Lemon Berry Angel Pie

June 11, 2024

whole lemon berry angel pie

My client requested the dessert his grandmother made many years ago. He sent a photograph of a weathered recipe card for angel pie written in spidery old school script. Splatters and tears in the paper showed me this was a much loved, and often made, family treasure.

Intrigued, I  promised to make angel pie (also known as heavenly pie), on one condition. One wedge of this lemony crisp meringue pie went on my plate. If he agreed, the dessert would be gratis. Seems fair, right?

ingredients for lemon berry angel pie

feel free to use other fruits like strawberries, kiwi or pineapple

All things considered, that was a fateful request since I now enjoy a hefty chunk of his lemon angel pie each month. Each and every month he asks for and receives his grandmother’s dessert. Never gets tired of the taste or texture.

meringue shell lemon berry angel pie

meringue shell fresh from the oven

sunken meringue lemon berry angel pie

as the meringue cools, the middle sinks, perfect for adding filling

July Fourth arrives soon. I do like a pretty red, white and blue dessert. With the addition of homemade whipped cream, this tasty tart fits the bill for color.  On the contrary, it’s not very pretty. The colors are pleasing with raspberries, blueberries, golden brown meringue and lemon filling. But the tart has a mind of its own and will take shape as it sees fit. Lumpen, cracking and splitting, this angel pie asks that you close your eyes and concentrate on the lively explosion of flavors instead.

serving of lemon berry angel pie

 

 

You cut into this dessert and what goes on the plate resembles Eton mess more than a cleanly cut piece of pie. If that’s okay with you, and I assure you I am fine with it, then get to baking!

Lemon Berry Angel Pie

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes 6-9 servings

ingredients 

4 eggs whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup cane sugar
4 egg yolks at room temperature
1 generous tablespoon lemon zest (yellow part only)
½ cup cane sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of fine sea salt
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh raspberries
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
cook’s note: always separate eggs while cold since room temperature yolks are more runny and may contaminate the whites, making meringue impossible

another note : when meringue is left to cool, it sinks in the middle and this is a good thing since the lemon filling will have a nice spot to rest

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Use electric mixer to whip egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks begin to form.
  3. Gradually, a tablespoon at a time, add the one cup sugar and beat until very glossy and stiff peaks begin to form.
  4. Spoon meringue on bottom and partly up the sides of a greased ten inch round or square baking dish.
  5. Bake for one hour, then cool meringue to room temperature; it will sink in the middle.
  6. In heavy quart saucepan, whisk the yolks with lemon zest, half cup sugar, salt and lemon juice.
  7. Over low heat, whisk mixture until thickened, making sure heat stays low and whisking is continuous to avoid lumpiness; this will take several minutes.
  8. Cool lemon filling to room temperature.
  9. Use mixer or handheld blender to whip cream with confectioner’s powdered sugar until thick and it mounds on a spoon;  if you over whip and it looks “chunky” add a few drops heavy cream and gently beat until smooth.
  10. Use spatula to add half the whipped cream to the cooled lemon filling.
  11. Gently place filling into meringue shell and arrange berries on top.
  12. Chill this at least several hours; best on the day it is made, it will also hold overnight.
  13. Use remainder of whipped cream to garnish servings of the pie.
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