This chocolate meringue pie is an old-fashioned recipe that has a rich chocolate filling, topped with stiff sweetened peaks, all piled into a shortbread-like crust. Your pie is ready to chill in just 30 minutes and is made with pantry staples that you probably already have on hand.
You may recall your favorite chocolate pie recipe being one of your grandma’s specialties, or at least it was for me. She could make meringue like no other and always made it look so easy! So today I am passing my recipe on to you. We are going to be using a store-bought pie crust, but if you want to make your own, you can whip up a butter crust or an oil pie crust. Both are simple to make and only require 4 to 5 ingredients.
If you love classic, old fashion recipes like this one you will love chess pie, chocolate cream pie, and lemon meringue pie. It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t include the American favorite, Granny Smith Apple Pie – but only if you serve it with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream!
- It’s a crowd-pleaser!
- Easy to make.
- Only requires pantry staples, so no fancy ingredients are needed.
- A simple, but delectable dessert that comes together in just 30 minutes.
What Ingredients do I Need for Homemade Chocolate Meringue Pie?
- 9” pre-baked pie crust
- granulated sugar
- sea salt
- egg yolks – be sure to keep the egg whites to make the meringue
- milk – it’s best to use whole or 2%
- cocoa powder
- unsalted butter
- vanilla extract
- egg whites – you want these to be at room temperature
- granulated sugar
- cream of tartar
Before You Start: Keep your beaters and your mixing bowl in the refrigerator or freezer to get the best meringue.
How to Make Easy Chocolate Meringue Pie
PREP: Prebake your pie crust and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk all the filling ingredients together in a saucepan. Then bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 3 minutes while whisking constantly. Then pour it into the pie crust.
MAKING THE MERINGUE: While the filling is cooking, whisk the egg whites using an electric mixer until soft and foamy peaks form. Sprinkle in the sugar and cream of tartar and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
COOK: Add the meringue on top of the chocolate pudding, making little swooshes with a spatula. Bake until the top has toasted. Cook and let it set for 4 hours before slicing and serving.
- The sugar and cream of tartar help the meringue to stay stiff.
- No need to temper the eggs or dissolve the cornstarch as long as you mix together the ingredients before heating them.
- If you want you can mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another, then combine – but I like washing fewer dishes!
- When spreading the meringue, seal it all the way to the edge so it doesn’t pull away or cause the crust to crack when cooling.
- Mounding the meringue over the hot filling will help keep it from weeping (sweating) because it cooks from the bottom up.
- Room-temperature eggs (and egg whites) whip up better for a fluffier meringue.
- Make sure the yolks don’t get into the whites or else the meringue will not stiffen up.
If meringue contained any type of fat like oil or butter, it would cave in and never form stiff peaks.
This pie is best eaten the day of making it. You can keep leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days tented with aluminum foil or covered with plastic wrap, but the meringue will start to weep, making the crust soggy.
You want to pile the meringue on the hot filling immediately. This helps it cook from the bottom up. When the filling cools and you add the meringue, this is when the pie can get watery because the layers are separating.
We do not recommend freezing meringue pies. When they thaw they get soggy and the meringue just doesn’t hold up well.
Chocolate Meringue Pie
- 9 ” pre-baked pie crust
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 egg yolks reserve whites for meringue
- 2 ½ cups milk whole or 2% preferred
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pre-bake pie crust according to package or recipe instructions.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together all of the ingredients before placing the pan on the stovetop.
- Once the ingredients are combined, turn on the heat to medium and heat mixture until it comes to a low boil. Simmer for 3 minutes, whisking constantly or scraping with a silicone spatula to ensure no mixture burns on the bottom of the pan.
- While the mixture is cooking, whisk egg whites using a standing mixer until foamy/soft peaks form. Sprinkle ⅓ cup sugar and the cream of tartar over the egg whites and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
- Pour hot chocolate mixture into the prepared pie crust.
- Immediately top with the meringue, using a clean spatula to spread the meringue and seal down to the crust all around the pie. Make little swoops in the meringue to form pretty peaks.
- Bake the pie for approximately 5 minutes or until the meringue is toasted brown. Remove from the oven and allow pie to cool and set for at least 4 hours before slicing into it.