The meringue gets a makeover
The meringue gets a makeover Magone

Choc dessert pie-fection

Chocolate strawberry meringue pie


Chocolate short crust: 90g dark choc (75% is best) 1 tbs cocoa powder 2 cups plain flour 1/3 cup caster sugar 130g unsalted butter, cold and chopped 1 egg yolk 2 tsp milk 1/2 tsp vanilla paste

Strawberry curd: 500g fresh strawberries, hulled 1 orange, juice and zest 120g caster sugar 1 tbs fresh mint, chopped 5 free range organic eggs, separated (yolks for curd and whites for meringue) 3 tbs cornflour 80g unsalted butter, cold and chopped

Meringue: 5 egg whites (see above) 150g caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla paste

METHOD: For the choc shortcrust pastry, melt the chocolate in microwave until just melted and allow to cool slightly. Place cocoa, flour, sugar and butter together in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. In a small bowl combine yolk, milk and vanilla, whisking until combined. Add milk/egg to flour mix and pulse until combined. While the food processor is running, slowly add the melted chocolate until mixture starts coming together as a ball. Add a little more cold milk if you need to bring it together. Remove dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring together as a smooth ball. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Once rested grease a round 23-25cm fluted tart case with removable base.

Roll out pastry to fit until it's about 4mm thick (use baking paper to roll out), sandwich the pastry between 2 pieces, carefully place in tray and press well and patch where needed. Trim the edges with a knife. Place back in fridge for 30 min to rest again. Heat the oven to 180C fan forced. Line the pastry with baking paper and then a layer of rice and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and rice and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

For the strawberry curd, place the strawberries in a food processor with the orange zest and juice, sugar and mint.

Blend until smooth then warm through in a saucepan on medium to high heat. Whisk the egg yolks with the cornflour and 1 tbs of cold water, then whisk into the hot strawberry mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens - make sure your strawberries aren't too hot as the eggs will just scramble and then it's ruined and you'll have to start again. Stir in the butter a cube at a time and continue stirring until it melts. Spoon into the cooked cooled pastry case and allow to cool, then chill for 2 hours.

For the meringue, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then add caster sugar a tablespoon at a time and continue whisking until they become thick, stiff and glossy.

Pile on top of the filling and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 6-7 minutes until pale golden. Place in fridge until ready to slice and serve.