Growing up, my mom used to make a lemon meringue pie with a twist that was always a hit. She would melt a thin layer of chocolate chips along the bottom of the pie between the crust and the tart lemon filling. Not only was a slice of pie pretty to look at but the chocolate added a rich and sweet contrast to the tart filling. She always served this pie for Easter dinner and I remember thinking about it in anticipation during long road trips home during college.
To celebrate spring and Easter I’ve added my own twist to this pie. The lemon meringue pie from Flour Bakery is made with a marshmallow meringue that I prefer to the traditional egg white topping. I’ve taken their recipe and incorporated my own twists. My mom’s chocolate layer is a must that adds to the specialness of the pie but I’ve gone a step farther and switched fresh orange juice for the traditional lemon. The pie isn’t as tart as the traditional lemon version but the orange adds a sophisticated twist to an old standby. Plus it combines my favorite fruit-chocolate flavors.
The recipe appears to be long but don’t let its length intimidate you. The steps flow together quickly and soon you will be enjoying a slice of this fruit-chocolate goodness.
BLACK BOTTOM ORANGE MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE PIE
6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tablespoons cold buttermilk
3/4 cup dark baking chocolate broken into pieces
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Using a food processor, cut together the butter and flour until the mixture is uniformly blended and resembles coarse cornmeal.
- Add enough liquid to hold the dough together.
- Roll out the dough to form a crust that will fit a 9 or 10 inch pie pan. Prick the entire bottom of the pan with a fork.
- Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill the bottom of the pie with weights, uncooked beans, or raw rice.
- Bake for 8-10 minute until browned.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate evenly along the bottom of the pie shell.
- Allow the chips to soften then using a spatula smooth them along the bottom of the shell.
- Set aside to allow to cool completely.
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups fresh squeezed orange juice, strained to remove the pulp
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Teaspoons vanilla extract
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, water, and cream. Place over medium-high heat and cook for 1 or 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens and becomes translucent.
- Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and orange juice.
- When the sugar mixture is ready, slowly pour it into the egg yolk mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly. When all of the sugar mixture has been incorporated, return the contents of the bowl to the saucepan, and return the saucepan to medium heat.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 3 or 4 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.
- Pour into the baked pie shell.
2 Teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
4 egg whites
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water. Place over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, for about 2 minutes or until thick and translucent.
- In a separate small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and the remaining 1/2 cup of the water and stir gently to combine. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and cook, without stirring for 3 to 5 minutes or until the syrup registers 248 degrees on a candy thermometer (the firm-ball stage).
- While the sugar is cooking, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
- When the sugar reaches 248 degrees, turn the mixer onto high-speed and slowly add the sugar syrup into the egg whites, drizzling it down the side of the bowl to keep it from hitting the whip and splattering.
- When all of the syrup has been added, continue whipping on high-speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture turns white and billowy.
- Tur down the speed to medium, add the cornstarch mixture, vanilla, and salt and whip until fully incorporated.
- Continue whipping for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is barely warm to the touch.
- Heap the marshmallow meringue on top of the pie in billowing piles, making sure to cover the entire top of the pie all of the way to the edge of the crust. Use the back of a spoon to tap the top of the meringue lightly and quickly to create tall peaks.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned.
- Let cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
- The pie can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.