“Uptown Moon Pie” – Rich Pistachio Brownie with Ganache and White Chocolate Ice Cream ►
John Fleer’s brownie has been referred to as an “uptown moon pie.” Two chocolate discs covered with ganache
are open to reveal white chocolate ice cream, garnished with Italian meringue and strawberry syrup. You really
use a blowtorch to very quickly brown the meringue (kitchen supply stores sell a special tiny torch just for this purpose), or you can quickly brown the meringues under a very hot broiler. Be careful using the broiler: just a second too long and the ganache glaze on the brownie will melt.
- White Chocolate Ice Cream
- Heavy Cream - 1-1/2 cup
- White Chocolate - 6 ounces, chopped
- Milk - 1 pint
- Egg Yolks - 5
- Granulated Sugar - 3 ounces
- Corn Syrup - 1/4 cup
- Creme De Cacao - 1/4 cup
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 3/4 pounds, chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 3/4 pounds
- Cocoa - 1-1/2 cups
- Granulated Sugar - 2-1/2 cups
- Eggs - 6
- Vanilla - 1/16 cup
- All-Purpose Flour - 1-1/2 cups
- Pistachio Nuts - 1 cup, chopped
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 1 cup, chopped into small pieces
- Heavy (Whipping) Cream - 1 pint
- Chocolate - 1 pound, chopped
- Italian Meringue
- Granulated Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Water - 1-1/2 ounces
- Egg Whites - 3
- Cream of Tartar - 1/8 teaspoon
- Granulated White Sugar - 3 tablespoons
- Strawberry Sauce
- Granulated Sugar - 1/2 tablespoon
- Water - 1/4 ounce
- Triple Sec - 1/2 tablespoon
- Dark Rum - 1 tablespoon
- Strawberries - 1 pint
- Orange Juice - 1/2 cup
To make the ice cream: In a deep heavy saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Place the
white chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl and pour the cream over the chocolate. Let stand to allow the
chocolate to melt. In the same saucepan used for the cream, bring the milk to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk
together the eggs and sugar. Slowly pour one fourth of the milk into the egg mixture, whisking gently, to
temper. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the remaining milk and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture
thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the corn syrup and creme de cacao. Strain
the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve and stir into the melted chocolate. Cool the mixture. Place in the
container of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
To make the brownie: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheet pans with parchment and grease. Place
the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler and place over gently simmering water. Gently stir with
a whisk to blend. Sift in the cocoa and sugar and stir to blend. Remove from heat and stir gently until smooth.
Whisk the eggs until frothy. Stir the eggs and vanilla into the mixture. Stir in the flour, then add the nuts and chopped chocolate. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pans (the batter will be thick). Bake until just done, 15 minutes. Centers will still be slightly soft. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight.
To make the ganache: In a deep heavy saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Place the
chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl and pour the cream over the chocolate. Let stand to allow the chocolate to melt. Gently stir the mixture with a whisk until it is smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
To coat the brownies: Cut the brownie sheets into twenty-four 3-inch discs with a cookie cutter or steel ring.
Place half of the discs on a wire rack set over a baking pan. Pour the ganache over the discs, coating them
completely. Cut the centers out of the remaining discs, leaving a rim (reserve the centers to eat later).
To make the meringue: In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar and water to a boil and cook to
245 F on a candy thermometer. In a deep bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, and sprinkle the cream of tartar over the eggs. Continue to beat until medium peaks form. Sprinkle the sugar over the meringue and beat until medium-stiff peaks form. When the sugar syrup has reached the correct temperature, pour it into a heat-proof glass container to maintain the temperature and very slowly pour it into the egg whites while continuing to beat.
When the syrup has been incorporated, continue to beat at medium speed for 5 minutes to cool the meringue.
To make the sauce: In a heavy pan combine the sugar, water, triple sec, and rum and heat until the sugar
dissolves. Hull the berries. Place the strawberries and orange juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pour the
sugar mixture over the berries and puree the mixture. Do not strain it.
To serve: Place a brownie ring to one side of each dessert plate. Place a scoop of white chocolate ice cream
in the center of each. Position a coated top disc to the side of each, leaning on the ice cream. Pour two large spoonfuls of sauce on the other side of each plate. Place a large dollop of meringue on the side of each brownie.
Optionally, brown the meringue with a small blowtorch, or place under a very hot broiler for 5 – 8 seconds. (The brownie “trimmings” may be nibbled on their own!)