A few months ago, we celebrated Pi Day in my office. Most of the pies were store-bought, but I decided to flip through Simply Delicious and see if there was anything worth contributing. I decided on 16-11: Meringue-Topped Chocolate Pie–everyone likes chocolate, and we had had a mishap with the lemon meringue pie on the way back from the store while preparing the day before.
If you’re not familiar with Pi Day, it takes place on March 14th, which when written as a numeric date is 3-14 (at least in the U.S. it is–some countries reverse the order). Pi (the mathematical constant represented by the Greek letter π) is usually rounded up to 3.14, so March 14th is celebrated with actual pies (and a bit of math) as a play-on-words. 😂
No one really needs an excuse to eat pie, but “It’s a math joke” is certainly an acceptable one.
I’m always apprehensive about using almonds or any kind of nuts in food for other people due to allergens (spent over a decade in schools and/or food service), but most people in my office seem pretty relaxed about it.
Since I have a few people in my personal life that have almond allergies, work is where most of the almond-related recipe results are going to end up. However, in this case it doesn’t matter either way because I’m going to use some macadamia nuts I have instead of almonds, since the almonds I have aren’t slivered.
Ingredients. Macadamia nuts for almonds, as I mentioned. I may not have any almond allergies that I’m aware of at work, but I do have a good friend/colleague that is gluten-free–therefore this pie’s going to be made with GF flour so that she can partake.
A year or so ago, I had made 17-62: Scandinavian Coffee Cake gluten-free for her (and the office) as well. When I went to find the link to that entry, I realized I must have never actually written it–it was nowhere to be found on the site. When I went into the photo library in my computer to locate and pull the pictures to write the entry, I couldn’t find them anywhere.
At this point, I either didn’t take pictures at all, took them and deleted them accidentally, or I imagined the whole thing. I’m guessing it’s the second, so looks like I’ll be remaking that one sometime in the near future.
Blending the crust ingredients in the food processor. I suppose that would be considered “processing” more so than “blending”.
This is the “coarse crumb” texture you’re looking for.
Pressing the dough into a pie pan. I don’t like bringing my cookware to work when I can avoid it–I hate having to keep track of it all day or leave it there overnight with leftovers. I have a ton of disposable pie pans left over from a catering/personal cook side gig thing I was doing a few years ago, so I’ll use up one of those for this.
Tried to do a fancy texture on the crust–it worked better on some sides than on others. Gluten-free flour doesn’t get the same browning that all-purpose flour does, so it didn’t come out quite as defined as I had hoped it would.
Working on the chocolate filling.
There’s some fancy math you have to do with this recipe to be smart with your eggs (you’ll need a total of 4 for the entire thing)–here’s how I broke it down:
- Crust: 1 egg yolk
- Total: 1 egg – 0 whites, 1 yolk
- Leftover: 1 white
- Filling: 1 egg, 2 egg yolks
- NEW total: 4 eggs – 1 white, 4 yolks
- NEW leftover: 3 whites
- Meringue: 2 egg whites
- FINAL total: 4 eggs – 3 whites, 4 yolks
- FINAL leftover: 1 white (which you can use to increase the meringue recipe–just add 1-2 additional tbsp of sugar when you make it)
Adding the egg to the filling. Don’t worry–that’s gluten-free flour in there as well.
Getting ready to bake the crust. Simply Delicious doesn’t tell you to prick the crust with a fork (or dock it), but I do it just out of habit from making tons of quiches–if you don’t, the crust bubbles and becomes uneven while pre-baking.
Whisking the filling…with a whisk.
Filled the pre-baked crust with the filling. Like I said, gluten-free flour just doesn’t brown the same way as all-purpose flour–that crust could be a little more golden. It’ll pick up a bit of color when it goes back in for the meringue, but don’t expect miracles.
Getting there. If you need a visual guide for meringue stages, check this out.
Like I mentioned up top, I subbed out macadamia nuts for almonds–I pulsed them a few times in the food processor to chop them up, spread them out on a sheet pan, and popped them in the oven for about 5-7 minutes at 350-375ºF to give them a nice toast. When you start to smell them, they’re done.
Spreading the meringue out. I could have whipped it a bit harder, but it’s late on the night before I’m bringing this to work–it’ll do.
Spreading the toasted macadamia nuts on top of the meringue.
I ended up tossing these extra macadamia nuts into a baggie and back into the freezer for a future culinary adventure.
After baking. I had to take it to work this way and hope that everything looked okay on the inside.
Final plate, in true office party style: on a sad, oversized styrofoam plate in a conference room with a bunch of other store-bought pies that we ate during a weekly staff meeting.
Never grow up, kids.
It’s not all bad–sometimes you get a pie buffet on a random Wednesday at work. This pie was okay, but nothing super exciting. A total Wednesday-at-work-but-we’re-having-pie type of pie.