I also call this my Epiphany Pie because I realized that I can just start making this stuff up and it will come out delicious. Baking is indeed a science, but once you understand the equations, you have the freedom to play around in the lab without fear of explosions. It is a great feeling.
My official pie-taster declared this my best pie yet. It is crazy delicious, with lots of chocolatey goodness and a hint of espresso to give it a mocha kick.
While we are fans of meringue, you could easily top this with homemade whipped cream instead. Just fill the pre-baked pie shell, cover with plastic wrap (to prevent pudding skin), and chill for about four hours. Then top with fresh whipped cream (after removing the plastic wrap, silly!) and serve. No baking time necessary.
Dark Chocolate Mocha Pie (Epiphany Pie)
½ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 heaping tbs espresso powder
4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue, recipe follows)
2 cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
3 tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 9-inch prebaked pie shell
Preheat oven to 325°. In a large saucepan, combine cocoa, espresso powder, cornstarch, and sugar. Stir in milk, cream, and egg yolks. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with wire whisk, until just boiling. Reduce heat to medium, continue stirring and cook for 3 minutes, until large bubbles come to top and filling is thick, like pudding. Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into prebaked and cooled pie shell. Now, make the meringue.
4 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Using an electric mixer, whip egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and whip until soft peaks form. Continue to whip, while slowly adding sugar, until stiff peaks form.
Using the back of a wooden spoon, cover pie with meringue, sealing the meringue to the edge of crust. Bake 16 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack, at least four hours.
Time for pretty photos.