My mother, Lynda Walker, calls this “the best chocolate pie in the world.” She does not remember a time when her grandmother was not making it. The recipe is at least 60 years old. My mother remembers racing the other children that were around her home in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, to be the first one in the kitchen so she could lick the remaining filling from the bowl. Memories of social gatherings also fill her mind when she thinks of this pie: Sunday dinners with her family, church gatherings, family reunions.
When making the filling, my mother recommends putting the milk in gradually to prevent chunks, and she says to cook it slowly. Trying to rush in making this pie will only result in disappointment.
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups milk
4 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick margarine (or salted butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt in saucepan. Blend in milk slowly. Cook until it begins to thicken. Beat egg yolks and add to mixture. (Reserve whites.) Cook a little longer. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Pour into uncooked pie shell (any kind of regular pie crust). Bake 30 minutes.
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Add 3 tablespoons sugar and beat. Add remaining sugar along with vanilla. Beat until stiff. Spoon onto pie and bake until brown.