This Chocolate Brownie Meringue Pie with Pretzel Crust sits in a crunchy salty bottom crust, a rich and fudgy chocolate brownie layer and a homemade Italian meringue on top. The subtle balance between sweet and salty flavors makes this dessert taste extra special!
Once in a while, I like to create desserts for special occasions. Whether it’s for Christmas, Thanksgiving or a birthday party, there’s always a good reason to go fancy when it comes to dessert. This incredible chocolate brownie meringue pie definitely enters this category.
This 3-layer pie combines a rich a fudgy chocolate brownie center, trapped in between a crunchy salty bottom and a mile-high meringue on top. Add a drizzle of salted caramel all over and you get the most decadent yet elegant dessert of the year with an interesting contrast of textures and flavors.
Getting organized: utensils you need
The recipe may seem a little overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep in mind that organization is key! So let me guide you through some basics, starting from the cooking tools you need for the recipe.
- A non-stick springform (or a pie dish) with removable bottom. You don’t want to pass on the removable bottom as it helps slicing the pie without creating a mess by lifting a slice.
- A food processor. This will help you create crumbs out of the pretzel in just a few pulses.
- A thermometer. This is a key utensil for the syrup preparation.
- A stand mixer (KitchenAid or other). It will make your work easier for the Italian meringue preparation, and allow you to pour in the syrup in a regular stream while still beating the foaming egg whites until they form soft peaks.
- A cooking torch to brown the surface of the meringue.
What if I don’t have all these utensils? To put it simply, the equipment listed above will make your work way easier. But the good news is that you can still obtain a great result with non of the above utensils, especially if you decide to go without the Italian meringue topping (yes, you can skip it!). Instead, consider serving your chocolate brownie pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle some caramel on top.
How to make the salty pretzel bottom?
- Crush pretzel biscuits, by pulsing a few times in a food processor, until the texture resemble to a fine sandy texture. Alternatively, you can place the pretzel biscuits in a ziploc bag and smash them out by using a rolling pin.
- Combine pretzel crumbs with melted butter and sugar, mixing until the dough is wet.
- Pour the mixture onto the bottom and sides of the pan. Useful tip: use a measuring cup or a glass to pack it into the bottom and around the sides.
Can I substitute pretzels with other biscuits? Yes! If you don’t like the salty flavor of the pretzel cookies, consider using graham crackers, Lotus biscoff or even oreo cookies.
A rich, fudgy, chocolate brownie layer
For this recipe, I simply adapted my Vegan Fudgy Brownies (aka best brownies ever) in a no vegan version, using eggs instead of a flaxseed eggs and regular butter. I also skipped the chocolate chips. A little tip: don’t forget the pinch of salt, that helps develop the bold chocolate flavors.
The brownie layer is an extremely simple recipe that could be enjoyed on its own, without the pretzel crust underneath or the the meringue topping.
Tips for perfecting the Italian meringue
- Gather all of the utensils listed above: a stand mixer, a thermometer, a cooking torch.
- Start with the syrup: pour sugar in a non-stick pan and cover with water (do not stir!).
- Place a thermometer in the syrup and heat on medium-high heat.
- When the temperature reaches 230°F (110°C), start beating egg whites in the stand mixer running on medium-low.
- Continue to cook the syrup until the temperature reaches 240°F (115°C).
- When the syrup is ready and egg whites are foamy but not firm yet, slowly drizzle the syrup over in a steady stream, and continue to whip on low-medium heat until peaks form.
Can I make it without the meringue? Short answer is yes! Skip the meringue, serve with vanilla ice cream and top it off with salted caramel sauce!
More sumptuous pies to discover:
- Chocolate Coffee Meringue Pie
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Meringue Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- Blackberry Apple Pie
- Maple Pecan Pumpkin Pie
- Classic Pumpkin Pie
- Check also these 30+ Incredible Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes.
For all chocolate addicts, try also:
- French Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Mousse Raspberry Cake
- Best Ever Vegan Fudge Brownies
- Dark Chocolate Fondant Cake
- More to discover with these Best Decadent Chocolate Dessert Recipes
Lastly, if you make this Chocolate Brownie Meringue Pie with Pretzel Crust, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating, letting me know how you liked it. And of course, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Thank you and enjoy!Print
This chocolate brownie meringue pie with pretzel crust sits in a crunchy salty bottom crust, a rich and fudgy chocolate brownie layer and a homemade Italian meringue on top. The subtle balance between sweet and salty flavors makes this dessert taste extra special!
For the pretzel crust:
- 1 ¼ cups (140g) pretzel biscuits
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
For the brownie layer:
- 1 cup (240g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (135g) brown sugar, lightly packed
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120g) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (125g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pinch of salt
For the Italian meringue:
- 1 cup (200ml) water
- 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
- 4 egg whites
For the pretzel crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease a 9-inch (23 cm) springform with detachable bottom with melted butter.
- Pulse the pretzel biscuits in a food processor until texture resembles to fine crumbs. Transfer to a medium size bowl, add sugar, and stir in the melted butter.
- Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of the prepared springform. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the brownie layer.
For the brownie layer:
- In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter and sugars together. Add the eggs, vanilla, and whisk until evenly combined.
- Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, using a strainer or a sifter. Add a pinch of salt, and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined (do not overmix).
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the middle of the brownies no longer jiggles and is just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour before spreading the meringue on top.
For the Italian meringue:
- Pour water and sugar in a small saucepan, and heat the syrup to 240°F (115°C) without stirring.
- When the temperature approaches 230°F (110°C), start beating the whites with an electric mixer or ideally in the bowl of a food processor. When they are foamy but not yet firm, very gradually stream the hot sugar syrup into your egg whites as they continue to whip on low to medium speed.
- Once you’ve added all of the syrup, increase the mixer speed to medium-high. Continue mixing until the meringue reaches stiff peaks.
- Spoon the meringue over the cooled brownie (at room temperature), swirling decoratively, and toast with a kitchen torch* until golden brown in spots, if desired. And voilà! A sumptuous pretzel brownie meringue pie ready to serve!
* It’s also possible to serve the meringue as is, without creating some golden brown spots if you don’t have a cooking torch.
Tip: Drizzle salted caramel all over the pie just before serving!
Storing tips: I recommend to let the brownie cool down at room temperature completely (rather than in the fridge, that would make the brownie layer too dense) before adding the meringue on top. Once you spread out the Italian meringue, serve almost immediately. Leftovers must be stored in the refrigerator for up to a day only. After that, and if you happen to still have some leftovers, simply remove the meringue and enjoy the dessert without.
Keywords: brownie meringue pie