This pie was superbly rich, creamy and completely sweet tooth satisfying. You can either top with meringue or whipped cream. My daughter requested this pie for her birthday and she chose freshly whipped cream.
I will post the recipe for meringue and then my method for whipping the cream.
Pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie (either store bought or homemade)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla extract
3 egg whites
6 T. sugar
Line a 9 inch pie pan with crust and then crimp the edges decoratively. Line the crust with pie weights and fully bake the crust at 400 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make the filling:
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt, and stir with a fork to mix well.
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and egg yolks. Stir with a fork to mix well.
Add the sugar-cocoa mixture to the saucepan and use a fork to mix well.
Place over medium high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan often, until the filling becomes shiny and thickens to a silky, rich texture, 3 - 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and pour the filling into the baked pie crust. Set aside at room temperature while you prepare the meringue.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
To make the meringue:
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high, and beat until the egg whites begin to thicken to the texture of cream. Add the sugar 2 T. at a time beating well each time, until the meringue is thick, shiny, and able to hold curly firm peaks. Spread the meringue evenly over the cooked pie filling, sealing the edges to the crust completely and then piling the egg whites higher in the center of the pie. Use a spoon to form curly peaks all of over the meringue.
Place the pie in the oven and bake until the meringue is handsomely golden brown, 10 - 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature and serve.
To make whipped cream topping:
If possible, place a medium bowl and electric beaters in freezer for an hour before making the whipped cream. The colder the bowl and beaters are the better the easier it will be to whip the cream.
Pour 8 oz. of heavy whipping cream into bowl and mix on low speed until cream begins to thicken. Increase speed to high and add 3 T. of powdered sugar to cream. Continue beating on high until cream has thickened. Add 1 t. vanilla flavoring and beat until combined.
Adapted from Southern Pies by Nancie McDermott