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Blackberry Meringue Pie


A fun take on a classic! Instead of the usual tangy lemon curd underneath fluffy meringue, its a lovely vibrant blackberry curd. Such a great alternative..


The traditional Lemon Meringue Pie would usually be served in the summer but the use of autumnal berries makes it a perfect autumnal and winter dessert. To make the blackberry curd I've made my own puree using fresh blackberries. This makes the curd taste so delicious, and the acidity of the blackberries complement the sweetness of the meringue perfectly to make the best pudding!



Serves 8-10 people

You will need 20cm tart tin


Ingredients:


For the Pastry:

300g Butter

190g Icing Sugar

60g Ground Almonds

500g Plain Flour

4g Salt

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 eggs


For the Curd:

300g Blackberry Puree (to make the puree, see in the recipe you will need 450g Fresh Blackberries, 50g Lemon juice and 50g Sugar)

4 eggs

250g Sugar

40g Plain Flour

75g Butter


For the meringue:

277g Caster Sugar

150g Egg Whites

60g Water


Method:

1. Cream the butter and sugar in a free standing mixer. Mix until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and continue to mix until completely combined.

2. Add the salt, vanilla, almonds and flour to the mixture. Mix until just combined.

3. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead lightly until a dough is formed. Make sure not to over mix otherwise the pastry will become tough and dry.

4. Chill in the fridge for at least 30minutes to an hour until firm.

5. Roll out the chilled pastry to a thickness of 2-3mm. Make sure to lightly flour the surface and rolling pin.

6. Lift up the dough and place on top of the tart case, using your fingers to gently ease the pastry into the case pressing into the corners and edges.

7. Using a knife, trim off the excess pastry. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins.

8. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius (fan). Line the tarts with baking paper or clingfilm and fill with uncooked rice or baking beans, then place in the oven for 15 minutes. Then remove the rice and clingfilm and cook for another 5 minutes.

9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

10. Now for the curd. If you are making the puree, place the 450g blackberries, 50g lemon juice and 50g Sugar in a pan, cook until the blackberries have burst and the sugar has dissolved. Using a small food processor or blender, blitz the mixture until smooth. Pass through a sieve to remove any larger bits. If you have bought pre-made puree, you can ignore this step! Once this is done, weigh the puree to 300g.

11. Place the puree into a medium pan and bring to the boil.

12. Whisk together the sugar, eggs and plain flour until aerated and well combined.

13. Pour 1/3 of the hot puree into the egg mixture and whisk. Then pour all of the mixture back into the pan.

14. Whilst continuing to whisk, heat the mixture in the pan until it starts to boil, and then continue to boil for about 1 minute.

15. Take off the heat and add the butter, whisking until the butter has melted and mixed through.

16. Pour the curd into the tart case making sure it is evenly distributed and smooth.

17. Leave to cool and set.

18. Now for the meringue. Put the egg whites into the bowl of a free standing mixer or a bowl ready to use a handheld electric whisk.

19. Place the sugar and water into a small pan and bring to the boil. Continue to cook until the sugar reaches 121 degrees celsius. (I recommend using a thermometer for this). When the sugar reaches 117 degrees, start to whisk the egg whites on a high speed.

20. Once the sugar is at the right temperature, reduce the speed of the egg whites to low, and slowly pour the hot sugar into the egg whites. Once everything has been added, increase the speed back to high and continue to whisk until the meringue is stiff and glossy and completely cool.

21. Now is the time to check if your blackberry curd has set! If it has, then remove from the fridge and now we can add the meringue. I personally like the more rustic look but feel free to pipe the meringue on using a piping bag and nozzle of your choice! Dollop the meringue on top of the tart and using a palette knife, spread the meringue around the tart until you achieve the shape you desire.

22. Now use a blowtorch to slightly burn the meringue to achieve the 'toasted' look which is so iconic for this dessert. If you don't have a blowtorch, place the tart underneath a grill for a short while until it starts to brown but please keep at eye on it!

Serve with a side of fresh blackberries and single cream!



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