This is not a great picture, but I've included it anyway to give you an idea of the rich, creamy texture of this delicious chocolate pie. I started by looking online for a chocolate pie recipe, and I found one... but it wasn't long before I could tell that it wasn't going to turn out anything close to what I wanted. I made enough significant changes to the recipe that it's brand new. I love the way it turned out. This pie has four components, and takes a little doing and dirties a few dishes, but the result is so worth the effort.
Complete ingredients list:
1 9" or deep dish pie crust, baked
1 1/2 c + 1/4 c white sugar (to be used separately)
1/2 c cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
3 c milk
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
2 oz unsweetened chocolate (two 1-oz squares, chopped)
4 eggs, separated - yolks in a small glass bowl, whites in a medium glass bowl
1 T vanilla extract
2 c (one pint) whipping cream
chocolate shavings for garnish, if desired.
Component #1: Crust
Use a standard single pie crust recipe. "Blind bake" it, which means bake it alone, unfilled, in the pie pan. Use pie weights, or two layers of tin foil carefully pressed into the top of it so that it will keep its shape and not shink away from the sides as it bakes. Remove the weights or foil for the last 6 or 7 minutes of baking, so the bottom has a chance to cook completely.
Component #2: Chocolate "pudding"
Whisk together 1 1/2 c sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 2-qt saucepan. Stir in milk gradually. Add both kinds of chocolate. Place over medium heat, stirring constantly (for several minutes) until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute (it will be quite thick). Turn off the heat.
Temper the eggs yolks by adding a big spoonful of the chocolate mixture into them, whisking to combine. Then, pour egg yolks/chocolate mixture back into the chocolate mixture (in saucepan). Turn heat back on to medium and bring back up to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat & stir in vanilla extract.
The chocolate "pudding" mixture needs to be cooled to room temperature before the next step, so allow a couple hours for cooling, or cool it over an ice bath.
Component #3: Cream
Using a cold bowl and cold beaters, beat cream (entire pint) and 1/4 c sugar just until stiff peaks form. Reserve about half the whipped cream to garnish the top of the pie later. Carefully fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the other half of of the whipped cream. Only fold/combine it part way, so that it is not completely incorporated.
Component #4: Meringue for more volume
By this time, your 4 egg whites, which should be sitting in a separate bowl, will be room temperature (not cold). This is better for whipping. Using clean beaters, beat egg whites with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the beaten eggs whites into the partially combined chocolate & cream mixture.
Take care not to deflate your egg whites and your whipped cream when folding into the thick chocolate. Once it's fairly well combined, the result should look (and taste) like a nice fluffy chocolate mousse!
Spoon entire mixture into your baked & well-cooled pie crust. Spread reserved whipped cream over the top, and garnish with chocolate shavings if desired. Chill for at least an hour or two before serving. This makes a lot; you'll want to use a deep dish or definitely a 9" pie; not an 8", for this recipe. I made the mistake of not photographing this pie when it was first cut into; it was very tall and fluffy. Delicious!