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Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie

Follow our easy, step-by-step, recipe to learn how to make this Old Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie

I must admit it, I love about anything chocolate. Chocolate cake would be my favorite, but this Chocolate Pie runs pretty close to the top as a favorite as well.

Mama made a lot of Chocolate Pies and Chocolate Cakes in her day. I always got a Chocolate Cake on my birthday, and the pies and cakes showed up often as dessert in our house.

When I shared a photo of this pie with my brother, he said that Chocolate Pie was his favorite dessert that Mama fixed when he was younger. I guess it kind of runs in the family. Smile.

This particular recipe comes from a close friend named Joyce. I met her years ago at a small auction that I attended on Friday and Saturday nights here in town and we became friends from the get go. Joyce loves to talk about cooking and we spend a good number of hours on the phone doing just that.

Joyce and Rudy sat on the same row next to me most of the time. Rudy is no longer with us, and the auctioneer passed away, so we no longer get together at the auctions. Now, we just talk to each other by phone, but we have some great conversations that usually end up around cooking food.

Joyce tells me she use to make 9 pies a day at her restaurant and at a store she worked at. She’d make 3 Chocolate Pies, 3 Coconut Pies, and often 3 Lemon Pies. I do good to make one or two here at home at a time.

I’d been after her to provide me with a handwritten copy of her recipe for the Chocolate Pie. When it showed up a few days ago, I made sure to get everything I needed to make them.

I know some folks don’t care for egg meringue, so if that’s you, feel free to leave it off. But, us old folks kind of grew up with it and it brings back lots of memories when you see it on top of an old fashioned favorite.

Ready to give our Chocolate Pie a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!

Chocolate Pie: You’ll need these ingredients.

You’ll also need TWO pre-baked pie shells. You can make your own crusts with our Basic Pie Crust recipe, or you can use the ready-made pie crusts or pie dough sheets that are available in the grocery store.

I used two of the pie crusts that come ready-made in the aluminum foil pans. It’s been awhile since I used those types and it didn’t take long to remember why I prefer to make my own. Smile.

I followed the instructions on the package to pre-bake these. Check out the instructions on your package as it might be different. Basically, I used a fork to “dock” or poke holes in the bottom and sides of the crust before placing them in the oven. I baked them for 10 minutes at 400F degrees and then removed them. I did use a pie shield on one of the crusts and just placed a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the other one to keep the edges from burning.

Once the crusts are removed from the oven, you need to let them cool completely before adding the filling.

The recipe calls for 5 eggs that have been separated. I always suggest that you use a small bowl to crack the eggs into one at a time. Separate the yolks from the whites and place them in separate bowls. We’ll use the egg whites to make the meringue a bit later down.

Place the egg whites in a clean glass or metal bowl. Don’t use plastic bowls for this. The bowls need to be free of any grease or film, and plastic bowls just never seem to get clean no matter how hard you try.

Eggs are easier to separate while they are cold, but the whites need to be at room temperature before making the meringue.

It’s okay to place the yolks in a plastic bowl. They’re kind of hard to see, but I do have five in here. I might have broken three of them in the process, but only after I had removed the whites. That’s why you should always crack them one at a time in a smaller bowl first. Just saying.

Add the cocoa to the yolks in the bowl.

Add the vanilla flavoring.

Add the sugar.

Add the flour. I’m using All-Purpose.

Finally, add the milk.

Use a mixer and blend everything together well. Make sure you’ve worked in all the sugar. It will be a bit on the watery side, but we’re going to cook it down and thicken it.

Place the mixture in a large sauce pot, then toss in the stick of butter.

Place this on a cold burner, then turn the burner on to Medium heat, or just a notch below. Remember, it has eggs in it and we don’t want to make scrambled eggs.

You’ll need to pretty much stir this continuously as it heats up and cooks. Scrape the bottom of the pot often so the sugar doesn’t stick and burn. Just continue to stir and let the butter melt at the same time.

Once the mixture begins to thicken, it will do so quickly. Keep stirring until it thickens to a pudding type texture.

It took me 14 minutes from the time I turned the heat on until the mixture had thickened as you see here. It might take you less time, or a few minutes more. Just continue to stir it all the time. It did start to thicken really quick and once it did, I stirred hard to try and keep any lumps from forming.

Remove from heat, stir it some more, then just let it sit and cool for about 10-15 minutes.

While the chocolate is cooling, lets make the meringue.

Again, with clean beaters on your mixer, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. This will take several minutes but it will eventually begin to thicken and make the soft peaks.

Add the Cream of Tartar.

Add the sugar.

Some folks say to add the sugar a little at a time. I’m getting old and just went ahead and added all the sugar at one time. It was only three Tablespoons, if I were adding more, I might not dump it all in at once. Smile.

Use the mixer, starting slowly, then increasing the speed. Whip the egg whites until the mixture forms stiff peaks. The peaks should stand up in your bowl, or off the end of your beaters. Don’t over beat them though, they can get to a point to where they would start to deflate.

Divide the chocolate filling between the two pie shells. Spread it out smoothly and to the edges of the crust.

Divide the meringue between the two pies.

Okay, this is where I must confess a bit of a secret. I made my meringue before I mixed up the chocolate filling. I was trying to use the beaters on the mixer while they were clean. I didn’t want to make the chocolate filling, then have to wash the beaters before making the meringue.

This would work for the average person making two pies. But, I don’t move and get around as easily as I did just a few years ago. Age is creeping up on me it seems. And, I do take pictures of everything along the way, so this slows me down even more.

By the time I had made the filling and let it cool, the meringue had started to weaken and break down. Thus, I didn’t have the fluffy texture that I should have had when I spread it out on the pies. I really should have waited until the filling was cooling and then made the meringue. I suggest that you do as I say and not as I do. You can thank me later. Okay?

Yes, I feel better after confessing the truth to you. Smile.

Place the pies in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350F degrees. Let the pies bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops of the meringue are lightly browned. Watch it carefully, so it doesn’t burn.

When the meringue is lightly browned on top, remove the pies from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. I let mine cool for over an hour, then placed them in the refrigerator, uncovered, for about 2 more hours to firm up good.


These will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Stick toothpicks in the top of the pies and wrap with plastic wrap before placing them in the refrigerator. This will keep the meringue from messing up and sticking to the wrap.

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