The second pie I made for the Cool Whip gift basket contest was a recipe that the readers en mass implored me to make: the chocolate meringue pie. Of all the pies, this was certainly one of the most intriguing, what with its spicy, savory elements adding a bit of surprise to the proceedings. The question, of course, was whether or not it would actually be any good. Needless to say, I can assure you that there was plenty of drama with this bad boy…
Humble beginnings: in one bowl I have three egg yolks. In a saucepan I have sugar and flour.
Also standing by are four egg whites. I should note that I managed to get egg on my pants at this juncture.
Cocoa powder, salt, and chili powder enter the saucepan.
Meanwhile, as I did all this, I had my laptop open. I was enjoying a three-way video chat with IndianJones and Phamtastic.
Next I add milk to the sauce pan and stir it on the stovetop. I’m supposed to bring the mixture to a boil.
Before the mixture boils, however, it thickens up like a pudding. Uh… is this supposed to happen?
I incorporate the egg yolks, and the mixture thins out a little. I’m supposed to bring it back to a boil, but I don’t really see that happening. Butter and vanilla also enter the equation.
Meanwhile, here is the pie crust (lining my new pie pan, courtesy of Cool Whip).
Meringue time. With the help of some cream of tartar, I get some nice stiff peaks.
Into the pie shell goes the pudding-ish filling. Experienced bakers will sense there’s been an error…
Next goes the meringue. At this point I was quite proud of myself. It all looked so pretty. Again, experienced bakers will be shaking their heads…
My error? The recipe called for a BAKED pastry shell. Uh oh…
I didn’t really know what to do; so I just stuck the pie in the oven for eight minutes, as per the instructions, and browned it on top, getting the pie crust a little crispy on the edges.
I figured the crust might not be, you know, COOKED, but hey, it could still be edible.
Unfortunately, putting the pie in the oven for eight minutes only served to release the grease. Seen here is a small puddle of buttery liquid.
Still, I decided to try the pie anyway. I figured if it was decent enough, I could still bring it to the tasting and instruct everyone to avoid the crust….
However, by the next evening, the little puddle of butter/oil had full on grown into a pool. The pie was unsalvageable. PIESASTER!
But here’s the thing. Raw crust or no, the pie itself was actually not that good. The chocolate flavor could have been stronger (I blame the use of cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate), and the chili powder actually tasted a little nasty. It wasn’t actually spicy; just weird. Now, that may be more of an indictment on my chili powder than the recipe, but if I had to do it again, I’d probably go for cayenne instead.
Part of me does want to attempt this pie a second time. After all, I was somewhat distracted by IndianJones and Phamtastic during the process. But then again, I’m not sure I have it in me. Lesson learned: read recipes carefully.