Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Strawberry Meringue Pie

A fruity version take on a lemon meringue pie? A modern twist on the classic kiwi pavlova with berries? Maybe a bit of both! This delicious summery delight of a dessert is a whole new level of deliciousness and is perfect for all of those Christmas celebrations that are going on. I made this for a dinner we were at with some wonderful friends, and it was a total hit. From the sweet pie shell, to the slightly tangy, zesty, sweet strawberry filling, to the fluffy meringue topping... nothing to not love really! This pie will take a few steps to put together, and looks pretty impressive, but is actually pretty simple to do. All you will need is a few basic ingredients and a little bit of time - more for the chillling and setting than for actual work.

The shell is a simple almond, date, coconut combination, the filling is jam packed with fresh strawberries enhanced with a hint of lemon and sweetened with a wee bit of honey, and the topping is a light fluffy italian meringue made with egg whites and honey. Before serving a topped with a grated dark chocolate just to add that last bit of decadence....mmmmmmm!

The dessert is free of gluten, grains, dairy, soy, and refined sugar. You can also have the option to make this a raw dessert if you prefer, or you can bake it. It is best served soon after making it, or a least kept chilled in the fridge and topped with the meringue just before serving as I discovered - hence the pie looks a little melted in the bottom picture! I also went for the more raw version whereas if you were to bake the filling it would most likely stay firmer for longer - must make it again to try that theory...life can be so tough!


That gorgeous strawberry red filling in all its glory...
Little fluffy clouds of meringue piped on top - nearly done!

The final stage - a slight browning with my super cool blow torch
- SO much fun, and the kids thought I was awesome!

Ok, actually this is the final stage...eating it!!!


















Strawberry Meringue Pie

Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free, free of refined sugar

Ingredients:

Shell
2 cups almond flour
1.5 cups dates
1 cup desiccated coconut
4 tbsp coconut oil or butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling
2 cups strawberry puree
5 tbsp honey
1 tbsp gelatin
1 tsp lemon rind
1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Meringue Topping
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup honey

Directions:
1. Start with making your base. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients until they are well combined and formed in to a thick dough. 
2. Remove from the blender and press in to a pie tin or quiche tin or whatever you would like to use to serve it. 
3. Place in the fridge and allow to firm for a few hours. 
4. Next make your filling. Place the strawberry puree, honey, lemon zest and juice in a small pot and bring to gentle simmer. Remove a small amount of the liquid and combine with the gelatine to form a thick paste. Add to the strawberry mix and stir in. If there are any lumps, remove them with a spoon.
5. simmer for a bout 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
6. Pour in to the pie base. Pop int he fridge or freezer and allow to set. If you prefer a baked version, pop the pie in the oven at about 160C for about 20 minutes until firm.
7. Finally make the meringue topping. With a beater beat the egg whites until frothy and starting to firm. While beating the eggs heat the honey on the stove until liquid and simmering. 
8. Add the lemon juice and continue beating. While beating the eggs add the hot honey in a steady stream. Continue beating the eggs until the form stiff peaks. 
9. Spoon the meringue mix in to a piping bag. Pipe on to the top of the pie in whatever pattern you like. If you can't be bothered with the piping bag just spoon it on top of the pie and flick up in peaks. 
10. If you are fancy and have a blow torch, blow torch the tops of the meringue just to brown gently. If you don't have a blow torch you can place until a hot grill for a couple of minutes to create the same effect. If you prefer you can just leave it without the browning and simply smother in grated dark chocolate...Yum!


Enjoy! x