For the Crust
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Pudding
- 3 cups whole milk, divided
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Meringue Topping
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- For the Crust. In a medium mixing bowl mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter until evenly combined. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of crumb mixture onto the bottom of each of eight (6-8 oz glass containers). Set aside while preparing pudding.
- For the Pudding. Place a sieve on a large pitcher and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the remaining 2 1/2 cups milk and cocoa powder over medium heat until the mixture reaches a simmer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk in cornstarch mixture. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes (the pudding will just start to boil). Remove from heat. Whisk in butter, vanilla and salt. Pour pudding through prepared sieve.
- Pour pudding over crust in each jar, evenly dividing. Cover and chill for 3-4 hours.
- For the Meringue Topping. Just before serving prepare meringue topping. Place egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt in a heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a small saucepan filled with an inch of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixing bowl to an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 10-12 minutes until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round pastry tip with the meringue. Pipe a large swirl or desired design on top of parfait. Using a kitchen torch, toast meringue. Serve immediately.