This meringue pie is the ultimate dinner party dessert, especially if your guests love chocolate. Featuring a buttery pie shell that holds a rich chocolate cream and crisp meringue topping, this classic confection takes a little time to prepare, but it's well worth the effort to have one make a showstopping appearance at your next celebration.
- 1 (9-inch) shortcrust pie shell
- For the Filling:
- 7 ounces dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
- 5 ounces butter (chopped into pieces)
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- For the Meringue:
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
Make the filling: melt the chopped chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave, but do this a few seconds at a time as the chocolate can quickly burn.
Once melted, leave the chocolate to cool slightly for two minutes. Add the butter and stir with a wooden spoon until all of it has melted and incorporated into the chocolate.
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together the sugar with the eggs and egg yolks until the mixture is fluffy and light in color. With the machine still running, slowly pour in the chocolate and butter mixture. Once this is fully incorporated, use a metal spoon and carefully fold in the flour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Place the pie shell onto a baking sheet, then carefully pour in the chocolate mixture. Smooth the surface with a spatula and bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave on one side to cool.
Lower the oven to 325 F.
Make the meringue: the key to great meringue is to make sure your mixer bowl and beaters are as clean as possible, so give them an extra wipe over before starting.
Beat the egg whites until they are fluffy and starting to stiffen. With the mixer still running, add the sugar little by little and the meringue will begin to expand rapidly and become even stiffer. Once the meringue peaks stay firmly in place when you lift the beaters out, whisk in the cornstarch, vanilla extract, and vinegar.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift in half the cocoa powder and stir very gently to move the chocolate through the meringue. You are aiming for a marbled effect. Spoon the meringue over the chocolate base in large dollops, allow the meringue to settle down; the result should be loose and unstructured. Finally, sift in the remaining cocoa.
Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave the tart in the oven for a further 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool before serving. This tart is so rich it needs no further accompaniments.