Chocolate Meringue Birthday Pie

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A few years ago, this replaced German Chocolate Cake as my birthday dessert. While I liked the cake, the pie is just more my style and the meringue makes it look spectacular. Put together from several recipes from the 1979 paperback “Cocoa Cookbook” published by Hershey’s.

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk (for a richer custard, use half and half)
3 egg yolks beaten (egg whites will be used for meringue)
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 9-inch baked pie shell

Combine all dry ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan. Add milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Gradually stir about half the mixture into egg yolks; return to the saucepan. Stir and heat just until boiling. Remove from heat; blend in butter and vanilla. Pour into pie shell.

Meringue

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add 6 tablespoons of sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue onto hot pie filling, carefully sealing to edge of crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool to room temperature before serving. Pie can also be served chilled. Serves 6 to 8.

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