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Chocolate Custard Pie

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Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust, pre-baked

Chocolate Custard

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon agar agar powder
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • stevia to taste

Meringue

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup agave syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon agar agar powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Ganache

  • 50 grams chocolate chips
  • 4-6 tablespoons hazelnut milk or cream

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Process

First make and bake the pie crust blind, with weights in it. While it is baking prepare the custard and chocolate ganache.

To prepare the custard, whisk the cornstarch and agar agar in some of the milk in a saucepan. Add the cayenne pepper, salt, agave and vanilla. Add stevia to taste; the quantity will depend on how sweet you would like the custard and what concentration of stevia you use. I like to make it a bit less sweet to balance the sweetness of the meringue. Heat on medium heat, stirring frequently and scraping the corners of the pan with a rubber spatula. Do not let it boil. When the milk is warm, whisk in the cocoa powder. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens somewhat.

Put the egg yolks in a bowl and beat them lightly with a fork. Pour the warm and slightly thick milk mixture over the egg yolks, whisking all the while. Return the mixture to the saucepan and continue to cook it, stirring frequently, until it has thickened to the point that a spatula or whisk drawn through it leaves a visible trail.

While the custard is cooking, prepare the chocolate ganache. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, then thin it with 3-4 tablespoons of hazelnut milk.

When the pie crust is out of the oven, brush the inside with half of the chocolate ganache. Leave the remaining ganache in the pan for later.

When the ganache has solidified and the custard is cooked, pour the hot custard in the pie crust. Cover it with plastic wrap pressed directly against the custard. Refrigerate until it has cooled and set, at least one hour.

After the custard has set, prepare the meringue. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until peaks form.

In a saucepan, combine the agave syrup, water, cream of tartar, salt and agar agar. Place on medium heat until it boils, then cover tightly and simmer on low for two minutes. Pour the sugar syrup in the egg whites slowly, beating all the while. Beat the egg whites for 4-6 minutes until stiff glossy peaks form. Lightly beat in the vanilla.

Remove the pie from the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap. Cover the pie with the meringue, making sure to go all the way to the crust.

Heat the chocolate ganache again over a double boiler. Add an additional 1-2 teaspoons of hazelnut milk if necessary. Drizzle the chocolate ganache over the meringue. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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