For The Gingersnap Crust
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl as needed. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until just combined, about 15 seconds. Add the molasses and continue to beat for an additional 15 seconds. Scrape the bowl, and briefly mix, ensuring all the ingredients are properly incorporated.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, ground mustard, ground pepper and salt. Once whisked, add the dry ingredients into wet the ingredients, mixing on slow until the dough comes together. Scrape as needed, giving the bowl a brief final mix.
Scoop or roll 2 tablespoon size dough balls and place on a cookie sheet side by side. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Once dough has chilled, place ¼ cup granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll the top of each cookie into the sugar, and place on a half sheet cookie tray a couple inches apart. Since the cookies will be ground, it’s okay to bake all the cookies at once, even if they end up touching a bit during baking. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cookies are deep golden brown, and well baked. Allow to cool completely on the tray aiding in the desired crispy texture.
Once the cookies have completely cooled, place cookies in a large food processor, and process until fine golden crumbs are formed. Remove crumbs from food processor, and in a medium bowl, mix with 4 tablespoons of melted butter.
Firmly press the crumbs into a 9” pie tin, making sure to evenly distribute the crust, bringing it up the sides of the tin. The crust will be nice and thick, so it should be firmly pressed into place. Bake the crust in a 350° F for 5 minutes. Set aside.
For The Chocolate Pudding
Using a medium sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Add the heavy cream and whisk until a thick paste is formed. Next, slowly drizzle the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Once smooth, cook the mixture on medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula. Once the pudding begins to bubble watch closely. Pull the pudding from the stove once it begins to thicken, resembling that of a curd or a loose pudding that generously coats a spatula. This can take anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes or longer, depending on stove conditions and the saucepan used. Once the pudding has begun to thicken, remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate and vanilla.
Pour hot pudding into pie crust. Cover the pie with plastic wrap directly on the puddings surface. Place pie in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours–preferably overnight.
For The Swiss Meringue
Using the metal bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar until incorporated. Place the mixing bowl on top of a double boiler filled with simmering water. The bottom of the bowl containing the egg whites should not be touching the water. Whisk constantly until sugar granules are dissolved. This can be determined by rubbing two fingers together, checking that the mixture is smooth. Alternately, for salmonella concerns, using an instant read thermometer, cook the mixture until it reads 160° F.
When ready, immediately lock the mixing bowl back into the stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on medium-low, whisk the liquid until it begins to froth and become foamy. At this time, begin to crank the mixture to medium high, allowing the meringue to form. Mix the meringue until stiff peaks stage. This could take up to 10 minutes.
Once stiff peaks have been formed, invert bowl, dropping the meringue directly onto the chilled pie. Using an offset spatula, spread the meringue around, allowing for pretty swirl and strokes as it’s distributed. Using a handheld kitchen torch, toast the top of the meringue until golden brown. Cut slices and enjoy immediately.