you can use metal weights or ceramic weights.
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