Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Berry Meringue Pie


'What am I going to do with all of this fruit?!' Is a thought that occurs to me when I'm staring at a fridge full of fresh berries that will inevitably spoil in the days to come. I considered a fruit cobbler, maybe a berry cake, but I went for a good ole 'humble' pie. The meringue entertains the chew, the berries provide the sweet and tart, and the crust provides the crisp - all packaged in a pretty tasty dessert. A friend inspired me with his ever-delicious crust recipe, and I tip my spatula to him for sharing the basics. A nice end to a heavy meal and tomorrow may not feel so guilty!

Servings: 8 Slices
Prep Time: ~45 min

6 Tablespoons Butter, Unsalted 
2 Tablespoons Shortening
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for rolling dough
1 Tablespoon Sugar, Granulated 
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 
~1/4 Cup Ice Water

3 Cups of Total Berries:
Fresh Strawberries, quartered
Cherries, pitted
Raspberries, crushed
Juice of 1/2 Orange, Medium
2 Tablespoons Sugar, Granulated
2 Tablespoons Flour

8 Egg Whites, room temperature
1/3 Cup Sugar, Granulated
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Crust (Pt I): Freeze butter and shortening for 15 minutes before use. Remove from freezer and cut into smaller pieces. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, and sugar, and cut in butter until crumbles form.  Add shortening until well-mixed. With mixer still rotating, pour only a FEW teaspoons of the water. until clay-like dough forms. Dust with flour and form dough into a bowl and set aside in fridge to chill.  Note - Not all water will be used in the crust. In another post I'll go into greater detail of the pie crust creation, since it can be a fickle part of pastry. 

Filling: Combine berries, orange juice, and sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat. As berries begin to release water, sprinkle in one tablespoon of flour and continue stirring (using sieve works well for even distribution). Increase heat and continue stirring until mixture begins to thicken. Add the second tablespoon of flour and continue to heat until mixture "jellies" while still warm. Set filling aside to cool. This recipe is similar to my previous posts on how to make Fresh Strawberry or Blueberry Jam; the addition of the flour betters its hold in a pie.

Crust (Pt II): Remove crust from fridge and press into a 9" pie plate. Poke holes throughout crust and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and baken an additional 6-10 minutes or until golden. Allow crust to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, pour pie filling into crust and evenly spread the mixture.

Meringue: In a warm water bath, mix egg whites and sugar until sugar has dissolved and liquid is clear. Whip egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread across the pie. Bake at 350 degrees for only a few minutes, or until meringue reaches desired tint of gold.

The pie can be served the same day or hold overnight, but same day eating will be difficult not to do! It has a light finish, an airy feel, is subtly sweetened, and makes for a less guilty indulgence at the end of an afternoon or evening meal. Enjoy!

Nutritional Info (1 slice):
Calories 268, Total Fat 12.1g, Sat. Fat 6.3g, Cholest. 22.9mg, Sodium 204.8mg, Carb. 33.5g, Fiber 1.6g, Sugars 17.7g, Protein 5.7g

2 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    This pie tasted fresher and lighter than any pie I'd ever had... perfect summer evening dessert. Thanks!!

  2. Andrew Y. says:

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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