Gluten-Free Blackberry Meringue Pie

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Blackberry Meringue Pie
Blackberry meringue pie photo by Lauren Volo
Prep time: 1 hr 0 min
Cook time: 7 mins
Calories: 566

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This recipe was originally published in 2017.

This riff on lemon meringue pie requires plump blackberries pureed into dark purple juice for blackberry curd. The eggs cannot be replaced in this recipe.

TIP: Blackberry curd is a gorgeous concoction. It’s wonderful mixed into thick yogurt or spooned on top of pavlovas or tucked into a tart shell for an easy dessert. But really, you probably will just want to eat it out of the jar with a spoon.

TIP: For a great lemon meringue pie, use 2 cups lemon juice instead of making the blackberry juice. Omit the fresh berries on top. Voila! Lemon meringue pie.


Gluten-Free Pie Crust Dough

MAKES 2 DISKS OF PIE DOUGH.

Once you feel comfortable making pie dough by hand, the world opens up to you. What you need: cold butter, a touch of shortening, gluten-free flour blend, quick hands and a calm heart. And a lot of practice. Oh darn, you’re going to need to make a lot of pies.

14 tablespoons unsalted butter or dairy-free alternative
6 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
2½ cups Gluten-Free Girl’s All-Purpose Flour Blend (below)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cold full-fat sour cream, optional
4–10 tablespoons ice-cold water

1. Cut butter into 1-inch cubes. Put butter and lard in the freezer, on a saucer, for 15 minutes.

2. Add flour blend and salt to a large food processor. Pulse them together until flour is fluffy and aerated. Add chilled butter cubes and lard or vegetable shortening to the food processor and pulse 10 times. The flour and fat should look like a sandy mixture, with some chunks about the size of lima beans still visible.

3. Mix sour cream (if using) with 4 tablespoons of ice-cold water. Pour mixture into the food processor and pulse 5 times. The finished dough should not yet be gathered into a solid ball. Instead, it should look like curds of dry cottage cheese. You should also be able to pinch some of it between your fingers and have it stick together. If the dough is dry, add more cold water 1 tablespoon at a time. It’s better to have dough be a little too wet than a little too dry.

4. Dump dough onto a clean, cool surface, such as a marble board or a piece of parchment paper. Press the palm of your hand onto one end of the shaggy mess of dough and gently press down and away from your body. This technique, known as fraissage, will create long, buttery flakes throughout the flour, which makes for a flakier crust. Repeat this action with the rest of the dough. When it is all evenly smeared, gently gather the dough together in your hands. (A bench scraper is an enormous help here.) Working quickly, make half the dough into a ball and flatten it into a plump disk, about 2 inches tall. Wrap it in plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough. Transfer the dough disks to the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes. (You can also make the dough the night before you want to make the pie.)

5. When you are ready to bake, take the dough disks out of the refrigerator. Let them sit on the counter for at least 10 minutes to allow the dough to come to room temperature before you attempt to work with it.

6. Put 2 pieces of waxed paper on the kitchen counter. (You can also use parchment paper, a floured marble pastry board or a floured countertop, if you wish.) To prevent sticking, lightly oil the sides of the waxed paper that will be touching the dough. Put one of the disks of dough between the pieces of waxed paper. Pat down the disk a bit and lay the rolling pin on it. Imagine the dough is the face of a clock. Roll out once at 12 o’clock. Then, lift the rolling pin and roll out the dough at 12:10. Moving in “10-minute” increments, roll out the pie dough to be slightly larger than the pie pan. Don’t rush. Think of this as pie meditation. Roll out the dough evenly. Lift the top piece of waxed paper. Put a 9-inch glass pie pan upside down on top of the dough. Flip the pan and dough over together. Carefully, strip away the remaining piece of waxed paper. Pat the dough down into the pan, gently. If some of the pie dough sticks to the waxed paper, no worries. Peel off that dough and pat it into the rest of the pie dough. There’s no gluten, so the crust won’t get tough.

