I have a confession to make and I realize it may send some of you running, screaming from the room. Here goes: I don’t bake pie crusts from scratch. Oh sure, I could. I have. But I just don’t think it’s worth it.
I love to bake and I do most of it from scratch: cookies, cakes, brownies. But when it comes to pie crusts I think the store bought are pretty darn good and I prefer to spend my time on other tasks, like running copious amounts of silverberries through a food mill to produce a gorgeous pulp you can’t buy in any store. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, by all means, use it. But if you come to my house for Silverberry Meringue Pie, rest assured, the crust will be straight from the dairy case. The filling, however, will be lovingly handmade by yours truly.
What You’ll Need to Make Silverberry Meringue Pie
for the meringue
3 egg whites
3/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
for the filling
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 Tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups silverberries (for pulp)
1/2 cup water
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 Tablespoons butter
1 pie crust
What You’ll Do to Make Silverberry Meringue Pie
First, whether it’s store bought or homemade, bake your pie crust. Place it in a pie pan and prick it in several places. Pour a layer of dry beans into the bottom of the crust, and bake at 450F for 8 minutes. Remove the beans and bake for 2-4 more minutes, or until the crust is lightly brown. (The pricking and the weighing-down-with-beans keep the crust from bubbling up and baking unevenly.) Let the crust cool.
Next, prepare the meringue.
Run 1 1/2 cups of silverberries through your food mill and discard the seeds. You’ll need 1/2 cup of pulp for this pie. (If you have any extra, you can swirl it into some yogurt or pour it on top of vanilla ice cream.)
In a saucepan combine the pulp, 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn starch, and salt. Set this aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add them to the mixture in the saucepan and combine thoroughly.
Stirring constantly, add the boiling water to the ingredients in the saucepan, slowly. The goal is to raise the temperature of the eggs without cooking them. If you add too much hot liquid, too quickly, the eggs will cook and solidify rather than form a silky, thickened liquid. Next, add the butter. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to melt the butter and to keep the mixture from sticking.
Spread the meringue on top of the filling and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until golden on top.
Congratulations, you have created a masterpiece.