Have you heard? Pie is the new cupcake. Cupcakes are so 2005. Though cupcakes are just catching on in San Antonio, pie is the new go-to dessert.
Pie shops are popping up in hot spots across the country and I am a convert. Not that I ever liked cupcakes, because I didn’t. But pie has been on my mind lately. So in honor of National Pie Day, which was Saturday, January 23, I decided to make a pie.
I picked up a new dessert cookbook a few weeks ago called Dulce: Desserts from Santa Fe Kitchens. While reading through the cookbook of more than 200 recipes, there was one, in particular, that spoke to me. Chocolate Angel Pie. Actually, this recipe was the singular reason I bought the book. Let me say it was the meringue crust that won me over which is naturally gluten-free.
While flipping through the book in the book store, the chocolate angel pie recipe transported me back to when I was a tween. I once had a piece of chocolate angel pie and fell in love. But I wasn’t sure that the pie I remembered way back when had the same meringue crust, so I bought the cookbook just in case. The lady who made the pie gave me the hand-written recipe. Though I have never made it, the recipe remains safely tucked away in my mother’s old recipe box.
So, 30 years later, here I am. Finally making this pie. And it’s the exact recipe that I have written on monogrammed paper from three decades ago. I guess sometimes you just need a cookbook from one of your favorite cities to inspire you to make something you’ve never forgotten.
Ever since I brought this cookbook home, I have been wanting to make this pie, but felt like I needed a special occasion. National Pie Day was the ultimate excuse. You could also think about making this for Valentine’s Day. Or birthdays. Anniversaries. Any occasion, really.
And since pie is the new cupcake…
Chocolate Angel Pie
I adapted this recipe from Dulce: Desserts from Santa Fe Kitchens cookbook and the recipe I got from a friend more than 30 years ago. I had a piece of chocolate angel pie once when I was a tween. And I fell in love. The lady who made the pie, gave me the hand-written recipe and though I never made the pie, I still have the recipe tucked away in my mother's old recipe box. So, 30 years later, I am finally making this pie. It's basically chocolate mousse in a meringue crust. Light, tasty and utterly memorable. But, please don't wait 30 years until you make it.
For the meringue crust:
- 3 egg whites at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup nuts, pecans or walnuts or a combo finely chopped
For the filling:
- 1 4 ounce Bar German's Sweet Chocolate broken into squares
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 ounces whipping cream whipped
- Chocolate curls for garnish, if desired
For the meringue crust, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the vanilla and chopped nuts. Spoon the meringue into a lightly-greased 8-inch pie pan to form a nest like shell; build sides up 1/2-inch above the edge of the pan.
Bake 55-60 minutes or until the crust turns slightly golden.
For the filling, get a medium sauce pan and add the water. Place it over low heat and drop in the chocolate squares and stir until melted. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and stir to combine. Cool until thickened.
While the chocolate is cooling, whip the cream. In the mixing bowl, fold the chocolate mixture into the whipping cream. Pile into meringue shell and chill at least 2 hours.
To serve, slice into eight pieces and garnish with chocolate curls on top, if desired.