Although I have eaten fancier, more complicated chocolate desserts in my lifetime in cities and countries far and wide…none is as dear to my heart and palate as a dark chocolate pie with a fluffy meringue browned just right.
This was my favorite pie of my West Tennessee childhood. My mother, Grandmother, Aunts, Mother’s of friends all seemed to bake this classic pie with ease. My Mother’s was my favorite as she added just a bit more cocoa to make the filling darker and richer.
Alas, there are no hastily written nor carefully scribed recipes left to me from Mother, nor my grandmother…no splattered, tattered scrapes of paper!
But life can have so many intriguing twists and turns and one is that I often work with fabulous food photographer, Stephanie Mullins, who happens to be from West Tennessee…as is her Grandmother, Martha Webb…and Martha Webb has a chocolate meringue pie recipe that is the mirror of Mother’s!
A couple of years ago Stephanie made a recipe book of some of her family’s recipes. She gave me one and this Holiday season I made chocolate meringue pies for my family using Martha Webb’s recipe with a few small changes. Thanks Martha for the recipe and Stephanie for sharing with me.
Big pie, wee pies, medium size pies…crust “blind baked” cooling and ready to fill. Blind baked simply means to pre-bake the pie crust before filling. This works especially well with pudding or custard fillings keeping the crust from getting soggy. For a video how-to from Fine Cooking Magazine go here.
Chocolate filling ingredients measured and ready….
…a rich, dark pudding….
..poured into pie shells to cool.
All topped with fluffy meringue.
Martha Webb's West Tennessee Chocolate Meringue Pie
- 6 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 large egg yolks (set whites aside for meringue)
- 1 cup sugar + extra for meringue
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 9″ pie crust blind baked and cooled
- In a small bowl whisk together flour & cocoa. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks and 1 cup sugar with just a bit of the milk until blended.
- Gradually whisk the flour-cocoa mixture into the yolk-sugar-milk mixture.
- Set saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Slowly add the remaining milk, stirring with the whisk until the mixture thickens into a chocolate pudding. Be patient as this might take a bit of time, but well worth it…about 10-12 minutes.
- Add butter and whisk until fully melted and incorporated into the pudding. Remove from heat.
- Fill pie crust with pudding mixture. Set aside to cool a bit while you make the meringue. Preheat oven to 350 degrees for meringue.
- Place egg whites in a clean dry mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer beat whites until fluffy and airy. Halfway through slowly sprinkle sugar by tablespoons over the whites with mixer running. Continue adding sugar and mixing until soft, fluffy peaks form.
- Scrape meringue onto pie spreading out to the edge of the crusts completely covering the pie filling.
- Place pie on a sheet pan and bake in oven until meringue is golden brown on the tips. Remove from oven and let cool for at least an hour before serving.
Recipe adapted from original. Teresa Blackburn http://teresablackburnfoodstyling.com