|Yoart Grec avec Mures|
When I was preparing this post, something stood out immediately. As I reviewed the photos Andrew took of the making of the pie, I edited down the possibilities. Much to my astonishment, there were 29 selects! I will say Andrew did such a terrific job with the photos, I was taken with every one of them. Then, as I got into the Bon Appetit website’s comments about the pie, I realized one reason for the extraordinary number of pictures. There were many protests over the length of time the pie takes to cook. There were people talking about how their hands were raw just from washing the pots and pans involved. But there were equal numbers of truly hard core bakers who couldn’t get enough to the resulting dessert. True, there are many steps here. There’s waiting time and gelling time and cooking time. There’s a crust to bake and meringue to make. But I must say it is worth every minute just to dive into the tangy lime curd, the buttery, flaky crust, the ambrosial meringue and of course, the luscious wine-infused blackberries hidden under the curd and the fresh blackberries atop the meringue. So for those of you who are serious bakers, this one’s for you. And for the rest of you, have a slice of vicarious pie. You’ll be glad to know it will have zero calories. Here’s the recipe.
1 Blind-Baked Pie Crust in a 9″ deep-dish glass or metal pie pan *
(Bon Appetit’s Master Recipe for Pie Crust is at the bottom of this page)
*Note: Italian meringue is made by beating egg whites until they reach soft, fluffy peaks, then slowly streaming in boiling sugar and beating the mixture until it is thick and glossy. A basic meringue, also known as a French meringue, is made by beating granulated sugar into egg whites until the mixture reaches soft peaks. The hot sugar syrup used to make Italian meringue essentially cooks the egg whites as it is incorporated. This means that you don’t need to cook or bake the meringue before using it. It also means that the meringue is going to be a lot more stable and less likely to deflate or weep than a simple meringue is.
When making an Italian meringue, it is important to add the boiling sugar syrup very slowly, so that you don’t accidentally cook your eggs by overheating them. It is also important to keep the mixer (or your arm, if you are buff/brave) working on a medium-low speed while you work, so that the syrup is incorporated consistently without flying off the whisk attachment or beaters of your mixer. Once the syrup has been incorporated, the meringue is beaten at high speed for several minutes until it has cooled down. Unlike a simple meringue, you cannot overbeat an Italian meringue, so there is no need to worry about that.
Andrew used a kitchen blow torch to toast his meringue. You can use your oven if you don’t have one. If toasting meringue in oven, preheat oven to 450°.
For a Blind-baked pie Crust:
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Process flour, butter, vegetable shortening, sugar, and salt in a food processor until butter resembles tiny pebbles, about 25 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Gradually add 3/4 cup ice water, using a fork to stir until dough is a mixture of clumpy wet pieces and sandier pieces, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if dry. Press plastic wrap over surface of dough. Chill in the bowl at least 1 hour or over night.