Salted Caramel Cream Pie
Make room on the stove and space in the fridge for this Salted Caramel Cream Pie — a dessert that’s worthy of any season. It's topped with a fluffy marshmallow meringue that even meringue naysayers can't resist. From crunchy to creamy, and salty to sweet, this pie has got it going on.
FOR THE CRUST, PROCESS:
FOR THE FUDGE, WHISK:
FOR THE PASTRY CREAM, WHISK:
FOR THE MERINGUE, BEAT:
To make this pie ahead, prepare the pie up through chilling the pastry cream. When you're ready to serve it, continue with the recipe, starting with making the meringue.
Preheat oven to 350°.
For the crust, process pretzels, pecans, and brown sugar until fine. Pulse in melted butter until incorporated.
Press crumbs evenly into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Bake crust until set, 10–12 minutes; cool completely on a rack.
For the fudge, whisk together granulated sugar, cocoa, cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat; cook until smooth and sugar melts, then whisk in butter until melted.
Off heat, stir in chocolate until melted, then stir in vanilla. Pour fudge over bottom of crust and chill until set.
For the pastry cream, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and yolks in a bowl; whisk in ½ cup milk.
Boil granulated sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat for the caramel, swirling occasionally, until it reaches the color of iced tea, 12–14 minutes. Carefully whisk in remaining 2 cups milk until smooth.
Slowly add half the caramel mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return egg-caramel mixture to pan and bring to a boil; whisk constantly until pastry cream thickens, about 5 minutes.
Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla; strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Cool pastry cream to room temperature, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then spread over fudge layer. Press plastic wrap over surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill pie at least 4 hours to set pastry cream.
Preheat broiler to low with rack 6 inches from element.
For the meringue, beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, 1–2 minutes. Check out the video for How To Make Marshmallow Meringue.
Gradually add marshmallow creme, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy, 4–5 minutes. Spread meringue evenly over pie with the back of a spoon, spiking the top.
Broil pie until meringue is golden, about 3 minutes; serve immediately.
To create the best crust, pulse the melted butter into the crumbs until thoroughly combined.
Firmly press the crumbs into the pie plate to ensure the crust holds together when slicing the pie.
So the chocolate melts with ease, finely chop it before adding it to the cocoa mixture.
Watch the caramel closely as it can go from dark to burned in a flash. Add the milk before this happens.
Temper the egg mixture by gradually whisking in the hot caramel mixture, which gently cooks, instead of curdling the eggs.
Strain the pastry cream through a sieve to remove any bits of eggs that may have curdled.
Torch the meringue, rather than broil it, for the most control on where and how dark the meringue gets.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 43%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 113mg 37%
Sodium 659mg 27%
Carbs 62g 20%
Fiber 2g 8%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.