Monday, June 18, 2012

Lime & Raspberry Italian Meringue Pie

Last summer, in the airport on a work trip, I picked up a copy of Bon Appetit--I know because my boarding pass just fell out from between the pages. I normally don't buy magazines, but I had two good reasons. The first was that my chef friend Abra, and her venture, Bare Knuckle Farm was featured inside. With her business partner Jess, the two have established a diversified vegetable, fruit, pig and chicken farm on Jess' grandfather's cherry orchard outside of Traverse City, Michigan. Chef Mario Batali, who has a summer home up there, has taken a liking to them, and featured their stand in his round-up of the Leelanau Penninsla. Aside from friend-support and bragging rights), I was headed up to the farm for Abra & her beau Erik's wedding later in the summer, and wanted the scoop (at least Batali's take) on the area.

The other reason for picking up the magazine, was that it featured pie on the cover, and a few recipes inside that I wanted to try. Though I didn't get around to making any last summer, I kept the issue in a pile of books by my bed, and miraculously remembered I had it last weekend when I was fixin' to make a pie for my friend Marion's birthday.

Luckily there was quite a selection at the farmers' market that day, and though here were no blackberries for this featured Lime and Blackberry Italian Meringue Pie, there were raspberries, so I decided to swap them out for their sister berry in the recipe.

Lime & Raspberry Italian Meringue Pie
Adapted from the August 2011 Bon App├ętit


For lime curd:
1 c. fresh lime juice
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks (reserve whites for the meringue)
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
3/4 c. heavy cream, chilled

For raspberry compote:
1 c. fruity red wine, like Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 c. sugar
3 c. fresh raspberries (about 1 1/2 pints)

For meringue:
3 large egg whites, room temp. (can use whites from the yolks used for the curd)
1 c. sugar
2 Tblsp. corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. raspberries (about 1/2 pint, optional, for garnish)

For crust:
1. Prepare half of the Nothing-in-the-House pie crust as per the directions. Chill dough at least 1 hour before rolling out and fitting into a greased and floured 9-inch pie pan. Return bottom crust to fridge for about 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the pie and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Once you've let the pie crust chill (perhaps you've made the lime crust in the meantime), using a fork, prick chilled crust all over the bottom. Line crust with parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove weights, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Let crust cool completely.

For lime curd:
1. Stir lime juice, eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together in a medium metal bowl or top of a double boiler.  Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering hot water  and whisk until mixture has thickened and thermometer reads 175 degrees F, about 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and add butter, cut into Tblsp. size pieces. Whisk between each addition to melt and blend. Once curd has cooled, place plastic wrap directly onto its surface, and chill in the fridge until cold, about 2 hours (Can be made about 2 days ahead).

2. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tblsp. of water in a small bowl. Whisk briefly and let stand until gelatin is soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside. With an electric mixer, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Add gelatin mixture to the cream and continue beating until just before stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into lime curd, cover and chill. 

For raspberry compote:
1. Pour red wine, sugar, and 1/2 c. water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat. Once at a gentle simmer, reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture is reduced to about 1/2 c., about 20-25 minutes. Once reduced, let cool.

2. Add 3 c. of berries to the mixture and gently fold to coat. Spread the compote in an even layer over the baked pie crust. Then spoon lime curd over the berries, and chill for 1 hour.

For the meringue:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside. 

2. Stir sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 c. water in a medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Insert a candy thermometer in the saucepan and increase heat to medium-high. Boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan, until thermometer registers 238 degrees F, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Meanwhile, beat whites again briefly until soft peaks form. Slowly pour hot sugar mixture down the side of the bowl into the whites and beat until meringue is firm and has a glossy sheen.  Continue to beat until cool, about 4 minutes. Spoon meringue over the lime curd, leaving about a 1-inch border. Sculpt decoratively with the back of a spoon and tuck 1 c. raspberries in and around the meringue.

4. Bake pie until meringue is toasted, about 3-5 minutes.  Chill pie for about a half-hour before serving, if you can wait that long! Keep in the fridge until it's gone.

I like the simple but genius idea employed here--to add a fresh fruit compote bottom layer and berry garnish to a classic meringue. This is another one of those recipes that could be used with so many different variations--lemon meringue with blueberry compote! rhubarb meringue with strawberry compote! strawberry meringue with rhubarb compote! chocolate meringue with cherry compote! So many delicious combinations for sampling.

A word of caution for this pie though--it is time consuming. Make sure to plan ahead and consider making the dough and lime curd the day ahead. All the steps made me almost miss Marion's birthday picnic in the park!


kellypea said...

I'll have to go back and check out that issue of Bon Appetit to see the feature on your friend. Very cool -- as is your pie. I love raspberry and lime together. And it turned out beautifully!

emily said...

Thanks so much--it is a great combination!

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