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, 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.