That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
- Moina Michael
"In Flanders Fields"
1. Before you start Prepare your favorite baked pastry shell. Cool on wire rack. Separate egg yolks from whites. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Make custard: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 2-1/2 cups of the milk almost to simmering (watch closely so milk doesn't boil). Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, with a 12-inch or larger balloon whisk, stir remaining 1/2 cup milk into the 3 egg yolks. In a second bowl combine 1 cup sugar, the flour, cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt; whisk in egg yolk mixture until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk; return the mixture to saucepan.
3. Bring to boiling: Over medium-high heat cook and stir mixture until it comes to a full boil. Whisking the entire time. Boil for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Pour through fine mesh strainer to remove any cooked egg bits.
4. Whisk in chocolate and butter until melted and smooth. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Fill Pie Shell with chocolate/custard mixture.
5. Prepare 3 egg whites: Wash both bowl and whisk. Drying them completely with a clean towel.
6. Combine Meringue Ingredients: In a large bowl, with 12-inch or larger wire whisk, beat egg whites slowly until foamy. Whisk in the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, the cream of tartar, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt until well blended.
7. Whisk to peaks adding sugar in 2 Tbs at a time. Tips of whites should curl over slightly when whisk is lifted from bowl.
8. Cover chocolate custard with meringue: Turn meringue out all at once on tip of hot pie filling. With spatula spread meringue from center to edges making sure meringue seals to crust all the way around. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees F or until top is golden. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Makes 8 servings.