This Blackberry Lemon Meringue Pie was a complete accident. I'm a hardcore planner by nature, so it's not often that I end up with a surprise. That said, sometimes you can't predict what will happen in the kitchen!
I had set out to make blackberry truffles. The plan was to whip blackberry ganache, form it into balls, and cover with white chocolate. Sounds delish, right? While the ganache was indeed delicious, there was no forming it. It was too soft and fluffy. I would have used a chocolate mold and carried on with my plan, but I had already packed all my molds!
So what is there to do? Throw all this blackberry goodness away? I did have some egg yolks in the refrigerator that I had planned on making into lemon curd. Blackberries and lemon curd sounded like a pretty stellar combination to me... So, I baked up a pie crust, filled the cooled crust with the whipped blackberry ganache and lemon curd. I knew I wasn't quite done yet...time to top is all off with a *mountain* of toasted honey meringue! The result: my Blackberry Lemon Meringue Pie. Sometimes the best things happen when you wing it! <3
There are a few "special" tools and ingredients for this one. While a pastry blender isn't necessary to cut in the shortening, it does make the job a lot faster and easier. If you're looking to buy one for yourself, you can find one here. Pie weights really do help when blind-baking a crust, helping to keep the dough from rising/getting bubbles as it bakes. You can buy actual pie weights if you'd like (like these here), but I just use black beans. They're cheap and you can use them over and over again.
I enjoy the flavor of vanilla bean paste and love the little black flecks that it leaves in baked goods. <3 As such, you'll see it's included in both the recipes for the ganache and the meringue. If you'd like to get some vanilla bean paste for yourself, you can find some here. If you'd rather substitute, you can use an equal measure of vanilla extract.
When I say that this pie has a *mountain* of meringue--I mean it!! There is a TON of honey meringue on this pie! Being a little over-the-top is kind of my thing. 😉 I was aiming to use all the whites from the 5 egg yolks in the lemon curd so that you don't have any leftover whites. That said, you could cut this recipe in half and still have plenty of meringue to cover your pie!
I use a kitchen torch to toast my meringue. If you don't have a torch, you can put the tart under the broiler, just don't take your eyes off it for a second! I prefer the torch, since it gives more control over the toasting. My torch is old so I don't even know what kind it is, but this one (link here) has great reviews.
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Lemon curd adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery (link here).
Blackberry Lemon Meringue Pie
- ⅔ cup lemon juice (from about two lemons)
- lemon zest from two lemons
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into ½" cubes, at room temperature (½ stick)
- 1½ cups flour
- 10 tablespoon vegetable shortening, cold and diced (½ cup + 2 Tbsp)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 3 tablespoon water, cold
For Lemon Curd:
- Set a medium heatproof bowl and wire mesh sieve near the stove for use later.
- In a large heatproof bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, taking care that the water doesn't touch the bowl.
- Cook mixture, stirring and scraping down the bowl with a silicone spatula, until curd is opaque and thick enough to coat the spatula, about 10-15 minutes.
- Once thick, strain curd through the wire mesh sieve into the bowl you previously set aside near the stove. Add butter to the curd a few pieces at a time, stirring to incorporate each addition before adding the next.
- Cover with plastic, pressing the wrap directly to the surface of the curd to avoid it forming a skin. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
- Pour blackberries into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Strain the berry mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
- Add cream to the blackberry puree and warm the mixture in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Add the melted white chocolate and vanilla bean paste to the blackberry mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (This would be a good time to make/bake the crust!)
- Once chilled, transfer the ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip using the whisk attachment on medium high for about 5 minutes, or until fluffy.
- Preheat oven to 375F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and vegetable shortening. Using a pastry blender (see note) or fork, cut shortening in until no large pieces remain.
- In a small bowl, combine egg, vinegar, and cold water. Whisk to combine.
- Make wells in the flour mixture, and pour the egg mixture into the wells. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly into a ball.
- Roll dough to fit your pie plate, ensuring that you don't stretch the dough (as this may cause it to shrink when baked).
- Line the pie crust will foil and fill with pie weights (see note). Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights and bake an additional 5-8 minutes, or until the crust looks dry and is barely golden. Allow crust to cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a large heatproof bowl, whisk all meringue ingredients. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, taking care that the water doesn't touch the bowl.
- Whisking constantly, warm the mixture to 160° F, about 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip using the whisk attachment until it reaches medium-stiff peaks.
- Fill the bottom of the baked pie crust with the blackberry ganache, and top with the lemon curd. Spoon and swirl the meringue on top. Toast the meringue, if desired (see note).Enjoy!