Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition; continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in vanilla and nuts. Spoon into lightly greased 8-inch pie pan to form nest-like shell, building sides up to 1/2 inch above edge of pan. Bake at 300° for 50–55 minutes. Cool.
Chocolate Cream Filling:
Stir chocolate in water over low heat until melted; cool until thick. Add vanilla. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Pile into cooled shell. Chill 2 hours.
Fun Fact: Asheville, North Carolina-native Thomas Clayton Wolfe (1900–1938) is considered to be one of the great writers of the 20th century. Wolfe’s first novel, Look Homeward, Angel, was inspired by a stone angel statue that stands in Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville. A classic of American literature, Look Homeward, Angel has never gone out of print since its 1929 publication.
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