STRAWBERRY & CHOCOLATE Pecan-Meringue PIE

Table of Contents: PIES & PASTRIES

To say this pie is heavenly is an understatement!

The recipe makes 2 (8”) round pies or 1 (2-quart) baking dish pie.

1. COOKING TIP:  To separate eggs easily begin with cold eggs.  Use 2 shallow bowls and a clean, empty plastic water bottle with the cap removed.  Crack the egg (without breaking the yolk) into one of the bowls.  Take the empty water bottle and squeeze the sides inward.  While the sides are squeezed, place the entry hole over the egg yolk and release the sides of the plastic bottle.  This vacuum action draws the yolk into the bottle leaving the egg white in the bowl.  Move the yolk, still inside the water bottle, to the other bowl; then squeeze the plastic bottle sides again to release the separated yolk into the other bowl!  I saw this demonstrated on UTube by a lady speaking an Asian language.  I could not understand her words, but easily got “the picture”!  To my amazement, it works.  Now, separating eggs is sooooo easy!  Be sure to discard the water bottle after it has held egg yolks.

2. COOKING TIP: Allow egg whites to come to room temperature before beating them to get more volume.

3.  COOKING TIP:  Refrigerate the bowl and the beaters to be used to whip cream and begin with cream that is cold.

16 saltine crackers

3 egg whites, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ to 1 cup pecans, chopped

8 oz. German sweet chocolate

4 T. butter or margarine, softened

16 oz. fresh strawberries

1 1/2-cups heavy whipping cream, cold

2 to 3 T. confectioners’ sugar

 

 

 

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Spray-oil 2 (8”) pie plates or 1 (2-quart) baking dish.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the crackers into a zip lock bag, seal the bag tight, and finely crush the crackers with a rolling pin.  Measure 4 T. of the fine crumbs and sprinkle them evenly inside the prepared pie plates (or larger baking dish).  Set the remaining crumbs aside to use later.

 

Using an electric mixer and the large bowl, beat the egg whites to form soft peaks; then gradually beat in the granulated sugar until stiff peaks form.

 

By hand, fold in vanilla, pecans, and the remaining cracker crumbs until well blended.  Spoon the meringue mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pie plates (or larger baking dish) and slightly up the sides.  Do not cover the rim itself.  Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes; then turn the oven off and do not open the door again until the oven has completely cooled.

 

When the meringue crust is cold, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over boiling water; then stir in the butter until melted and blended.  Drizzle the chocolate over the bottom of the meringue shells (or larger shell) and set aside for 15 minutes to set.

 

Using a chilled electric mixer bowl and beaters, whip the cream until stiff; then beat in the confectioners’ sugar and taste for sweetness.  Refrigerate to use later.

 

Wash the strawberries, drain, and pat dry.  Remove the hulls.  Divide the strawberries; then lengthwise cut one half of the strawberries into quarters and one half onto halves. Place the strawberry halves and quarters on the chocolate layer in the meringue shell in a nice design.  Spoon the whipped cream on top in a nice design.  Repeat with the second pie or continue with the larger pie.  Cover and refrigerate the pies, if not served immediately.

 

Makes: about 12 servings.

 

Many, many thanks go to our friend, Eddie Pope, for leading me to the UTube demo for separating eggs.  I don't know why I always considered this a messy chore, probably because it is!  But now, it is downright fun, in a cooking sort of way...  Again, thanks Eddie.

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