July 28, 2009

Blackberry Meringue Pie


for the pie crust:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into 1 inch chunks
3-4 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon lime zest

for the filling:
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup blackberry juice
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

for the meringue:
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar


for the pie crust:
Preheat oven to 350. Place the butter, flour and zest into a food processor. Add water one tablespoon at a time and pulse just until mixture sticks together. Form the dough into a ball then roll out on a floured surface. Place in a pie plate and prick with a fork. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden. Cool before filling. Turn the oven up to 375.

for the filling:
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, water, blackberry juice and zest. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar/juice mixture. Whisk the eggy mixture into remaining sugar mixture in the pan. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Pour filling into the baked pie crust.

In a large metal bowl (preferably one attached to a stand mixer), beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust. Bake for 10 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.

Fully cool the pie before slicing.

Note: I made the blackberry juice by forcing the berries through a sieve using a whisk. Taste it and if the juice is very sweet, reduce the sugar by a few tablespoons.

My thoughts:
Blackberry yields are still high every day and I have been scrambling for ways to use up the delicate berries before they turn. I've never made a meringue pie before but am completely comfortable with egg whites and making curd so I thought I'd give it a shot. I am glad I did. It was really easy and the results were fabulous. The blackberry flavor is deliciously strong, a perfect foil for the fluffy and slightly sweet meringue.