7. Flour your fingers. Crimp the edges of the dough by pressing from the inside of the pie pan with the thumb and first finger on your left hand while pressing between those from the outside with the first finger of your right hand. Go slowly and enjoy it.

8. Now, you are ready to fill your pie.

TIP: If the dough is too wet, use a generous amount of extra flour to roll this crust or to pat it into the pan.

TIP: You can easily replace sour cream with anything that adds a little fat and protein to the dough, such as 3 tablespoons thick yogurt or coconut milk, or 1 large egg yolk. You can also use more water. With water, the dough will be a little leaner, making it a bit tougher to work with for beginners. But you’ll get the hang of it.

TIP: If you can’t eat butter, substitute dairy-free buttery sticks. Of course, some people swear by vegetable shortening for pie dough in general. Or you could make an alllard crust.

Each disk contains 1744 calories, 121g total fat, 64g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 232mg cholesterol, 596mg sodium, 154g carbohydrate, 11g fiber, 0g sugars, 12g protein, 98 Est GL.

Gluten-Free Girl’s All-Purpose Flour Blend

MAKES 6 + 1/3 CUPS.

3+ 1/3 cups millet flour
1 + ½ cups sweet rice flour
1 + ½ cups potato starch (not potato flour)

1. Put the flours and starch in the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Whirl them together until they are one color. Store in the refrigerator in a large jar or container.

Each cup contains 558 calories, 3g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 123g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 0g sugars, 9g protein, 79 Est GL.

Recipe by contributors Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern. Text excerpted from Gluten-Free Girl American Classics Reinvented ©2015 by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Image © Lauren Volo

Yields 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 disk chilled Pie Crust Dough or gluten-free pie crust of choice
  • 5 cups fresh blackberries (frozen are fine too), divided
  • 1 + 1/3 cups organic cane sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or dairy free alternative, softened, divided
  • Freshly grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

Directions

1Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll out Pie Crust Dough, put it in a 9-inch pie pan and crimp the edges. Grease a piece of aluminum foil and lay it down on the top of the pie dough. Fill aluminum foil with dried beans. Bake until edges of the pie dough have set, about 15 minutes. Take aluminum foil off the pie dough and bake until the crust is golden, another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool the crust completely.

2In a large pot set over medium heat, place 4 cups blackberries and ½ cup water. Simmer blackberries, stirring occasionally, until they have softened, about 5 minutes. Put blackberries into a blender and puree them. Push puree through a fine-mesh sieve with a rubber spatula to remove seeds and pulp. This should yield about 1 cup blackberry juice.

3Put 1 cup sugar and 4 tablespoons butter into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. On low speed, cream sugar and butter together until they are light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

4With the mixer running on low, add lemon zest and juice. Then add 6 eggs, 1 at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated into butter and sugar. After all eggs have been added, add 6 egg yolks. Pour in blackberry juice. Finish with salt. The final curd should be thick.

5Pour curd into a large pot set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid thickens. At first, you might think it will never happen. Keep stirring, constantly at this point, to prevent the curd from burning. After 10 minutes or so, the curd will suddenly thicken, pull away from the edges of the pot a bit and bubble vigorously. (If you have an instant-read thermometer, you can also use it here to make sure the curd has reached 170°F.) Stick a spoon into the curd. When you drag your finger down the back of the spoon, does it leave a clean trail? You’re done. Pull the pot off the heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the curd and stir until the mixture is smooth. Allow curd to cool to room temperature.

6Preheat oven to 450°F. Pour curd into the prepared pie crust, spreading it out evenly. Strew remaining 1 cup fresh blackberries over the top of the curd.

7In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add egg whites, remaining 1/3 cup sugar and arrowroot powder and beat until egg whites are stiff. Spread stiff egg whites onto the top of the pie, allowing edges of the crust to peek through. Bake until meringue is brown at the tips, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately.

1 slice contains 566 calories, 31g total fat, 16g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 368mg cholesterol, 301mg sodium, 64g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 38g sugars, 11g protein.

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