I was watching one of my favorite movies “Julie and Julia” the other day and was inspired to make a chocolate pie as Julie did in the show. This is a Chocolate Pie with Swiss Meringue and is going to throw you over the top. The filling and meringue are so good, I’m surprised they even made it into the pie plate!
This is a great pie in which to learn some basic pie-making skills. One of which is “blind baking”. A pre-cooked pie crust is used with fillings that don’t require baking in the oven – like this pie and others with cream fillings. Pre-cooking pie crusts can be very frustrating if you don’t blind-bake because they will invariably shrink and look ugly. That’s ok if you are the only one eating it, but not so much if you are going to share 🙂
Once you get your crust prepared in the pie plate as you usually do, line the crust with aluminum foil and fill the foil with pie weights. I don’t have pie weights so I use dried beans. Make sure that you get the foil all the way to the edges of the bottom of the pie crust and that you distribute the weights evenly across the bottom and up the sides as you fill it. This will ensure that the crust holds its shape.
Bake the crust at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until the crust looses that “raw” look and the edges just start to brown. Then remove the foil and weights, brush the shell with a little egg wash (1 egg yolk + 1 T water), and bake it again for another 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned. (Note: If you’re using beans like me, I save them in a ziplock bag for next time. They are no longer edible.)
“They” say that the sign of a perfect crust is one that can be lifted straight outta the pie plate. Mine did and I had a proud moment!
After this proud moment, I started on the chocolate filling. This is an old fashioned chocolate pie that starts with an unsweetened chocolate bar that I chopped up so it would melt easier in the milk.
As Julie said there is something comforting about mixing eggs with chocolate and getting an amazing, thick, warm chocolatey filling.
I love chocolate, but the best part of this pie for me was the Swiss Meringue. It is really very easy and once you try it, you will never make meringue any other way again
Start by whisking together the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer. Just whisk them until they are incorporated. Then fill up a large saucepan about 3/4 full with water and set it on medium heat to simmer. Put your bowl over the simmering water and continue whisking the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. You can tell it is dissolved by rubbing a little between your fingers and no longer feeling any “grit” – or you can use a candy thermometer and warm the mixture to about 160 degrees.
Transfer the bowl to your stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, whisk it on high speed for about 9-11 minutes. It will gradually cool off and turn glossy and thick like marshmallow cream. It is so yummy that I texted my sister-in-law to come over because she just had to try this (she did – she only lives a few walking minutes away).
This meringue can be used like any other meringue and it is very stable. We like the slightly crunchy meringue peaks at our house, so I either use a kitchen torch to brown the top or pop the pie into a 400 degree oven for a few minutes. I hope you try this Chocolate Pie with Swiss Meringue!
- 9-inch baked pie shell
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 T cornstarch
- 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Prepare and bake pie shell; let cool.
- In medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, chocolate and salt.
- Stir in the milk.
- Over medium-high heat, bring mixture to boiling; boil 1 minute stirring constantly then remove from heat.
- Whisk half the mixture into the egg yolks; then pour all back into the saucepan.
- Boil mixture 1 minute longer; remove from heat; add vanilla.
- Pour into pie shell.
- Spread meringue over hot filling, sealing to edge of crust.
- Brown meringue in 400 degree F oven until preferred color; or use kitchen torch to brown gently.
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1½ cups sugar
- Fill a pot to about ¾ full of water and bring the water to a simmer.
- In a clean, oil/grease-free bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar.
- Heat the mixture over the pot of simmering water (similar to a double-boiler). Ensure that the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water.
- Continuing whisking the mixture until the sugar is dissolved (about 160 degrees F); about 5 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the "double boiler".
- Using an electric mixer, whip the mixture on high speed until it forms stiff peaks (this will take 9-11 minutes). It will gradually cool down and turn glossy and thick like marshmallow creme.