Monday, August 01, 2005

The Chocolate Pie That Wasn't

I had a cooking failure/disaster yesterday! The first mistake I made was wanting to try a new recipe while having a very crabby baby in the house. But, I did select a new recipe: Marge's Chocolate Pie with Meringue from the Mitford Cookbook and Reader. I had never tried meringue before and thought this would make a tasty and beautiful dessert for dinner last night.

The crust went fine. The chocolate pudding was "cooking" along...though not getting thick. But, after cooking and cooking the pudding, it did not thicken. It was runny and soupy. I kept thinking, "maybe it will set while refrigerating." So, I went ahead and put it in the crust and made the meringue. The meringue turned out beautiful! I was so pleased. So I spread it on top, baked it a few minutes until it was browned so pretty.

When I took it out of the oven, chocolate soup started dripping on my feet, the floor, running down the cabinet, etc... Getting more frustrated, but still hoping it would thicken, I refrigerated it for three hours.

After dinner, the fateful moment arrived where it was time for dessert. Let's just say we ended up eating pound cake that I had in the freezer with chocolate soup poured over and meringue on the top. It worked out ok, but I am curious to try it again and see if the pudding ever thickens! Oh well, a lesson learned. Don't think the pudding will thicken any more than it is in the saucepan.


Megan said...

Monica - I have a *great* chocolate pie recipe that has been passed down from my Great-Auntie that I'm more than happy to share if you want. It's a meringue pie as well, although I seldom put it on there (no one in my family likes merigue...) :)

Monica Wilkinson said...

Megan, Thanks - I'd love the recipe. Is this the same that doesn't work with Splenda? I remember reading about your experience with that! I love family recipies that have been handed down! Thanks for sharing!

Megan said...

Yes, that's the one! Here's the recipe:

1.5 C Sugar
4 T Flour
4.5 T Hershey's Cocoa
1/4 t Salt
3 Eggs (separated)
2 C. Evaporated Milk
1 T Butter
1 t Vanilla

Mix sugar, flour, cocoa and salt all together. Combine egg yolks with Evaporated milk, butter and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir well. Put in a
saucepan and cook, stirring CONSTANTLY until thick.

When thickened, pour into prebaked pie crust.

Start beating the 3 egg whites & 1/4 t Cream of Tartar. When it starts to mound, fold in 6 T Sugar, 1 T at
a time. Fold in 1 t vanilla at the end. To avoid weeping, seal edges well. Brown in the oven.
(Or, do what we do and skip the meringue and plop cool-whip on top. Yum!)

A note on the cocoa: for some reason it *has* to be Hershey's. Nestle and Ghirardelli do not work in this recipe (I've tried...)Also, I sometimes run all the dry ingredients through the sifter as that seems to help keep clumps out of it. It sounds picky, but you'll be glad you followed it when you get it done. It's our favorite dessert.

Megan said...

PS - The funny thing about this recipe is that my Aunt Retta (my Auntie) never followed a recipe like this exactly this way and her's came out perfectly every time. My sister and I can't seem to do that and so between the two of us have figured out how to make it work with exact measurements. Sometimes I wish I had more of that cooking intuition!

Monica Wilkinson said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe! I know what you mean about desiring the "intuition" to create something like this without very detailed instructions - but I'm like you! I need them! The ingredients to this look similar to the "failed" pie, but the directions are different. I used Nestle's cocoa - so that could be my problem! :) I'm looking forward to trying it and will let you know how it turns out!