I decided to make a pie for a sweet friend who’s having a tough week. Not sure what all’s going on, but sometimes you can just tell when a person needs pie. My husband–smart guy–remembered that our friend loves coffee, and he suggested a pie with coffee and chocolate. Great idea. Two of my favorite things in the world.
Which just goes to show you–
Never say never.
I used to hate coffee. Didn’t even like the smell of it. Then one Lenten season, I gave up soft drinks, and the Devil made me a better offer… Anyway, I drink the stuff every day. Aren’t there some health studies somewhere that say it helps your brain? Or something? Keep researching for me, ’cause I’m not ready to quit yet.
So I started looking for recipes with coffee and chocolate. I’ve watched my favorite TV chef, the Barefoot Contessa, pour brewed coffee into dozens of recipes, so I know it must be good. I love that lady. She’s messy, and she looks like she’s actually eaten a bit of the food, so I have respect.
I found lots of recipes, but none of them seemed just right, or I’d find that I was missing an ingredient, or there would be some crazy step that required tools I don’t know how to use.
So I made it up. *cue foreboding music*
I’ve made quite a few cream pies, and melting chocolate seems like a great place to start, so that’s what I did. This photo shows the point where I decided that one and THREE QUARTERS large Hershey bars would be just the right amount to melt. I had to eat some. Had to. Then I started making up excuses about balanced flavor or some other cheffy reason not to use too much chocolate.
Here’s the rest of the recipe. Don’t start baking yet–I haven’t tasted it. At least not in its final format–I always taste a bit of the filling before it goes into the shell.
On the stovetop, combine the following over low heat:
1 and 3/4 large Hershey bars (4.4 oz each)
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
6 large marshmallows (I don’t know why, but they just make it richer and creamier)
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (I used what was left in the pot from this morning)
4 TBSP unsalted butter
1 cup half and half
2 1/2 TBSP corn starch
I stirred and stirred and stirred over low heat for FOREVER. It was at least 15 minutes. Those marshmallows are worth it, but they are always the last to melt. My hubby even stirred a while so I could work on the meringue topping.
OK, here’s what’s in the meringue:
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
6 TBSP sugar
1 tsp vanilla
zest of one orange
You beat the heck out of it for a few minutes until it has stiff peaks and kinda stands up by itself.
Then I poured that hot filling into a graham cracker crust. Now, here’s the thing–it didn’t seem that thick. I mean it got thicker, but I don’t know if it got thick enough. I just poured it in there.
Next, I spread the meringue topping to the edges of the pie top. I baked the whole thing for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. The meringue behaved and got toasty.
My friend may be drinking his Coffee Pie from a coffee mug.
Oh well, I hope he feels the love anyway.
Pie can’t make everything all right, but it definitely makes everything tastier. 🙂