Cross Creek Black Bottom Pie



  • About 2 dozen gingersnaps, crumbled fine
  • 6 Tbsp melted butter


  • 1 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • another 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rum
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract(another one)


  • grated unsweetened chocolate
  1. First, moisten the gingersnap crumbs with 6 Tbsp of melted butter and transfer to a nine inch deep dish pie plate. Press the crumbs against the bottom and sides to make an evenly distributed crust
  2. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 10 minutes and set aside to cool
  3. The filling consists of two distinct layers topped by whipped cream
  4. To prepare the layers, begin by soaking the gelatin in 4 Tbsp of cold water and set aside
  5. In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp of cornstarch.
  6. In the top of a double boiler (or in a microwave) over gently simmering water, melt 2 squares of chocolate, stir in 1 tsp of vanilla and set off the stove, but still over the hot water
  7. Scald 2 cups of milk in another saucepan, stir the sugar and cornstarch mixture into it, let it cool a bit, and then slowly add the egg yolks, beating steadily to make a smooth union
  8. When this custard is well blended, pour it into a heavy pot and cook it over low heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes, or until it begins to thicken and coat the stirring spoon
  9. Remove from heat, set the pot in cold water and stir in the softened gelatin
  10. Keep stirring until the custard is completely smooth, it will thicken more as it cools
  11. This custard is the base for both layers of pie filling. Pour about half of it (about 1-1/4 cups) into the melted chocolate and mix together well
  12. Let the other half cool some more while you beat the 4 egg whites with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and 1/2 cup of sugar; then fold this stiff meringue into the remainder of the custard
  13. Finally, fold in 2 Tbsp of white rum
  14. To assemble the pie, pour the chocolate custard into the crust and smooth out evenly with a spatula
  15. Pour the other custard on top and smooth it out
  16. Chill the pie thoroughly in the refrigerator (overnight is ideal but not essential)
  17. When ready to serve, beat 1 cup of whipping cream to stiff peaks, adding 2 Tbsp of powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp vanilla while beating, and spread it over the pie
  18. Grate a little unsweetened chocolate on top


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