This pie is a chocoholic’s dream, with its crunchy chocolate crust and rich chocolate filling. Plenty of toasted meringue peaks and brightly flavored orange zest complete this masterpiece of a pie. If you have a kitchen torch, you can use it to toast the meringue rather than putting the pie under the broiler.
Black Bottom Pie
For the wafer cookie crust:
- 4 1/2 cups (9 oz./280 g) chocolate wafer cookies
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling:
- 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) whole milk
- 3 oz. (90 g) bittersweet chocolate
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar
- 1/3 cup (1 oz./30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the meringue topping:
- 5 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbs. dark rum
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest
- 2 oz. (60 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped or shaved
1. To make the crust, preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. In a food processor, pulse the cookies until fine crumbs form. Add the sugar and salt and pulse a few times to mix evenly. Add the melted butter and pulse until the texture resembles wet sand. Gently press the mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of 9-inch (23-cm) pie dish, pressing until compact.
3. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
4. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk and chocolate and warm, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts.
5. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Add the hot milk, 1/4 cup (60 ml) at a time, to the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the mixture back into the pan. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat to medium and stir constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon, 6 to 8 minutes.
6. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Add the butter and vanilla and stir until the butter is melted. Let cool to room temperature. Pour the filling into the crust. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
7. To make the meringue topping, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. Raise the speed to medium-high and slowly add the sugar. Beat until soft peaks form and the egg whites are shiny and glossy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and rum and beat until the egg whites hold stiff peaks, about 1 minute longer.
8. Preheat the broiler. Pipe or spread the meringue over the chocolate filling. Broil until the meringue is lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight before serving. Garnish with the orange zest and chopped chocolate and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.
For this and more than 35 ideas for sweet and savory pies, check out The Pie Cookbook, the all-inclusive guide to making pies by the cooks of the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen.