Happy Friday to you! How’s your summer been going? Can’t believe we’re more than halfway through July already! I want to hold onto each and every warm, sun-kissed moment of it and this luscious blueberry meringue pie, courtesy of Patty Pinner’s delightful cookbook, Sweety Pies, made with farm-fresh, picked-by-my-own-family blueberries, is certainly a delicious way to do it! If, with all the wonderful summer fruits around, you’ve got pie on the brain (and if you don’t, shouldn’t you?) you are going to love this very pie-centric Famous Fridays post!
This is not the first time I’ve featured Patty on this site. Two years ago I talked about these amazing Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes from her book, Sweet Mornings. I’ve also posted about her Dangerously Good Blueberry Bread (don’t leave me alone with this one), this lovely Lemon-Coconut Bread, these unusual Rice Pudding Snackin' Squares, this wonderfully homey Strawberry Coffee Cake and these extremely tempting Overnight Snickerdoodle Scones. Three years ago I even dedicated another Famous Fridays to her book Sweets and this classic and hilariously titled “Make-You-Slap-Yo Mama” Blueberry Pie. So you can see how much I love this lady’s cooking! But I also love the way she writes her cookbooks. They are full of wonderful stories about the inspiring women that she grew up with—mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, neighbors and their simple but worldly wisdom. This blueberry meringue pie for instance, is from her daddy’s mama and there’s a cute story about how Patty’s mother (a fantastic baker and cook) complimented her new, mother-in-law left and right (including this pie) until she could never say a word against her new daughter-in-law. In it Patty’s mother teaches the lesson that "sweet talk will do more for you than a whip!" Besides all the great stories, the book is full of gorgeous photos and simple homey pie recipes that are going to make you want to head straight for the kitchen to pull out your rolling pin!
Over the weekend we picked (ahem) 9 + pounds of blueberries, so though I’m dying to try other pies from the book, like Cousin Gracie's Grape-Nuts Pie, I knew I would be making something blueberry and since I’ve never thought about blueberries and meringue in the same sentence before, the idea that they could be in a pie together intrigued me and thus this special, special pie which has made my husband just a little bit more understanding of my need to pick almost 10 pounds of berries!!
Guys, this pie is killer-good!!
Look at all that gorgeous meringue!
And unlike traditional blueberry pie, where the filling can be a little overly sweet and gloppy, this one is light and lemony and really more about the fruit than the sugar.
Plus, while there are a few steps involved, none of them is particularly difficult or time consuming. Don’t be intimidated by the meringue. Once you beat it up, you simply but dramatically slather it atop the berry-filled crust, swirling it with a spoon and then just pop it into the oven to get golden brown! Easy-peasy!
It’s so eye-catching and summery!
Every bite is the perfect combo of flaky, buttery pie crust, lemony-tart, juicy berries and billows of sweet and creamy meringue. Even if you haven’t gone berry picking, I implore you to make this while berries are still in season. I promise you won’t regret it nor the standing ovation you get from your adoring pie eaters!
So pick up a copy of Sweety Pie online (I know Amazon has it, but not sure you could find it in any bookstores since it came out over 10 years ago) and have a yummy weekend doing whatever summery thing you’re up to (maybe baking pie?) I’ve got enough blueberries for at least another pie or tart or something, so you're likely to see more berryish fare here in the near future. Have a great one!!
Sweety Pies' Blueberry Meringue Pie-Famous Fridays
Makes one 9-inch pie
Prep Time for Crust: 10 minutes to make and then time for chilling and rolling out and prebaking; Prep Time for Filling: 10 minutes; Bake Time: 30 minutes, plus another 10-15 minutes for meringue to cook
For the Crust
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons cold water
- 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
For the Filling
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Finely grated zest of one lemon
- 4 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the meringue
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup sugar
1. To make the crust: Chill the bowl and paddle of a standing mixer (or the bowl and beaters of a handheld) until very cold. Dissolve the sugar and salt in the cold water and chill until very cold.
2. Place the flour and butter into the chilled bowl and toss the butter in the flour until the pieces are well coated. Mix on low speed until pea-sized lumps form. Add the water mixture, turn the speed to medium and mix just until the dough begins to come together.
3. Gather the dough together and flatten into a 1-inch thick discs and wrap well in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
4. When you're ready to make the pie, lightly flour a board and your rolling pin and roll out one the chilled dough into a 13-inch round. If the dough is too cold to roll, let it sit out for a while to soften up. Transfer to your pie plate, pressing gently down on the dough to fit into the plate. Fold the overhang under and crimp decoratively. Place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line the pie with a piece of parchment or wax paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans (I use beans) and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the top edges of the crust are just beginning to brown. Take the crust out of the oven and remove the paper and weights. Lower the oven to 350ºF and return the pie to the oven to cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the crust is just turning golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
5. While the crust is cooling, make the filling: Place the sugar, flour, cinnamon and lemon zest in a large bowl and whisk together well. Gently stir in the blueberries and lemon juice, making sure the berries are well coated. Pour the filling into the pie crust, dot with the butter and bake for 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, prepare the meringue: Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until soft peaks form when the beaters are raised. Gradually add the sugar and beat well after each addition. Then, continue to beat until stiff, shiny peaks form.
7. Remove the pie from the oven. Scrape the meringue into the center in a big mound and then use a spoon or spatula to spread it all the way to the edges, making little swirls and designs. Return the pie to the oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the meringue is nicely browned but don't over do it or you will get little beads of water (like I did) on top--tastes fine, but it's nicer without obviously. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. This is best eaten on the day it's made, but you can refrigerate any leftovers for at least 2-3 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from Sweety Pies by Patty Pinner. I used my own crust recipe, but stayed pretty true to Patty's filling and topping.