I bake a lot of pies during the summer, when berries and stone fruits are at their peak of flavor and freshness. Another summertime favorite of mine is the classic campfire s’more, with its decadent combination of melting chocolate and toasted marshmallow. These two desserts are almost complete opposites – and that is precisely why combining them into one single dessert was such an appealing idea. This S’mores Brownie Pie is a pie-shaped twist on the classic s’more that is perfect for just about any occasion when you want to capture the spirit of summer.
The pie starts with a graham cracker crust. I used a premade crust for convenience, however a homemade graham cracker crust that has been prebaked and cooled would work just as well. The crust is filled with a dark chocolate brownie batter, then popped into the oven to bake. The brownie layer bakes up to be rich and fudgy, simulating the melting chocolate layer of a freshly-made s’more while remaining firm enough to make slicing this pie neat and easy. The brownie layer is topped with a marshmallowy meringue, which is browned in the oven before serving to capture that toasted sugar note that you get from marshmallows in a traditional s’more.
The meringue is a cooked meringue made with egg whites and a sugar syrup. The boiling syrup effectively cooks the egg whites and sets the meringue. This technique ensures that your meringue will not weep and that it will be easy to spread and style on top of the pie.
The finished pie is absolutely delicious. The graham cracker crust, chocolate brownie and vanilla meringue layers come together to capture all the flavors and textures that you find in a traditional s’more, but in a format that is a little bit more dressed up than the traditional campfire fare. The fluffy meringue is a nice contrast to the dense brownie, and not quite as sweet as a regular marshmallow would be, keeping the dessert from being too sweet overall. Even though the “real” s’more is served warm, this pie needs to be served at room temperature. If you really want to get some heat into it, pop the slice into the microwave for a few seconds just before serving, without microwaving the whole pie.
S’mores Brownie Pie
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup all purpose flour
9-inch graham cracker pie crust
2 large egg whites, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
Prepare brownie layer. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together dark chocolate and butter.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, egg and vanilla extract. Pour in the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Add in flour and whisk until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour brownie batter into graham cracker pie crust and spread in an even layer.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow pie to cool for at least 20 minutes.
Prepare meringue layer. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Without stirring, bring to a boil, then boil for 1 minute.
While the sugar boils, beat egg whites until very foamy. After sugar has boiled, slowly stream the sugar mixture into the egg whites with the beater on low speed. When all the sugar has been incorporated, increase speed to high and beat for 3-5 minutes, until mixture is very fluffy and has cooled to room temperature. Beat in vanilla extract
Spread meringue on top of the brownie layer in the pie crust, making sure to spread it all the way to the edges of the crust.
Turn on the broiler.
Cook pie for 2-3 minutes until the broiler, until meringue is evenly browned. Allow pie to cool before slicing. Store at room temperature.