Blackberry Lemon Meringue Pie

INGREDIENTS:
makes two 9″ pies (halving the curd recipes for one 9″ pie was a bit awkward to write because the curds use three egg yolks each, but it’s actually pretty easy in practice.  Prepare three egg yolks, then use only one and a half yolks per halved curd recipe–that’s roughly a Tablespoon and a half of yolk.)

for pastry crust:

  • 520 grams All Purpose flour
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 14 Tbspn butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 Tbspn freshly grated meyer lemon zest
  • 2 Tbspn freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice
  • 4 Tbspn cold water

METHOD:

  1. Combine the ingredients except the water in a food processor and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas.
  2. Gradually add the water and pulse just until a dough begins to form.
  3. Remove the pastry dough from the food processor, form it into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  5. Roll out the pastry crust. Prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork. Then, line the pastry with parchment paper and weigh down with pie weights (or dry beans, which is what I use).
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the pastry looks golden.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool.

for lemon curd:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbspn corn starch
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbspn butter
  • 1 1/3 cups boiling water
  • 1 Tbspn freshly grated meyer lemon zest

METHOD:

  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Gradually blend in the cold water and lemon juice.
  2. Add the egg yolks and butter, blending until smooth.
  3. Gradually add in the boiling water, stirring constantly.
  4. Place the saucepan on medium high heat and bring to a full boil, stirring gently with a spatula and scraping the bottom (to prevent burning).  Once the mixture begins to thicken, reduce the heat and simmer for one minute.
  5. Remove the curd from heat and mix in the lemon zest. Let cool.

for blackberry curd:

  • 2 cups fresh or thawed, frozen blackberries*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbspn corn starch
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1 Tbspn creme de cassis
  • 1 Tbspn freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbspn butter
  • 1 1/3 cup boiling water

METHOD:

  1. In a food processor or blender, puree the blackberries until smooth.  If desired, pour through a sieve to take out seeds (I actually like the seeds for texture, so I don’t strain them out.)  You should have one cup of blackberry puree; if there is extra, set aside for other uses.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Gradually blend in the blackberry puree, creme de cassis, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  3. Add the egg yolks and butter, blending until smooth.
  4. Gradually add in the boiling water, stirring constantly.
  5. Place the saucepan on medium high heat and bring to a full boil, stirring gently with a spatula and scraping the bottom (to prevent burning).  Once the mixture begins to thicken, reduce the heat and simmer for one minute.
  6. Remove the curd from heat and let cool.

for meringue and assembly:

  • 7-8 egg whites
  • 1/2 tspn cream of tartar
  • 5 Tbspn sugar
  • 1 1/2 tspn vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.
  2. Place egg whites in a clean mixer bowl with the whisk attachment. Begin to whip at low until the egg whites start to foam.
  3. Add the cream of tartar and increase speed to medium high. Gradually add the sugar.
  4. Whip the egg whites until glossy stiff peaks, being careful not to overwhip.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and whip the egg whites on high for about three seconds, “sealing” the meringue.
  6. Spoon the blackberry and lemon curds alternatively into the prepared pie crusts. Top with meringue, making sure to seal the meringue to the pie crust at the outer edges.
  7. Place pies in the lower shelf of the oven, and bake at 220C for three minutes, until the tips of the meringue become golden.  Then, lower the oven temperature to 180 degrees C and continue to bake for 7-8 more minutes, until you reach the desired color on the meringue.  Remove and let cool.
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