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The Joy of Chocolate Pie

November 23, 2012

I’m posting this recipe in honor of my grandmother – Medora III – who is 94 today.  She always claimed that she didn’t like to cook but she was one of the best cooks I’ve ever encountered.  She had a natural instinct about what would work and taste good. And, if she truly didn’t enjoy cooking, as a woman of her generation, she didn’t let that stand in the way of the fact that one of her jobs as a homemaker was to cook for her family.  Like every responsibility, task or challenge she faced  in her life, she accepted it and did her best with a cheerful attitude. It was from her that I learned about perseverance, duty, obligation and the benefits of a good attitude. I am eternally grateful.

This pie recipe is one that she developed and one that both my uncle and I have stood by her side writing down the steps and ingredients as she made it because there was no recipe. Amazing. The only thing I cook without a recipe is scrambled eggs!

Like so many other recipes that I’ve collected and am now posting for all to enjoy, this one is probably the best of the best. Folks who love chocolate pie say this is the best they’ve ever eaten. I have to agree and I  hope you do as well!


1  9” baked pie shell (

4 eggs brought to room temperature

Pre-heat oven to 350°.

Separate the eggs but discard one of the yolks. Put 3 of the yolks into a cup or small bowl and beat lightly with a fork.  Set aside. Put 4 egg whites into a medium sized glass or stainless steel mixing bowl and make the meringue.


1 TBSP. cornstarch

1 TBSP. sugar

1/3 cup water

4 room temperature egg whites

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

½ cup of superfine sugar

In a small saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar.  Gradually stir in the water, making a smooth, runny paste.

Over medium heat, bring the paste to a boil, stirring continuously for 15 seconds. Remove from heat and cover. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy and then add the vanilla and cream of tartar.  Beat until soft peaks form. Then add the superfine sugar very gradually and continue beating until the stiff peaks form and are glossy but not dry.

Reduce the mixer to low speed and beat in the cornstarch paste – 1 TBSP. at a time. When the paste is incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 10 seconds more.

Set the meringue aside while you make the chocolate pie filling.

Chocolate Pie Filling

Into a medium sized sauce pan, sift together:

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1/3 cup cocoa

2 heaping TBSP. flour

2 heaping TBSP. corn starch


¾ cup of evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)

¾ cup of regular milk

Using a whisk, mix well and begin heating over medium heat stirring constantly.  As the mixture becomes warm – NOT hot or boiling – add several tablespoons of the mixture to the egg yolks to gradually warm them. Then add the yolks to the mixture.  Mix well until incorporated then add:

1 cup of miniature marshmallows OR 6 cut up large marshmallows.

Stir into mixture until melted and cook until bubbly, stirring constantly.  Continue cooking until thick and glossy – about 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add:

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. Mexican vanilla

2 TBSP. butter

Mix until butter is melted and pour into a warm baked pie shell. Immediately top with meringue.

Spread a band of meringue around the edge of the pie, sealing the meringue to the crust. Then, mound the meringue in the center of the pie and spread evenly. Bake in a 350° oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely.  Refrigerate after completely cooled.

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