Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I decided to make Rock’s favourite dessert of all time for him, which is a pie that his mom used to make for him growing up. For someone who loves this pie so much though, he sure couldn’t describe it very well when I had first asked him what his favourite dessert was! I think he said that there was a crust, and then some creamy stuff, and then some stuff on top… Anyway, I was feeling especially in luck because his mom had given him a beautiful book of handwritten recipes for Christmas so I figured the recipe must be in there. I did find it in there as tarte aux biscuits graham, “le préféré de Rock” but for the life of me, even with the aid of google translate, I could not effectively translate the recipe from French. Really wish I hadn’t skipped all those French classes in high school now. So I translated some of it and then kind of put together a recipe using Rock’s mom’s recipe plus bits and pieces of custard pie and meringue pie recipes I found online, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.
There’s 3 parts to this pie (but don’t be intimidated! It’s really not that hard) so it’s easiest to just break down the ingredients according to the 3 parts.
The crust: 1 and 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs / 1/4 cup butter (melted) / 1/4 cup sugar / a pinch of cinnamon (just ‘cus I’ve always added cinnamon to my cheesecake crusts)
The custard filling: 1/2 cup sugar / 1/2 tsp salt / 1/4 cup cornstarch / 2 cups 2% milk (I decided not to use skim because I figured it might affect the consistency of the custard) / 2 egg yolks (separate and reserve the whites) / 2 tsp vanilla extract / 2 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 350F. For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar for the crust and press onto the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes and then set aside on a cooling rack. For the custard filling, in a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the egg yolks and the milk. Place over medium to medium-high heat and keep whisking for about 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to boil and thicken up. (Be patient, as soon as it comes to a boil, it will almost instantly become thick). Lower the heat and keep whisking for another minute or so. Take off from the heat and whisk in the butter, a little bit at a time and then stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and set aside.
For the meringue, whisk/beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla using an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks start to form. If you don’t have an electric mixer, you’ll just need to use good old-fashioned arm power. Gradually add in the sugar while beating until stiff peaks form. As soon as you get these stiff peaks, stop because you don’t want to over-beat.
Gently spread the meringue over the pie filling and place back into the 350F oven to bake for about 15 minutes or until the meringue has turned nicely golden brown. Let it cool for about an hour on a cooling rack and then let it chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Well, the pie looks pretty! Can’t cut into it just yet though. Rock will either find out about this pie when he comes home or if he per chance sees this post before then. Will update later with his verdict!
UPDATE Rock: This is the pinnacle of all pies… The meringue is so light, the crust is flavourful and the custard is so tasty… It was my favourite pie when I was a kid and it still is… This is a must try… !!