Pi Day = Raspberry Curd Meringue Pie
Celebrate math a tasty pi(e)! Here, tangy raspberry curd with a billowy toasted meringue in a crisp crust will help fuel your pi-focused celebration.
The curd is best made with frozen berries, so this is a year-round treat.
I've linked my favorite pie crust, or use your favorite. You'll need to par bake it, until mostly crisp, and then finish baking it with the curd for the last few minutes, so try to match your timing. The curd should set for at least 4 hours to firm up, so plan ahead, and then wow your guests with the kitchen torch to toast the topping.
Raspberry Curd Meringue Pie
Yield: 1 9-inch pie
500 g frozen raspberries
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs
12 T softened butter
2 tablespoons tapioca starch or cornstarch
Vanilla Bean Meringue
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 scraped vanilla bean
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch fine sea salt
Prepare the pie dough. Chilling, rolling and par baking. The last 10 minutes of baking should be completed with the curd in the crust, to help the curd thicken and set up. If you time it so you slide it in to start baking as you prepare your curd, it should line up.
For the curd:
Set out two bowls, one with the butter in it and one with a fine mesh sieve over it.
Place the frozen raspberries, the zest and the lemon juice in a small pot. Cook on medium to low heat until the raspberries soften and burst and its mostly liquid.
Press the raspberry mix through the fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and zest, scraping the bottom of the sieve. You should have 1 1/2 cups raspberry juice. Discard the seeds and rinse the sieve and pat dry, and set it over the bowl with the butter in it.
Return the raspberry juice to the pot and add the sugar and stir. The mix should have cooled quite a bit by now, if it’s hot, wait a bit. Whisk in the eggs (and starch if using) then return the pot to the stove, cooking at medium heat and whisking until the curd is thick at the bottom and covers the back of a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Pour the curd through the sieve and press to get as much curd out as possible, scraping the bottom of the sieve. Stir the curd and the butter until the butter is fully melted and you have a shiny, smooth curd. When the crust comes out of the oven, pour the raspberry curd in and return to the oven for 10 minutes, until curd is set.
Chill for at least 4 hours then top with meringue.
On the day of serving, make the meringue:
Set a large pot that will allow your mixing bowl to sit on top, and add 2 inches of water. Bring to boil.
In your mixing bowl, or another large glass or heatproof bowl, add the sugar and your egg whites. Set the bowl over the boiling water, and whisk constantly, until it foams, and thickens, and starts to warm. The sugar should melt completely. Once it is melted and starting to thicken and expand, move the bowl to your mixer, and begin whisking on low, gradually working up to medium high. Add the salt, vanilla and vanilla bean seeds. Whip for 7-10 minutes until you have stiff peaks (when you can remove the whisk, turn it upside down and the meringue won’t droop. Once you have stiff peaks, spread the meringue over the cooled curd in an even layer.
About 30 minutes before serving: preheat the oven to a high broil. Set the pan under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, keeping watch. Once the tops start to brown and the peaks are a dark brown, remove it. You can also brown the peaks with a torch, if you have one.