Lime & Blackberry Italian Meringue Pie

Cover Recipe- Bon Appetit, Lime & Blackberry Italian Meringue Pie: August 2011

Cover Recipe- Bon Appetit, Lime & Blackberry Italian Meringue Pie: August 2011

We’re at the halfway point of summer and, to be honest, this time of year always makes me anxious. I wake up in the middle of the night in cold sweats, positively certain that I’ve missed sweet corn season entirely or that local heirloom tomatoes have somehow slipped through my fingers; I just can’t bear the thought of not taking advantage of this incredible bounty, especially given how barren the winter can be in the northeast.  Berries are my biggest concern. No matter how many pints I devour, it never feels like it is enough, and then all too soon it is fall and they have been replaced by apples, which are delicious in their own right, but just not the same.

When I spied this Lime & Blackberry Italian Meringue Pie on the cover of Bon Appetit two years ago, I bookmarked it immediately because it’s not often that blackberries get time in the spotlight. Plus, with that burnt Italian meringue topping, lime curd, and blackberry-wine reduction filling, it’s kind of a showstopper. Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.

Lime and Blackberry Meringue Pie

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Lime & Blackberry Italian Meringue Pie

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 6 hours

Cook Time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

Lime Curd
1 cup fresh lime juice
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
Blackberry Compote
1 cup fruity red wine
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups blackberries
1 9-inch pie crust
Meringue
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup blackberries

Directions:

Lime Curd
1. Set a strainer over a medium bowl; set aside. Stir lime juice, eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together in another medium bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk until mixture has thickened, the whisk leaves a path when lifted from curd, and an instant-read thermometer registers 175°, about 15 minutes. Add butter to curd, one Tbsp. at a time, whisking to blend between additions. Strain curd into prepared bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. Can be made 2 days ahead. Refrigerate curd.
2. Sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; let stand until gelatin is soft, about 10 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add gelatin mixture; continue beating cream until just before firm peaks form. Fold whipped cream into lime curd. Cover; chill.
Blackberry Compote
3. Bring red wine, sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, 20-25 minutes. Let cool. Add 3 cups berries; fold gently to coat.
4. Spread compote in an even layer over baked crust. Spoon lime curd over berries, smooth top, and chill for 1 hour.
Meringue
5. If toasting meringue in oven, preheat oven to 450°. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat whites in mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside. Stir sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high and boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, until thermometer registers 238°, 6-8 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
6. Meanwhile, beat whites in mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in salt.
7. Slowly pour hot sugar syrup down side of bowl into whites and beat until meringue is firm and glossy. Continue beating until cool, about 4 minutes. Spoon meringue over lime curd, leaving a 1" plain border, and sculpt decoratively. Tuck 1 cup berries in and around meringue.
8. Bake pie until meringue is toasted in spots, 3-5 minutes (or use a kitchen torch to brown). Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Pie can be made 3 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

Tips:

*Make sure to watch the blackberry compote while it's reducing because it goes from perfect to burnt very quickly.
*For me, it took about 8 limes to get 1 cup of lime juice.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 slice
Calories per serving: 726
Fat per serving: 37.4g
Saturated Fat per serving: 21.2g
Sugar per serving: 64.2g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">308.2mg
Fiber per serving: 4.2g
Protein per serving: 9.1g
Cholesterol per serving: 249mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 91.9g

Source: Bon Appetit

 

The results:

To be honest, this pie took pretty much all day to make between making the pie crust, blind baking it, making the lime curd, letting it cool, making the blackberry-wine filling, letting that cool, and then finally putting it all together and making the meringue. Basically, it was exhausting. But…worth it. The sweet Italian meringue was the perfect compliment to the super tart lime curd, and the sweet-tart-sultry blackberry-wine reduction was so richly delicious that I kind of wanted to bathe in it.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Absolutely. Not only was it visually stunning, but it was also delicious and really let the bright fresh flavors of summer shine.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.


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13 Responses to “Pimiento Mac and Cheese”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 13, 2013 @ 7:00 am

    Thanks for your review!

    “spicy sweet flavor of the pimiento” — mmm that sounds so good! But I can see what you mean, that this is not at all classic mac n cheese. But a fun twist!

  2. 2

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — May 13, 2013 @ 8:02 am

    So I have to admit… I was like, “Wait… where are the pimientos in the recipe??” I guess I didn’t know what Pimientos were, but I’m guessing they’re the same as the red peppers listed in the recipe? I’m excited to try this out, especially since it’s touted by the magazine as being the tastiest version of mac they’ve had!” Glad you enjoyed it too!

  3. 3

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — May 13, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

    I’ll eat mac and cheese in just about any form. Box or otherwise. And I love adding new flavors. I can’t wait to try this one out.

  4. 4

    Kathryn — May 14, 2013 @ 6:53 am

    I’ve been keeping this issue of Bon Appetit since March 2011 meaning to make this recipe and never quite got round to it. It sounds pretty great although I completely take your point around comfort food – I sometimes crave that wonderful blandness of mac and cheese!

  5. 5

    Beth — May 14, 2013 @ 7:12 am

    Love it – and if anyone can change his mind, it’ll be you!

  6. 6

    Tracey — May 14, 2013 @ 8:21 am

    I have never had pimiento cheese, and I keep telling myself I’m going to try it and then promptly forget. This looks like the perfect introduction!!

  7. 7

    sandra — May 14, 2013 @ 8:25 am

    That boyfriend is one tough customer. But I see his point. You like what you’re used to. He likes his out of the box the same way you like it homemade – it is the nostalgia you are both looking for and not the culinary expertise.

  8. 8

    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — May 14, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    I grew up eating pimiento cheese by the spoonfull and I would be all over this dish, especially with my love for any kind of mac and cheese. Great job!

  9. 9

    Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily — May 14, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

    Say What?!?! Poor, poor boy! You must remedy that ;)
    This looks fantastical!

  10. 10

    Faith — May 15, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    I’m always up for trying a new version of mac and cheese! I’d love to test this one out to see if it could make a mac and cheese lover out of my hubby. :)

  11. 11

    Reeni — May 16, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

    I grew up on homemade too and am always looking for new versions to try! This looks utterly delicious!

  12. 12

    Chris — May 21, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

    I’m a big fan of homemade pimento cheese so I know I’d like this version of mac and cheese.

  13. 13

    Tieghan — May 21, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

    I am with you, homemade mac and cheese is the way to go. Always! I can not wait to try this fun pimento version! YUM!

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