The Lexingtonienne

May4th

3 Comments

By the time I was seven, I had watched my dad, my uncle Josh, my aunt Allison, and my Mimi play piano so beautifully that I was DYYYYYYYING to be able to play piano myself. After I BEGGED my parents — for what felt like years but was probably a few weeks — for piano lessons, they finally signed me up with a delightfully eccentric piano teacher named Billy.

chocolate meringue pie

I took up 30 minutes of Billy’s time every Tuesday night for about 5 years…

chocolate meringue pie

chocolate meringue pie

Until Billy decided he would like to be called William, at which point I took up 30 minutes of William’s time every Tuesday night for about a year…

chocolate meringue pie

chocolate meringue pie

Until William decided he would like to be called William Daniel. At which point I took up 30 minutes of William Daniel’s time every Tuesday night until finally I turned 16 and became more interested in driving around in my Toyota Paseo than in taking piano lessons.

EBD and chocolate

One night in college, I ran into Billy/ William/ William Daniel at a local bar. “William!” I exclaimed, “It’s wonderful to see you!”

chocolate meringue pie

chocolate meringue pie

chocolate meringue pie

“Actually,” he corrected me, “I am now going by Liam.”

“Liam?” I said, to his nod. Encouraged by the couple of vodka sodas I had already imbibed, I blurted, “Well now how many times are you going to change your name? Because I can’t keep up!”

“This is the last time,” he assured me. “I am Liam.”

chocolate meringue pie

That was almost 10 years ago now, and to my knowledge (we still keep in touch, even after he sold all his worldly goods, moved to Sicily, and then biked with his girlfriend to the Ukraine), he has stuck with Liam.

meringue

Anyway, the whole point of this is… Billy/ William/ William Daniel/ Liam used to make me practice things over and over until I got it right. I’d play a minuet perfectly (or well enough, according to me), and he’d say, “Three more times.” And I’d have to play the whole thing three more times. He once made me play the same two measures 17 times until I could play it just right, every single time. Practice makes perfect, I suppose.

chocolate meringue pie

chocolate meringue pie

This is exactly why I made another meringue pie, following up from that (deeeelicious) lemon meringue pie. This time, for variety, it’s chocolate. (If lemon was Billy, chocolate is Liam.) And even though I thought I did it exactly the same as with the lemon meringue pie, this time the meringue pulled away from the edges a little bit after a night in the refrigerator. So even though the pie is rich and delicious and death-by-chocolatey, obviously I’ll just have to keep making pies until I can get that meringue just right, every single time. :)

chocolate meringue pie

CHOCOLATE MERINGUE PIE (pdf)
Adapted from the Joy of Cooking

  • 1 (9″) pie crust (I like the Pillsbury refrigerated kind that you roll out), baked according to package directions
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 1/2 C whole milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 4 oz unsweetened baker’s chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

In a medium, heavy saucepan, whisk sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp salt until well blended. Gradually whisk in milk, then add egg yolks, whisking rapidly until there are no yellow streaks. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Remove from the heat, making sure to scrape all corners of the pan with the spatula. Whisk until smooth. Return to the heat, continue whisking, and bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute.

Remove pan from the stove and stir in butter, vanilla, and chocolate until totally blended and smooth. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie crust, and place a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the filling (to prevent a skin from forming). Start the next step immediately.

With an electric mixer, beat the 6 egg whites, cream of tartar, and 1/4 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl until frothy. Keeping the mixer running, gradually add 1 C sugar. Continue beating until glossy and stiff.

Spread meringue over hot pie filling, sealing the meringue to the crust at the edges. Use a spatula to form peaks and swirls in the meringue.

Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown. Cool completely on a rack before serving. The pie is best served within a day or two and should be kept in the refrigerator.

xoxo,
Hannah

3 Comments

  • Comment by Dana — May 5, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    Eleanora is my kinda girl! Never leave chocolate unattended. And Happy Birthday to you :)

  • Pingback by GOOD LUCK, OCTAVIA!!! - The Lexingtonienne — February 23, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

    […] to bake something The Help-themed on behalf of Team Octavia, check out last year’s post for chocolate pie. It’s fabulous and far easier. Now, whether or not you add Minny’s secret ingredient? […]

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