White Chocolate Meringue Piecrust

This airy, sweet meringue piecrust is brushed with white chocolate, which adds sweet flavor and creates a barrier that keeps the crust crisp after the filling is added.

White Chocolate Meringue Crust
Photo: Photo: James Ransom / Food Stylist Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
7 hrs 5 mins
Yield:
1 (9-inch) piecrust

Marshmallowy Italian meringue is baked until firm, dry, and crisp and then brushed with melted white chocolate, adding delicate sweetness while also creating a barrier that helps prevent this crust from getting soggy once the filling is added. Even though the crust is baked in a deep-dish pie plate, it holds the same amount of filling as a standard pie plate due to the extra-thick, pillowy crust. Pipe leftover meringue into small kisses to use as a crunchy garnish on finished pies. While the crust can be made up to 2 days in advance, add the filling and chill just until set and then serve immediately to prevent the crust from softening too much in the humidity of the refrigerator. If the temperature of your oven can only go as low as 250°F, bake the piecrust for 1 hour, removing meringue kisses when dry and no longer sticky, after 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the oven off, and let piecrust cool completely in oven until crisp, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • Cornstarch

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup water

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F with rack in lower third position. Lightly grease a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate (with at least a 1/2-inch lip) with cooking spray, and line bottom with parchment paper. Generously dust pie plate with cornstarch; set aside. Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and syrup registers 240°F on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 14 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, when syrup reaches about 225°F, beat egg whites with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. With mixer running on medium speed, gradually stream hot sugar syrup into whipped egg white mixture. Continue beating until meringue is glossy and forms stiff peaks and outside of mixer bowl has cooled slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, and beat in vanilla until combined.

  4. Measure about 3 1/2 cups meringue into a large (about 18-inch) piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch closed star piping tip (such as Ateco 854). Pipe into a tight spiral pattern in bottom and up sides of prepared pie plate, starting in center and working outward and then up sides of pie plate, ensuring there are no gaps. If desired, pipe a decorative edge at the top, resting on the lip of the pie plate. Place remaining meringue (about 3/4 cup) in piping bag, and pipe into small kisses on a parchment paper–lined small baking sheet.

  5. Bake crust and kisses on lower third rack in preheated oven until dry and no longer sticky, 2 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes. Turn oven off, and let meringues cool completely in oven until crisp, at least 4 hours or up to 1 day (24 hours). Reserve meringue kisses for garnish or for another use.

  6. Place white chocolate chips in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on high until smooth and melted, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to stir every 20 seconds. Brush melted chocolate evenly on bottom and sides of piecrust, leaving top edge of crust bare. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes. Just before filling pie, use a torch to lightly toast the top edge of the crust. Fill piecrust; chill just until filling is set.

Make Ahead

Crust and kisses can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container.

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