Mouth-watering chocolate Meringue Pie
For The Crust:
1/2 C shortening
1 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C finely chopped pecans
2 to 3 tbls. cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut shortening into flour using a pastry blender or two knives until pastry is the consistency of very coarse cornmeal.
Mix in salt and pecans. Add water a tbls. at a time. Mix lightly until dough holds together. Roll dough to approximately 1/4 inch in thickness on floured surface. Place in 8-inch pie pan. Place pie weights or another lightweight pan on top while baking to prevent bubbles from forming. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.
For Pie Filling:
4 tbls. cocoa
3 tbls. cornstarch
6 tbls.plus 4 tbls. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs, separated
2 C milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch cream of tarter
Sift cocoa or mash out any lumps with the back of a spoon. Sift or mix cornstarch, cocoa, 6 tbls. of sugar and the salt together. Place the mixture in the top of a double boiler. Beat the egg yolks slightly. While stirring the cocoa mixture, add the milk slowly and then the egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick. Add vanilla. Cool slightly. Pour mixture into cooled pecan piecrust. Beat egg whites, gradually adding 4 tbls. sugar and a pinch of cream of tarter until soft peaks form. Spread on pie and brown under broiler. This pie is really yummy!
Katie, I love custard pies. But after trying Mama's butterscotch Pie I find I am liking experience with custard making.
Although I am willing to try again. Most of the time I do what I call, a you bake-em pie (dump and bake) CF
Dump and bake pie is usually fairly successful but some fillings require a tad more finesse. Any custard or pudding in which eggs play a roll has to be made rather carefully, otherwise you're apt to get "grainey" texture as the eggs may "cook" during the process. I've had that happen with some chocolate custard pie filling in times past and the result was just simply yucky! The taste was okay but that texture of scrambled eggs was nobody's choice!
Katie, my filling was really smooth, and tasty. It just didn't set like I would of liked. I cooked it until I thought it was thick enough. But I know now it wasn't. You know kinda runny. Is there some rule to follow with custard thickness? CF
Yes, there is, but I simply have never found it. If I have a custard pie that turns out to be stiff enough it's pure accident. I'll take this problem to my resident chef and ask Ian exactly what the trick is and get back to you with his answer tomorrow. His things nearly always turn out right! If I didn't find his expertise so helpful, I could learn to dislike that guy a lot! There's nothing in the world quite so discouraging as someone who's always spot on!
Incidently, have you tried Spotted Dick yet? He did and his was far and away better than mine has ever been. I'll never challenge him again in my lifetime...........but then, again, I never studied at Le Cordon Bleu! My school of learning was strictly Katie's Kitchen. And there are several bricks missing from my floor!
I haven't tried the spotted dick yet. Pretty busy with the crops and the food business. And the yard work needs to be done, just watering is almost a full time job. It is super dry here and hot.
I will be keen to hear what Ian has to say about the custard. CF
Hello ChileFarmer, I looked at both the Butterscotch and Chocolate Meringue Pie recipes on this forum and I notice one thing missing obviously from the Butterscotch pie. No cornstarch at all listed in the ingredient list. Hence, it's no wonder it didn't thicken the way you'd hoped. Custard-style pies should have at minimum a quarter of a cup of cornstarch in the filling to make it hold together. This according to our Master Pastry Chef at school. I would imagine that the lady who submitted the recipe on the forum for the Butterscotch Pie had a good reason for not including cornstarch in her recipe, a reason I know nothing about, but I know that's always the problem with my Mum's custards...she doesn't put enough cornstarch in them and they run like mad. As well, the cornstarch should be dissolved into the liquid you're using before the addition of egg yolks and let to sit aside briefly prior to incorporation with the remaining ingredients. For a good custard with rewarding thickness, heat should be slow and steady, never past 185 to 190 degrees, otherwise you're going to curdle the egg yolks and essentially have scrambled eggs. Cornstarch molecules in a custard are very large and therefore come between unwound egg proteins during cooking, in effect blocking, at least temporarily, their attempts to bond. Custards with cornstarch can, therefore, be heated well above 180 degrees without any curdling and can be heated hotter and, if necessary, longer to attain desired thickening. I just reread what I said and it sounds confusing so in the morning I'll take this to the Pastry Chef and get something a bit more clear from him. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
CF - I double-checked some of my custard and pudding recipes that have failed me from time to time and sure enough, they all had that commonality of not containing nearly as much cornstarch as those that were successful. Possibly that is the secret, who knew?
When I make good old-fashioned chocolate pudding for a dessert here I almost always have a good thickness using my grandmother's old recipe (that includes that old devil, cornstarch) but then again, puddings and custards in a pudding dish needn't be as "hold-togetherish" (a technical term!) as what goes into a custard pie. Katie
The recipe that Mama posted was from a 1930 cookbook. I was looking for an old fashion butterscotch recipe, maybe they didn't use cornstarch back then. I don't remember us ever having any. Then again, if we had to buy it we didn't have it. Money was tight,but we always had plenty to eat. Damn, I miss those days. Life was so much simpler. CF
Thanks Ian, the information was helpful. corn starch or even flour may be the answer. Maybe not flour unless it was added early on in the cook. CF