My oldest daughter is a strict non-fruititarian. The last time she ate any type of fruit was on the tip of a plastic coated baby spoon, ten years ago. She eats her vegetables with gusto, but refuses sweeter and juicier produce. We’ve tried to entice her with rewards, peer pressure, and threats with fruits in all shapes and textures but without success. One day, a leather jacket wearing stud on a motorbike may tempt her with a ruby red apple, but so far she’s resisted all fruit.
Thanksgiving is all about pies. Pecan pies. Pumpkin pies. Sweet potato pie. And even an occasional apple or cherry pie. I love that such a homely, comfort food dessert gets its day to shine, but I wanted to let Bella be able to get a chance to enjoy pie this year, without having to rehash the decade old fruit battle.
And so, for my no-fruititarian daughter, I created a brownie meringue pie. And may have created an entire family of non-fruititarians. The pie was decadence personified. Hot, gooey brownie, topped with pillow soft meringue, all encased in a crunchy buttery crust. Heaven.
We may have started a revolution. Thanksgiving tables all over America may give pumpkin the boot this year, and replace it with chocolate.
- For the Crust
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 8 tbsps (1 stick) of butter
- 2 to 3 tbsps cold water
- For the Brownie
- 8 TBSPS or 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
- 178 grams of semi-sweet chocolate
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 tsps of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- For the Meringue
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- First, make the pie dough. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse 2 or 3 times quickly to mix.
- Cut the butter into 1 tbsp pieces and add to food processor. Pulse over and over again very quickly until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. You should not be able to see any more large pieces of butter.
- Scatter 1 tablespoon of tap water on the butter and flour mixture and pulse 5 to 6 times. The dough should begin to hold together. If the mixture still appears dry and crumbly, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Remove the dough from the food processor. In your hands, roll it into a uniform ball. Place it on a piece of plastic wrap. Press it down into a 6-inch disk and cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour to chill.
- Remove the dough disk from the fridge. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan (this is deeper than a pie pan to accommodate the brownie and meringue). Roll the dough disk out to fill cake pan and place it in the pan. No need to make it too neat or pretty, you'll have brownie and meringue on top which will get all the attention.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Now make the brownie batter.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar. Let it cool a little.
- Add eggs, one at a time and mix well with a whisk.
- Add flour, vanilla, and salt and stir until just blended.
- Pour batter onto the pie dough.
- Bake in oven 30 to 35 minutes. Slip a knife into the middle and make sure it comes out clean to make sure it is cooked.
- Twenty-five minutes into the baking, prepare the meringue top. Beat the egg whites until they turn white and soft. Add the egg white sugar and continue beating until they are stiff. When you remove the egg beaters, the meringue should hold its shape.
- Remove the brownie pie from the oven. Turn the oven heat up to broiler or 500 degrees fahrenheit.
- Scoop the meringue on top of the brownie and shape with a spoon to cover all of the surface. Place the pie back under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, just to brown the meringue.
- Serve immediately.