This recipe comes from family friend Mack Tillman. Mr. Mack was a tall drink of water, like my daddy. He was the Jasper County sheriff, and later he opened what I think is the best restaurant in Georgia, the Tillman House. After Mr. Mack passed away, the restaurant was kept in the family and run by his son and daughter, Ben and Sissy. We all lived on Eatonton Street in Monticello when I was a little girl, and Sissy and I were best buddies. Mr. Mack made the best fried chicken I have ever tasted (sorry, Mama!) and this amazing chocolate pie. Most people use a 9-inch prebaked pastry shell, but I make it with a graham cracker crust.
n a mixing bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until the crumbs are coated. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.
In the top of a double boiler, mix the sugar, cocoa, and flour. Lightly beat the egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue) and stir in the milk. Slowly add the egg-milk mixture to the sugar mixture in the double boiler, creating a paste in the beginning; this will ensure that the chocolate and flour blend smoothly. Cook in the double boiler until very thick, 45 to 50 minutes. When the spoon is moved in the filling, it will leave a brief indention or trough. Remove the boiler from the heat and stir in the melted butter, the vanilla, and the salt. Stir well to mix in the butter.
Pour the filling into the crust. Allow the pie to cool in the refrigerator for 45 minutes before putting a meringue on top.
To prepare the meringue, preheat the oven to 325°F. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff. Add the sugar gradually as you continue beating until the whites are smooth and glossy. Spread the meringue over the pie, all the way to touch and seal the edges of the crust. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until brown. Cool completely before serving.
Instead of using a meringue, you could sprinkle the top of the pie liberally with graham cracker crumbs.