For occasions when you wish there was a good Diner around and someone to call you Hon. Or if you would like to people to start calling you the Pie Lady.
1. Make the chocolate cookie crumb crust:
1 1/2 cups finely ground chocolate wafer cookies (or cookie crumbs)
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of your cookies
6 tablespoons (3/4) stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
pinch of salt
Stir all this together and set aside in a bowl. Taste it and make sure it is good. When you are ready to bake the crust, which can be anytime within 24 hours of making your filling, just press it into a pie plate (8 or 9″) and bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes.
For the filling:
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated whole milk
3 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together 2/3 cup sugar, the cocoa powder, flour, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Whisk in egg yolks.
Place pan over medium heat; whisking constantly, cook until the first large bubble forms, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; whisking constantly, cook 1 minute.
Take off the heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
Immediately pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, or directly into your pie crust, as I did. It’s okay if the mixture is warm. You might be tempted not to strain it, as I was. But I went ahead and did it anyway, and discovered little bits of cooked egg so I’m sure glad I did. If you are a master at tempering things (ahem, JOEL) then skip it and go ahead and be all smug and whatever, good for you. You don’t need to cover the surface directly with plastic wrap if you are going to do as I did, and top with whipped cream the next day.
Chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Top with whipped cream just before serving.
Filling recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Meringue Pie