This chocoholic is always on the lookout for a richer, creamier, better chocolate recipe, and when I saw Chocolate Angel Pie in my friend Gail Monaghan’s book Lost Desserts I knew immediately from the photo it had my name on it. Then I read it was from Miss Grimble’s, a legendary bakery in New York City in the 60s and 70s, and I had to try it immediately. The recipe was pretty simple…and perfect for another round of Emma’s Cooking School—we were having her friend Kelsey over for an afternoon of baking to celebrate her promotion into 7th grade. You can see from the photos that the girls did an amazing job! And yes, it was as good as I’d hoped. Gail quoted Sylvia Balser Hirsch, aka Miss Grimble, saying about her creation: “Desserts are my business, and I find this possibly the most irresistible one in all dessertdom. Dieters fall off their diets and strong men go weak at the sight of it. It is beautiful to behold and luscious to eat.” Indeed….
For the meringue crust
4 large eggs, separated, whites at room temperature (refrigerate the yolks and reserve for the filling)
Large pinch of salt
1/4 t. cream of tartar
1 cup plus 2 T sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
For the filling
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 t. instant espresso pwder, such as Medaglia D’Oro
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks (reserved from meringue crust)
1 cup very cold heavy cream
2 T. Kahlua
For the topping
1 cup very cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar (superfine ispreferable)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, or fresh raspberries (optional)
1/4 cup shaved semisweet chocolate (optional)
To make the meringue crust
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan or a pie pan with a removable bottom and line the bottom with parchment paper; butter the paper.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites together with the salt on low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating. When the whites are opaque and beginning to stiffen, increase the speed to medium and begin adding the sugar. Beating constantly, continue to add it very slowly so as not to deflate the egg whites. When all the sugar has been added, add the vanilla and increase the speed to high. COntinue beating until the egg whites are very stiff.
Spread the meringue mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sies of the prepared pan, bulding up the sides about 2 inches (enough to hold the filling).
Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven an dlet cool.
To make the filling
Place the chocolate, instant espresso powder, salt, and 3/4 cup water in the top of a double boiler or in a metal bowl set over a sacepan of simmering water. Heat until the chocolate has just melted, stirring frequently.
Remove from the heat and beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. LEt the mixture cool copletely.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the Kahlua, then fold the mixture int o the completely cooled chocolate. Refrigerate.
To assemble the pie and make the topping
Spoon the chocolate filling into the meringue shell, smooth the top and refrigerate until set, for at least 4 hours. The pie can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours at this point.
When ready to serve, carefully remove the pie from the pan and place it on a serving platter.
Whip the 1 cup cream together with the sugar and vanilla until fairly stiff. Spread the whipped cream over the chocolate filling and decorate with the berries. Sprinkle with the shave chocolate and serve.
Other Recipes from Gail