Chocolate Chess Pie

D: We were looking to try a couple of Alton’s dessert items and picked 2 recipes. This is the first of those, being ‘Chewy Peanut Butter Cookie’. These are flourless gluten-free peanut butter cookies. Which sounds suspect. We’ll give it a go and see how they turn out. They’re peanut butter cookies, it can only go so wrong.

Ingredients:

  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
  • 16oz sugar
  • 2oz unsweetened cocoa
  • 2tsp kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 5oz can evaporated milk
  • 8oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1TBsp vanilla extract

Meringue:

  • 8oz sugar
  • 2oz light corn syrup
  • 2oz water
  • 4oz egg whites (~ 4 eggs)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1C finely chopped, toasted, pecans

Required:

  • 1 deep-dish 10-inch pie or tart pan
  • Candy thermometer

Directions:

  • Heat the oven to 375F
  • Line the tart pan with the pie shell, press into the sides, and ensure there are no cracks or holes (else the liquidy filling will spill over, and it’s very sticky and prone to burning on); chill while prepping the pie guts
  • Combine the ingredients in a blender or good food processor, blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes
  • Pour into the pie crust
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the outside is firm and the inside still jiggly jiggle jiggle
  • Cool for at least 1 hour before starting the Meringue

Meringue

  • Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, on medium heat, while covered
  • Once boiling, uncover and attach a candy thermometer (attach or otherwise prop up, perhaps by propping it against a roll of paper towel >.>)
  • Bring to 240F on the thermometer
  • While the syrup cooks, whisk the egg whites and vanilla in a stand mixer (or by hand) oh high until medium peaks form, 2-3 minutes
  • Once the syrup has reached 240F, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the meringe
  • Once all the syrup is added, return the mixer to high and beat until stiff peaks form
  • Fold the pecans into the meringe
  • Cover the cooled pie with the meringue, building peaks with the back of a tablespoon (preeeetty), and torch with a kitchen torch or blowtorch to brown

Verdict

D: Not having the deep-dish pan (as that was a surprise in the middle of the recipe), the ratio of the chocolate filling to the meringue was off. The pie also cooked over for us, you need to make sure to underfill the pie, as it does expand quite a bit during cooking. I had it spill over during baking. The deep-dish pan is a must have. It just kind of ends up being a meringue pie.

That said, the meringue is stellar with the pecans, and contrasts the chocolate well. It’s a goddamn delicious pie. I just need to invest in a 10” deep-dish pan before I bake it next time. I’ll definitely be making it again, nearly every chance I get, frankly. It’s super quick and easy to throw together, the torched meringue makes you look like a culinary god, and it’s delicious. Great recipe to throw together when you have surprise dinner guests coming.