to do list and it looked like an interesting challenge. I've had lemon meringue pie many times but never a raspberry meringue pie. This difference with this one is that the fruit sits on top of the meringue instead of being spread underneath like the traditional lemon version.The base of the pie is a hazelnut pastry. I couldn't get hold of ground hazelnuts so I had to blitz some chopped hazelnuts in the food processor, they still looked a bit coarse but I found that the longer I processed the nuts the more they were sticking together. When mixed with the flour, butter, sugar and egg yolk it all looked liked pastry.
I blind baked the case for about 30 minutes and managed to burn the sides slightly.Instead of baking beans I use a few handfuls of split peas. I reuse them and these have served me well for nearly 2 years I think. However I don't do a huge amount of pastry baking.
The next stage was to make Italian meringue. I'm very familiar with the method of making French meringue, i.e. beat the egg whites until stiff and then add the sugar. But this was my first attempt at an Italian one. I realised after making the pastry that I only had 3 eggs left when I needed 4 egg whites. I didn't bother to go down to the shop to get more and just crossed my fingers that it would work. I used the same amount of syrup and it seemed to work. I also ran out of caster sugar so had to make up the remaining quantity for the syrup with soft light brown sugar. My meringue is probably a bit darker than it is supposed to be. I boiled up the syrup to 120C with the zest of 2 lemons and then gradually whisked it into the egg whites. I managed to do all of this by hand as I thought it might be easier to control a hot pan of syrup and a balloon whisk rather than a heavy electric whisk. Plus it gives the upper arms a good workout!
I spread the meringue on top of the pastry case and baked it for about 10 minutes to set the meringue and caramelise the top slightly. I don't know if it would have all fitted on top if I had the fourth egg white so I think the potential disaster was averted.
Once cooled I carefully removed the pie from the tin, luckily using silicone here is very helpful as I just folded the tin back until I could safely remove the pie without breaking it. Finally I decorated the top with raspberries. If you ignore the slightly burnt bits on the top of the pastry I think it looks quite pretty.
As I've used raspberries I've entered this pie into Ren's Simple and In Season this month hosted by Laura from How To Cook Good Food and also Karen and Kate's Tea Time Treats This month hosted by Kate where the theme was summer berries.