Let's face it: winter's not coming.
It's just not.
I know what winter said, that deceitful season. "Snow and ice and hot cocoa," it promised. Lies. All lies. We had one week of winter, and then it left the Midwest and found someplace better.
Someplace more refined, like New York.
At least, I bet they had winter in New York. I never checked.
We didn't want to talk to winter, anyway. Did we? I mean, the other seasons are just as good. Aren't they?
It's time to be practical, put up the boots and scarves, and make ourselves a feel-better pie.
This was my second attempt at a chocolate creme pie. The first filling was just as good as the first, but the meringue was a failure. Flat and lifeless. (like winter)
AND, since I'm being honest, my mother is the one who had to come over and teach me how to properly whip a meringue. Because I guess my grandmother's 1982 version of Better Homes & Garden cookbook just assumes that you'll know in what order to add the ingredients.
Guess what. It does matter what order the ingredients are put in.
So at least we can get passed being stood-up by winter and welcome that awful, allergy-inducing, cold-in-the-morning-hot-by-the-afternoon Spring. Beggars and choosers.
Chocolate Creme Pie
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook, 1982
1 pie shell, baked and ready
For the filling:
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened chocolate
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups milk
4 eggs, separated (keep whites at room temp for meringue)
3 tbsp butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in milk and add chopped chocolate and make sure the chocolate melts thoroughly. It will take awhile, at least 15 minutes for the milk mixture to bubble, but make sure to stir constantly. Reduce heat and continue to stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks slightly in a bowl, add 1 cup of the hot chocolate mixture to the eggs and mix well. Add the egg mixture back to the chocolate mix and heat until it gently bubbles again. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla; stir in completely. Pour mix into baked pie shell and top with meringue before baking.
Make the meringue:
The 4 egg whites left over from the chocolate filling, still at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 tbsp sugar
In a high-sided bowl, add the whites and using hand-mixer, mix on high for 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream of tartar, blend again for another 2-3 minutes. Taking 1/3 tbsp of sugar at a time, sprinkle the sugar over the meringue, mixing well for 3-4 minutes between each sprinkling. Mix until stiff peaks form.
Spread the meringue over the chocolate pie. Bake the pie on a baking sheet for 12-15 minutes, until golden but not burnt. Allow to cool completely before serving or chill.