Choc dessert pie-fec­tion

Central and North Burnett Times - - TASTE - with Dan and Steph Mul­heron For more, go to danand­steph.com.au

Cho­co­late strawberry meringue pie

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS: Cho­co­late short crust: ◗ 90g dark choc (75% is best) ◗ 1 tbs co­coa pow­der ◗ 2 cups plain flour ◗ 1⁄ cup caster su­gar ◗ 130g 3 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.

PHOTO: MAGONE

◗ The meringue gets a makeover

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