Italian strawberry meringue pie

A spectaular strawberry dessert recipe from Allegra McEvedy combining whipped strawberry cream on a shortbread biscuit base topped with Italian meringue
By Allegra McEvedy
Italian strawberry meringue pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 200 g shortbread, blended to crumbs
  • 65 g salted butter, melted

For the strawberry cream

  • 1 tsp sugar, caster or granulated
  • 300 g strawberries, quartered
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 200 g strawberries, halved

For the meringue

  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 185 g caster sugar

Method

1. For the crust: Line a loose-bottomed round tin (4.5cm deep 20cm diameter) with cling film.

2. Blend shortbread to crumbs. Melt butter and stir into shortbread crumbs in a bowl, ensuring they are properly mixed. Press into bottom of the lined tin with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate to harden.

3. For the strawberry cream: Mix a teaspoon of sugar with the quartered strawberries and set aside.

4. Scrape the inside of a vanilla pod and add to the cream with a tbsp sugar and whisk until just whipped. Stir in the quartered strawberries, squishing a few of them on the way.

5. Line wall of the cling-film-lined pan with the strawberry halves. Fill the pie with strawberry-cream.

6. For the meringue: Beat the egg whites at slow speed until it foams throughout. Add a pinch of salt and cream of tartar, gradually increasing the speed to fast and beat to soft peaks. NOTE: Turn the machine to slow as you complete the sugar syrup.|

7. Bring the sugar and 60ml water to a simmer, swirl the pan to dissolve the sugar completely, cover tightly and boil to the soft-ball stage (i.e. 234-240°F / 112-116°C on a candy thermometer).

8. Beating the egg whites at moderately slow speed, dribble in the boiling syrup trying to avoid the wires of the whip. Increase speed to moderately fast and beat until cool and the egg whites form stiff, shining, upstanding peaks. Pipe meringue (in ruffles) over strawberry-cream mixture.

9. Lift it out of the ring, slide it off the cling film and sit it on a suitably pretty plate. Blowtorch meringue top to highlight the peaks.


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