In the pie of the storm

I may not be completely certain of the day of the week. However I remain steadfast in my dislike for battling with shortcrust pastry.

I’ve found it does help to listen to some soothing music. Adele works wonders, although I realised I was changing the lyrics of Chasing Pavements during my endeavours.

Should I give up
Or just keep making pastry
Even if it leads nowhere

That’s a bloody good question, Adele.

But no matter which way you slice it, this raspberry meringue pie persists in being more than a worthwhile investment of mental energy.

[Berwyn – Vinyl, Sony Music Entertainment, 2020]
[Nick Mulvey – Begin Again, UMG Records, 2020]
[Adele – Chasing Pavements, XL Records, 2009]

Shopping list (serves 8 comfortably)
Shortcrust pastry case:
Plain flour x 175g
Butter (frozen) x 115g
Caster sugar x 50g
Pinch of salt
Egg (chilled and beaten) x 1
Egg yolk (beaten) x 1

Raspberry custard:
Raspberries (blended) x 250g
Corn flour x 35g
Water x 230ml
Caster sugar x 65g
Egg yolks x 2
Juice of 1 lemon

Egg whites x 3
Caster sugar x 120g

Sieve your flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar and salt. Grate your frozen butter in and use your fingertips to mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add your chilled egg and incorporate into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 45 minutes in the fridge.

Grease a 23cm tart case generously with butter.

Flour your rolling pin and work surface liberally. Roll out your chilled dough, using small splashes of cold water to make it more malleable if necessary. Once it’s large enough to go into your case, with a little to hang over the sides, you are done.

Take your rolling pin to the edge of your dough, and carefully fold the edge onto the rolling pin, rolling it slightly towards you. You should now be able to lift the dough sheet off your surface, half hanging off your rolling pin.

Place on top of the tart case and carefully unroll your pin, lowering the dough evenly into place. Use your fingers to press the dough into the sides of the case, and prick the base with a fork a few times.

Place into the freezer for 30 minutes.

PSA on managing your pastry stress levels

This can be frustrating work, and if your work surface isn’t floured sufficiently, it WILL stick. The same goes for your rolling pin. As long as your dough has been sufficiently chilled prior, then you’ll be good to make two or three attempts at this process, should there be any hiccups.

Trust me, I’ve had enough hiccups to last me a lifetime.

Set your oven to 240 degrees celsius (220 fan). Place a sheet of baking parchment into your frozen case, and fill with baking beads.

Blind bake the pastry by first cooking for 5 minutes, before lowering to 200 (180 fan) for 15 minutes. Remove the baking beads and brush the base with your egg yolk. Place back into the hot oven for another 5 minutes. It should now be golden brown. Leave to cool, before trimming excess pastry from around the case.

To make your raspberry custard, bring your water up the boil. Whisk your cornflour into your blended raspberries, and then gradually add to your boiled water, whisking well over a low heat. This will take 5 minutes before it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk your caster sugar and egg yolks together. Add this to the pan with the lemon juice, and bring up to the boil slowly. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Set your oven to 180 (160 fan).

In a large mixing bowl using an electric whisk, beat your egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add your sugar gradually, continuing to whisk.

Pour the raspberry custard into your pastry case.

Using a piping bag or just a spoon, spread the meringue mixture evenly over the raspberry custard. Place into your hot oven for 40 minutes.

Remove and allow to come down to room temperature.



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