Chocolate Angel Pie
Source of Recipe
From "The Perfect Pie" by America's Test Kitchen
"An assortment of recipes going by the name angel pie first appeared in print in the 1920s, but it was only after World War II that the name was used for a meringue pie shell filled with creamy mousse and topped with whipped cream. And it was an instant hit. Rationing was at an end, so eggs and sugar were in plentiful supply, and a lavish dessert was in order — and we'd argue it still is. Ideally, chocolate angel pie should have a light, crisp meringue crust; a filling so chocolaty and satiny that it would put a truffle to shame; and plenty of whipped cream. But the mousse filling in older published versions of the recipe wasn't deeply chocolatey enough for our modern sensibilities, so we made a cooked custard for our filling instead. This allowed us to pack a whopping 14 ounces of chocolate into our filling, and as a bonus it ensured we didn't waste the yolks left over from the meringue crust. True meringue takes time, and we found that 2 ½ hours in the oven was necessary for the lightest, crispest crust. To prevent the crust from sticking to the pan, we relied on a double dose of cornstarch — in the egg whites and as a coating for the pie plate. Topped with whipped cream, this angelic pie certainly felt lavish —- rich yet light as a cloud. Serve this pie within 3 hours of chilling."
List of Ingredients
◦ 9 ounces milk chocolate, chopped fine
◦ 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
◦ 3 large egg yolks
◦ 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
◦ ½ teaspoon salt
◦ ½ cup half-and-half
◦ 1 ¼ cups heavy cream, chilled
◦ 1 tablespoon cornstarch, plus extra for pie plate
◦ ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) sugar
◦ 3 large egg whites
◦ Pinch cream of tartar
◦ ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
◦ Whipped cream
◦ Unsweetened cocoa powder
For the filling:
Microwave milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate in large bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 4 minutes.
Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in bowl. Bring half-and-half to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk simmering half-and-half into egg yolk mixture in two additions to temper. Return half-and-half mixture to now-empty saucepan, reduce heat to low, and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and registers 180 degrees, 30 seconds to 1 minute (mixture should have consistency of thick pudding). Stir half-and-half mixture into melted chocolate until combined. Let cool slightly, about 8 minutes.
Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Using rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture. Gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
For the meringue crust:
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie plate and dust well with extra cornstarch, using pastry brush to distribute evenly. Combine sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in bowl.
Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar mixture and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Add vanilla to meringue and whip until incorporated.
Spread meringue in bottom of prepared plate, following contours of plate to completely cover bottom, sides, and edges. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Rotate plate, reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees, and bake until completely dried out, about 1 hour longer. (Meringue crust will rise above rim of plate; some cracking is okay.) Transfer plate to wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Spoon cooled chocolate filling into cavity of cooled crust, using offset spatula to spread it evenly. Refrigerate until filling is set, at least 1 hour or up to three hours. Spread whipped cream attractively over pie. Dust with cocoa and serve.