One of the things I miss most about Seattle summers is being able to walk into our backyard or along any street and pick bucketfuls of the most beautiful blackberries you have ever seen. My memories of the scratches received while digging through the branches have faded somewhat but I can vividly remember the cobblers, pies and jams that we made each year. Now I have to hope Costco gets a good batch of decent berries and then pay an arm and a leg for a little container of them. For that reason I really don't use them much for anything.
After seeing the cover of this months Bon Appetit though, there was no way I was going to pass up giving this recipe a try. I love lemon meringue pie and then switching it to lime and adding blackberries just made it irresistible. As beautiful as this pie is, it tastes even more amazing. The lime curd is tart, almost even too tart if it was by itself, but then combined with the sweet compote and fluffy meringue it just all comes together. I love that the fruit stays whole in the compote and is spread along the bottom of the crust. While I like when blackberries are pureed, there's just nothing like a whole, sweet, juicy blackberry. Mmm, I think I'm going to go finish the rest of it now.
When making the compote, make sure you let it boil down until it becomes a syrup but don't let it go too far, otherwise you'll have candy, as it will harden on you. I've had issues with trying the gelatin addition to whipped cream. Not sure what I do wrong but it just never softens right for me. I tried it in this but strained it just to make sure there were no chunks. Honestly I don't think it needed it with this amount of whipped cream, but it does help it hold up better as it sits.
Lime and Blackberry Italian Meringue
adapted from Bon Appetit
Lime Curd1 cup fresh lime juice
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
Blackberry Compote1 cup berry fruit juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups blackberries
1 Blind-Baked Pie Crust in a 9" deep-dish glass or metal pie pan (see Master Pie Crust recipe)
Meringue3 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup blackberries (about 1/2 pint)
Lime CurdSet a strainer over a medium bowl; set aside. Stir lime juice, eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together in another medium bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk until mixture has thickened, the whisk leaves a path when lifted from curd, and an instant-read thermometer registers 175°, about 15 minutes. Add butter to curd, one Tbsp. at a time, whisking to blend between additions. Strain curd into prepared bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Refrigerate curd.
Sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; let stand until gelatin is soft, about 10 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add gelatin mixture; continue beating cream until just before firm peaks form. Fold whipped cream into lime curd. Cover; chill.
Blackberry CompoteBring juice, sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, 20-25 minutes. Let cool. Add 3 cups berries; fold gently to coat.
Spread compote in an even layer over baked crust. Spoon lime curd over berries, smooth top, and chill for 1 hour.
MeringueIf toasting meringue in oven, preheat oven to 450°. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat whites in mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in salt. Set aside. Stir sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high and boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, until thermometer registers 238°, 6-8 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
Slowly pour hot sugar syrup down side of bowl into whites and beat until meringue is firm and glossy. Continue beating until cool, about 4 minutes. Spoon meringue over lime curd, leaving a 1" plain border, and sculpt decoratively. Tuck 1 cup berries in and around meringue.
Bake pie until meringue is toasted in spots, 3-5 minutes (or use a kitchen torch to brown). Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Do Ahead: Pie can be made 3 hours ahead. Keep chilled.