- For the base:
- 1 x 200 g bag Woolworths giant knot salted pretzels
- 110 g butter, melted
- 50 g caster sugar
- For the curd:
- 500 g strawberries, pureéd and strained
- 6 T cornflour
- 100 g caster sugar
- 4 lemons, juiced
- 6 free-range egg yolks
- 100 g cold butter, cubed
- For the Swiss meringue:
- 600 g caster sugar
- 8 free-range egg whites
- 1 t vanilla paste
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. To make the base, blend the pretzels in a food processor to a medium-fine consistency. Place in a bowl and add the butter and sugar. Mix to combine.
2. Generously spray a 24 x 24 cm square loose-bottomed cake tin with cooking spray and carefully line with the pretzel crumb, using the back of a tablespoon to press down on the crumb to make sure it’s compact. Bake for 8–10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then chill to set completely.
3. To make the curd, place the strawberry purée in a saucepan and heat gently. In another bowl, mix the cornflour, caster sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Add the cornflour mixture to the warm purée and whisk to combine. Continue whisking over a low heat until it starts to thicken and there is no raw cornflour taste.
4. Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks one at a time, whisking to combine. Add the butter and whisk until incorporated. Return to the heat and whisk continuously for a further 5 minutes until thickened.
5. Transfer the curd to a bowl, place a sheet of clingwrap on the surface and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, pour over the chilled pretzel base and place in the fridge to set.
6. To make the Swiss meringue, beat the sugar and egg whites together in a glass or stainless-steel bowl until just combined. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan filled with simmering water and continue whisking until the mixture reaches 71 C on a candy thermometer.
7. Transfer the meringue to the bowl of an electric stand-mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk at high speed until the bowl of the mixer is cool to the touch and the meringue has stiff peaks and is smooth and glossy. Place in a piping bag and pipe onto the pie. Brûlée using a blowtorch just before serving.
Cook's note: The curd can be made up to two days ahead. Swiss meringue holds its shape better than ordinary meringue and can also be made in advance. It doesn’t need to be baked as it’s cooked in the bowl.
Photograph: Sadiqah Assur-ismail
Recipes: Hannah Lewry and Claire-ellen Van Rooyen