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CHOCOLATE MERINGUE PIE

This pie is adapted from a. lemon meringue fie recipe from the 26th edition of The Memphis Cookbook, published by the Junior League of Memphis. Elinor and all her female relatives were members at one time or another, going back generations.

Italian Family Dining
by Edward & Eugenia Giobbi
Serves 6



For the pastry:
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup superfine sugar
• 1 egg yolk
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the filling:
• 5 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 3 eggs
• 3 egg yolks
• 1 cup superfine sugar
• 5 tablespoons warm water
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the meringue:
• 3 egg whites
• Cream of tartar
• 6 tablespoons superfine sugar


Directions
Heat the oven to 350°F, with a rack set in the center of the oven.

For the pastry:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, egg yolk, and butter and pulse for about 1 minute, until the dough comes together into many little balls. Remove and press the dough together. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface. Press down on the dough with the rolling pin in all directions, and gradually roll out, starting from the center of the ball. Roll the dough up on the rolling pin, or fold into thirds, and place in a 9-inch pie plate. If the dough is too tender and falls apart when you try to put it in the pie plate, just press the pieces into place. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill the crust with beans or a pie chain.

Place the crust on the center rack of the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly brown. Remove but leave the oven on.

For the filling:
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until light. Add the egg and sugar mixture to the melted chocolate, still over simmering water in the double boiler. Add the water and mix well. Add the butter and continue mixing. Stir the filling as it cooks in the double boiler over medium heat until the filling is thick enough to fall in ribbons from the spoon, about 15 minutes. Do not overcook. Pour the filling into the crust.

For the meringue:
Beat the egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until stiff and glossy. Pour the meringue over the chocolate filling.

Bake the pie for about 5 minutes, until the meringue turns golden brown. Allow the pie to cool thoroughly before cutting, to allow the filling to set.

Note: You can substitute 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice plus the grated zest of 1 lemon for the chocolate to make lemon meringue pie.

 

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