Skye McAlpine’s chocolate chestnut meringue pie

This chocolate chestnut meringue pie is a Mont Blanc of sorts, in beautiful pie form. The base is made from a mix of chocolate biscuits (any will do but bourbons work particularly well). You’ll need a cook’s blowtorch to burnish the meringue – worth the investment for the dramatic gilding effect it gives.

Skye McAlpine chocolate chestnut meringue pie
Skye McAlpine

SERVES 8-10

FOR THE BASE

80g dark chocolate, chopped
4
50g chocolate bourbon biscuits
100g salted butter, softened

FOR THE FILLING

350g unsweetened chestnut purée
75g dark muscovado sugar, plus extra to taste
30ml double cream
1 tbsp brandy

FOR THE MERINGUE

4 egg whites, at room temperature
1⁄4 tsp cream of tartar
150g caster sugar

1. Put the chocolate in a food processor with the biscuits.
Blitz until they form a crumb, then add the butter and blitz again until it starts to clump together. Press evenly into a deep 28cm fluted pie dish with a removable base and put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden.

2. Meanwhile, spoon the chestnut purée into a bowl, add the muscovado and beat with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Keep on beating as you slowly pour in the cream and brandy. Pause and taste: add a little more sugar, if you like. Pour into the chilled case, cover and store in the fridge. You can make it up to this stage 3 days in advance.

3. Place the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk on a low speed (if you have an electric whisk) until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat until soft peaks form, then gradually add the caster sugar and beat until firm peaks form. Dollop the meringue on to the pie and spread it out with the back of a spoon so all the filling is covered. Use the spoon to make small peaks in the meringue then caramelise with a blowtorch.

Reach for the Skye – and save

skye mcalpine recipesOur recipes are from A Table for Friends with additional recipes from A Table in Venice by Skye McAlpine, both Bloomsbury, £26. To order copies for £22.88 each, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Promotional price valid until 20 December. Free UK delivery on orders over £15.