I can’t believe it! I’ve really done it. Started my very own blog! It’s not as though creating a blog is some groundbreaking achievement. In fact, a quick google search for “blog” yields 11.2 billion (!!) results. Essentially I’ve done nothing but join the masses and yet I can’t help but be excited – insert yelp here – and look forward to embarking on this journey with you all.
Anyhow, I plan for this blog to be a mash up of all the things I enjoy. From DIY to cooking and baking to the garden I plan to grow this summer, I want to create a catalogue of the things I’m doing, loving and thinking.
For my inaugural post, I’ve created a divine Vanilla Lemonberry Meringue Pie adapted from Bon Appetit with my own Vanilla Lemon Crust. I know the recipe may look daunting (plan at least two days to prepare!) and it is complicated, but I promise the end result is worth it!
VANILLA LEMONBERRY MERINGUE PIE
Vanilla Lemon Crust
- 1 ¼ cup of flour
- 1 stick of butter (nearly frozen, cut into ½ in cubes)
- a pinch of salt
- small bowl with water and a few ice cubes
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- the zest of 1 small lemon (½ large)
Caramelized Lemon Curd and Mousse
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons of cornstarch
- ¾ cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
- 9 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup butter
- ½ cup very cold heavy whipping cream
Vanilla Blueberry Compote
- 1 ¾ cup fresh blueberries
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- the juice of ½ lemon
- the zest of ½ lemon
- pinch of salt
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 2 tsp flour
- 5 egg whites
- ¾ cup sugar
For the Crust:
- Add flour and salt to food processor (my mini-prep works perfectly for this or you could use a blender). Pulse to combine.
- Add butter 1/3 at a time (very important that the butter is nearly frozen!). Pulse until small clumps start to appear.
- Add 2 tbsps. of ice cold water, lemon zest and ½ tsp vanilla extract. Pulse to combine, mixture should resemble a coarse meal.
- If dough forms when pinched together remove. If dough is still too dry, add water 1 tsp at a time. Check after each tsp.
- Turn out dough onto lightly floured or nonstick surface (such as a silpat) and form into disk. Wrap disk in plastic and go over quickly with rolling pin (makes it easier to roll out later). Chill 30 mins, up to 1 day. This can be done 1 day ahead.
For the Lemon Curd
- Caramelize the Sugar: Whisk sugar and water in pan over med heat until dissolved. Continue to stir sugar until it reaches a boil. Stop stirring and boil until mixture becomes a light amber. Swirl pot to distribute color.
- Meanwhile heat the lemon juice and cornstarch over med heat in a separate pot. Stir to combine. Add caramelized sugar to pot and whisk in yolks. Add butter. Whisk mixture constantly until curd thickens and boils. Immediately remove from heat.
- Transfer Curd to medium container and allow to cool. Press plastic wrap against surface of curd and refrigerate. Prepare at least 1 day ahead. Up to 3 days ahead
For the Mousse
- Using stand mixer, beat whipping cream with whipping attachment (beat around level 6 or 8 on kitchen aid) until stiff peaks form. It’s key that the cream is very cold and the peaks are very stiff!
- Fold ¾ cup lemon curd into cream, ¼ cup at a time. Chill mousse.
For the Blueberry Compote:
- Combine 1 cup blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, zest, salt, and vanilla in small saucepan.
- Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. About 5 mins. Whisk in flour and stir until combined.
- Remove from heat and add in ¾ cup to 1 cup blueberries. Transfer to small bowl and cool. Cover with plastic wrap just as you did with the lemon curd. Can be prepared 1 day ahead.
The Day of Serving:
- Roll out dough until large enough to fit 9in pie pan. Crimp edges and freeze for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat Oven to 375.
- Fill pie pan with parchment and pie weights or beans and bake for 20 minutes. Be sure to really fill up pie to prevent sides from “shrinking” – all butter crusts tend to do this.
- Bake for 15 mins or until sides are set. Remove weights and parchment. Brush edges with egg white wash and pierce any bubbles with fork. Bake for 20 minutes – until golden and cooked through. Cool
- Once crust has cooled, spread the remaining curd along bottom of crust. Spoon ½ blueberry compote over curd. Spread lemon mousse over blueberry – use knife and be careful to avoid mixing. Spoon remaining berries over mousse. Chill.
- Bring water to simmer on stove. Whisk egg whites and sugar in a large metal bowl. Place bowl atop simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves – about 1 minute.
- Transfer egg mixture to stand mixer. Using whipping attachment bead until thick and fluffy peaks form.
- Spoon meringue into gallon Ziploc bag. Cut off tip and arrange decoratively over pie. I then used knife fancy up the top.
- To singe the meringue you can either use a blow torch or broiler. If using the broiler I would recommend freezing the pie (I didn’t! :0) instead of chilling before placing meringue. Otherwise, you run the risk of melting the mousse and it gets a bit messy to serve (as seen below, oops!).
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Get ready for lots of oohs and ahhs!