Chocolate Cream Pie in a Coconut Meringue Shell
The meringue pie shell in this silky, gooey, sweet sensation makes use of the egg whites not used in the pudding. Pick a dry day to make this, as humidity will cause the meringue to soften.
For the shell
¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
3 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cups sugar
For the filling
1 1/4 cups sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups milk
5 large egg yolks
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
For the Topping
1 cup well-chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Butter a 9-inch pie plate or pan. Preheat oven to 275’F.
Make the shell: Spread the coconut in a pan and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely.
Spread the coconut in a pan and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely.
With a grease-free bowl and beaters beat the egg white and the cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks. Beat in the sugar in a stream and beat on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes or until sugar cannot be felt when a dab of egg whites is rubbed between 2 fingers.
Reserve 1 tablespoon of the coconut for garnish and fold the remaining coconut into the egg whites. Turn the meringue into the pie dish, building it up on the sides in the shape of a pie shell. Bake the shell in the middle of the oven for 1 hour to 11/4 hours or until dry. Let cool completely. (The shell will crack in spots).
Make the filling: In a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring occasionally. (Be careful not to get any water in the chocolate or it will seize). In a large saucepan whisk together the sugar, corn starch and salt. Add the milk and yolks, and whisk until smooth. Cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and boils. Continue to whisk and boil for 2 minutes, and remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the chocolate and vanilla until thoroughly blended and scrape the pudding into the pie shell. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding, but don’t cover the meringue edge. Chill the pie for at least 2 hours or until cold and set.
In a chilled bowl beat the cream with the sugar until just stiff and spread it on top of the pie. Sprinkle with the reserved coconut.
From Leslie Glover Pendleton