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Chocolate (Meringue Pie) is the New Lemon

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I've always thought the best part of a lemon meringue pie is the topping. Airy and light, it's the perfect foil to an intense, sweet-tart citrus filling. I like how the meringue crackles between your teeth, and how alluringly it browns in pretty swirls when toasted.

Photo by Posie Harwood

When you find something you like in this world, you'd be wise to hang onto it tightly, to enjoy it whenever possible. Such is the lesson I've learned with meringue: Why haven't I been putting it on every dessert? Why relegate it to lemon pie?

Photo by Posie Harwood

I found this recipe from Baker's Chocolate in an old cookbook, and the name alone promised brilliant results: chocolate meringue pie. The filling is a simple chocolate pudding, made with unsweetened baking chocolate instead of cocoa for a richer, more intense flavor. (Just try and resist eating spoonfuls straight from the bowl before the tart is ready. I dare you!)

Instead of sticking with a standard pie crust (which you could do), I made a shortbread crust. Not only is the buttery, rich crust an excellent match for chocolate, but you also need merely to press it into the pan instead of rolling out pie dough.

Photo by Posie Harwood

It also makes the tart reminiscent of a s'more, but far more elegant. That, in addition to this tart being easy to make ahead of time, means it should be moved to the top of your dessert list. And it will convert any lemon meringue pie lover to the chocolate camp.

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Chocolate Meringue Tart

1e4d7b52 fd4f 4798 ae19 d0f715768358  ry 400 Posie Harwood

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Makes one 13-x-4-inch tart (or one 9-inch pie)

For the crust

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling + topping

  • 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Tags: back of the box, s'mores, meringue, tart