There is nothing I love more about summer than its evenings. The lightening bugs come out, flickering about the lawn, while the sun slowly sinks down behind the trees. The sky above looks like sherbet with streaks of faded pink and orange hues, and somewhere in the distance, Sinatra’s record plays loudly into the still night air. The most enjoyable moment however, is sitting outside on the backyard porch finishing the night off with a slice of pie, or in this case, Italian Meringue Pie.
With its butter rich crust, berry compote, and cloud of toasted meringue this pie has taken a departure far from the tradition lemon meringue – not to mention the fact that this time, the lemons have been substituted with limes. Enjoy!
Italian Meringue Pie
(Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine – August 2011)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours – overnight
Cook Time: Approximately 1 hour
For Blind-Baked Pie Crust you will need:
2 cups AP flour
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
¼ cup vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
For Lime Curd you will need:
3 freshly squeezed limes
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks (set aside egg whites for meringue)
½ cup white sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup of whipping cream
For Blackberry (Raspberry) Compote you will need:
½ cup fruity red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
3 cups fresh or frozen berries (I used raspberries)
For Meringue you will need:
2 large eggs whites
½ cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup raspberries for garnish (optional)
Blind-Baked Pie Crust- Process flour, butter vegetable shortening, sugar, and salt in a food processor until butter resembles tiny pebbles. Transfer to a large bowl and gradually add ½ cup ice water until dough is a mixture of clumpy wet pieces and sandier pieces. Press plastic wrap over surface of dough. Chill in bowl at least 1 hour or overnight if you wish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll dough dough and fit into a prepared pie plate. Line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. After about 15-20 minutes depending on how hot your oven is, remove crust from oven. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F. Use the back of a fork to press down any bubbles that have formed. Return to oven and let bake for about another 15 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Lime Curd- In a medium size bowl, stir together lime juice, zest, eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Set bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk until mixture has thickened slightly. Add butter and cream and continue to cook until mixture has thickened, the whisk leaves a path when lifted from curd. Strain curd into prepared bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of curd. Chill until cold about 2 hours.
Blackberry (Raspberry) Compote- Bring red wine, sugar, and ½ cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat: reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to ½ cup. Let cool. Add berries and fold gently to coat.
Spread lime curd over cooled pie crust. Strain berries and spread over curd. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
Meringue- If toasting meringue in oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat whites until soft peaks form. Set aside. Stir sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium0high and allow to boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, beat in salt to egg white mixture until soft peaks form. Slowly add hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into whites until meringue is firm and glossy. Continue beating until cool. Spoon meringue over pie and place in over for about 5-8 minutes, or until meringue is toasted is some spots. Chill completely before serving.
In the original recipe, the berry compote is placed before the lime curd is spread over the crust, and the original recipe calls for blackberries. Just a few minor changes, but same delicious pie!