Saturday 21 March 2015

Raspberry Meringue Pie with Lime & Pistachio Pastry

Growing up my mums lemon meringue pie was one of my favourite Sunday treats. I’ve not eaten one for several years, so when I recently saw a recipe for raspberry meringue pie I had feelings of both nostalgia and excitement over childhood favourite with a new twist. I’d heard of lime or orange meringue pie, even a chocolate meringue pie, but never a raspberry meringue pie. It looked too delicious to pass up.

This pie is extra special as not only is it filled with a zingy raspberry curd, but it’s also spiked with lime for an extra fresh kick. The pastry contains lime, pistachios and brown sugar for a really unique and delicious meringue pie pastry twist. It smelt unimaginably amazing when it was baking.

Instead of raspberries, you could try using other fruits, blackcurrants, cherries or mixed forest fruits, but I think raspberries are the fruit of choice for a truly spectacular magenta coloured curd filling. The contrast of the vibrant raspberry against the puffy pale meringue topping is stunning. It gives much more of a wow factor than a lemon meringue pie.

This pie tastes delicious eaten when still warm from the oven, which is how we served it initially, but I wouldn’t recommend this if you are going for dainty elegant presentation. When hot, the curd is melted, oozy and gooey, meaning it pools out of the tart when cut. Not exactly photo worthy. However, leave it to cool, or even better, chill for a few hours in the fridge and you get a perfectly behaved and sliceable pie, with all the layers staying distinct. I think this gives a much better impression, see below.
Warm and oozy

Chilled and elegant

Leaving the pie to chill also allows the flavours to develop. The lime and raspberry mingle together well and the subtle nuttiness of the pistachio pastry is more noticeable. I also love the texture when it’s been chilled. The meringue maintains the crisp top sugary shell with airy mallowy meringue below which just dissolves on your tongue. By contrast the curd is thick, smooth and softly set and the base crisp and nicely crumbly. A wonderful mix of textures and flavours.

The raspberry filling is quite tangy, the freshness from the raspberry really being the star of the show. This is emphasised by the subtle zing of lime in the filling and pastry. This was delicious against the sweetness of the meringue top, and really kept the fresh raspberry flavour (despite using frozen berries!)

If you are looking for a real show stopper of a dessert I couldn’t recommend this pie enough. My sister and I made this for our mum for Mothers Day last weekend, and it was the perfect pretty-in-pink dessert. I love how you can use frozen berries in winter and fresh berries in summer. It would rival any summer pudding at a BBQ and would make a great non-chocolaty Easter dessert.

The recipe below makes enough filling and meringue for one deep 8inch tart, but you will have some pastry leftover – this tastes delicious cut into rounds and baked as mini biscuits to serve with a mousse or just to munch on. The pistachio and lime making them much more flavoursome than regular pastry. It’s quite time consuming to make, but definitely worth the effort.

Raspberry Meringue Pie with Lime & Pistachio Pastry
(Slightly altered from Gluten Free Alchemist blog)
Lime Pistachio Pastry 
40g pistachio nuts
80g rice flour
60g cornflour
50g buckwheat flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
Zest of 1 lime (save the juice for the filling)
50g light soft brown sugar
110g cold butter
1 egg
1 tbsp cold water

Have to hand a deep 8inch/20cm tart tin with a loose base and set to one side.
Grind the pistachio nuts so they resemble fine crumbs, then mix in a large bowl along with the flours, xanthan gum, salt, lime zest and sugar.
Chop the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour mix using the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Lightly beat the egg with the water and then add to the dry ingredients. Mix with a flat butter knife until it begins to come together as a dough. It may look a little dry at first, but don’t add any more water just yet.
When large clumps begin to form, switch to your hands and bring the mixture together to form a dough, kneading gently. Add a few drops more water if it’s too crumbly.
Lay a large sheet of clingfilm over the work surface and place the pastry on top. Cover with another large sheet of clingfilm before rolling out the dough until 2-3mm thick. Lift up and reposition the top layer of clingfilm to help you as you roll.
Remove the top layer of clingfilm and lift the pastry up with the base layer of clingfilm still in place to support it. Flip the pastry into the tart tin and press into the edges before peeling away the clingfilm. Trim the edges with a sharp knife and place into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Wrap any leftover pastry in clingfilm and store in the fridge for use later (delicious baked as mini biscuits).
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C.
Dock the base of the pastry with a fork and line with baking paper or clingfilm and fill with baking beans. 
Blind bake the pastry for 10-12 minutes before removing the beans and baking for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Switch off the oven.

Raspberry Filling
350g fresh or frozen raspberries
Juice of 1 lime
40g caster sugar
20g cornflour
2 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
25g butter

Thaw the raspberries if frozen, then puree with the lime juice in a liquidizer. Pour into a sieve set over a bowl and press with the back of a spoon to sieve out the seeds. (This takes a while). Discard the seeds. 
Combine the raspberry puree with the sugar in a saucepan.
Mix the cornflour with a little water in a small bowl to make a paste and then stir this into the raspberry mix.
Heat gently, stirring continually until the mixture comes to a simmer. Continue to stir over a low heat for 1-3 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes. 
Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time, before cubing and whisking in the butter.
Spoon the filling into the pastry case and smooth the surface. Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the filling to set.

Meringue Topping
2 egg whites                
100g caster sugar

When the raspberry curd is chilled, preheat the oven to 180C and place a flat baking tray in the oven to heat up.
In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until the meringue forms stiff glossy peaks. 
Spoon mounds of meringue over the chilled raspberry tart filling making sure it reaches the edges of the pastry to seal it.
Carefully remove the hot baking tray from the oven and place the tart onto it. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes in the middle of the oven until the meringue surface is lightly golden and crisp, underneath should still be soft and mallowy. The curd will be melted and gooey when hot, so don’t use this as a baking indicator of doneness.
Allow to cool for 20 minutes before carefully removing from the tin.
Best served chilled for ease of slicing, although also tastes delicious warm – the filling will ooze out if eaten warm.
Makes 1 x 8inch tart


Gluten Free Alchemist said...

Ooohhh! Katie... You made it! It looks wonderful. This was such a wonderful pie. I am so glad that you liked the flavour combination too. The raspberry filling is such a beautiful colour!
It's funny, I have recently been hankering to make it again (and to update my photos which were so naff!). Your photos are lovely!
Thanks for the link!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

You're absolutely reading my mind Katie! I had a raspberry meringue pie in Scotland but it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be because it was at a truck stop and I think it was a bit past it best date. But I kept thinking that I wanted to make one and here you go you clever clogs!! :D

Elle said...

Stunning to look at and I'm sure it was super delicious in both the warm and chilled versions. One to add to the 'make for a party' pile since my hubby loves pies and tarts.

Johanna GGG said...

that looks amazing - I agree that the colour is more stunning than lemon - I have also seen rhubarb meringue pie but I think I like raspberry even better.

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

I want to eat this whole pie!!! it looks amaaaazing! I love how vibrant the raspberry filling is and that you paired it with lime - what a great flavour combo!!