Needs no comment. Or rather, I can’t think of any that would do justice to this perfect pie. Except to say that I would change the phrase “as American as apple pie” to “as American as black bottom pie.”
Roll out the cookies or break them up in a food processor until they are coarse crumbs. Put them in a bowl and mix in the melted butter. Line a
Put the milk in a large saucepan, heat it to boiling and immediately turn off the heat. Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a bowl, then add the egg yolks and beat until smooth. Slowly add the milk whisking all the time. Put the mixture back into the saucepan and cook until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add one third of the gelatin water mixture. Divide the custard into one third and two thirds, putting each in a separate bowl.
Melt the unsweetened chocolate in a bowl over hot water, and then add two thirds of the custard. Stir in the vanilla and half of the remaining gelatin. Put this chocolate custard in the pie shell.
Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt while slowly adding the sugar until the whites just make a firm peak. Mix the rum into the remaining third of the custard, add the remaining third of the gelatin, and then fold the whites into the custard.
Spread this rum-custard mix over the chocolate layer in the pie, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
When ready to serve, whip the sugar with the cream and pile over the top of the pie. Sprinkle with the grated semisweet chocolate.
© 2002 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.