I am sharing a heavenly dessert with you today. Perfect for the upcoming national celebrations which, here in North America, we will be taking note of on both the 1st and the 4th of July. But holidays aside, this fabulously tasty dish is welcome any time and on any occasion!
Berry Angel Pie! What you have here is a really light dessert, which is perfect to serve after a heavy meal or when you have been BBQ-ing.
I have shared a lemon version of this before. You can find that recipe here. It is really lucious. I hope you will forgive me for the bad photography of that one.
It was pretty early in my blogging days and I didn't have a great camera, etc. I have improved a bazillion times since then!
I found myself earlier this week with a quantity of berries that needed using up. I love, LOVE berry season when you can enjoy your fill of fresh berries!
When I was living in the UK, we grew all of our own soft fruit in the garden. We had black currants, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and gooseberries. I will miss having such an abundance of those little gems.
There is nothing so wonderful as being able to eat soft fruit like that, freshly picked. It just tastes so much better than the super-market stuff.
You never know how long it has taken for that fruit in the shops to get to the supermarket shelves. A lot of it comes from great distances away and it just never tastes that good to me.
These berries came from Ontario and Mexico, so, not quite as good as they will be a bit later on in the season. I saw fresh local strawberries at the farm market behind my house today.
A bit on the pricey side. As the season moves along they will get cheaper. I can't wait! I used to pick tons of strawberries every year when the children were growing up. Most of it got made into jam.
When you have five hungry children to feed, you go through a lot of jam, and strawberry was their favorite! As they got older they would help me pick berries, not their favorite job, but then again, do any children really enjoy this type of chore?
One year when we were visiting my in-laws on the Island, their father took them berry picking and when they got back my MIL let them set up a small stand at the end of the driveway so that they could sell some of their boxes of berries.
They sold every box more than once, lol. My in-laws lived in a community of retired folks.
The old guys were buying boxes of berries and then giving them back to the children so they could sell them again. The kids were amazed!
Most of the time in those days berries would be made into jam, or served as Strawberry Shortcake. Occasionally a strawberry pie would be baked, or a blueberry pie. (My father's favorites!)
Sometimes I would make one of these delicious Angel Pies. Light and delicious!
Angel Pies are basically composed basically of a sweet meringue crust, which is baked in a moderate oven until golden brown. It is crisp on the outside, but chewy and marshmallow like on the inside.
Onto that goes lightly sweetened whipped cream and on top of that fresh berries
The meringue crust for this version is slightly different than the usual. It contains a small amount of baking powder, which makes it rise nice and tall.
It also has a quantity of broken cookies folded into the meringue before baking. I used custard creams because I was topping it with berries.
I knew that the vanilla like flavor of the custard creams would go very well with the berries. You might think that folding broken cookies into a meringue prior to baking it is an unusual thing, and perhaps it is.
But the end result is a fabulous crust. Crisp on the outside. Billowing and soft on the inside, and studded with these crunchy/chewy bits that become almost like a toffee-like, and yet not. Its hard to describe.
Your family will wonder what it is that is giving it that fabulous texture and flavor. You can't quite put your finger on it. Its just amazing.
I can think of only one word to describe it and it is this. MOREISH!
Combine that with the soft richness of whipped cream. Oh sure you could use frozen whipped if you wanted to and even the lower calorie frozen whipped topping if you are watching your calories.
In fact you could use low sugar, reduced fat cookies in the crust as well. But, I like to keep things as natural as I can.
Processed foods to have their place, but if I can use something natural and pure, I would rather use that.
I also prefer the flavor of real whipped cream over the artificial stuff. I am not even fond of squirty cream that comes out of the can.
I do sweeten the cream a tiny bit. I add about two teaspoons of sugar to it. It just adds a slight hint of sweetness.
I don't sweeten the fruit at all. I just wash it. Dry it. Slice the strawberries and then arrange them on top with the blueberries.
What you have here is a delightful dessert, with a crisp soft marshmallow inside base of a crust filled with toffee-ish bits, combined with rich cream and then tart berries.
Altogether this is incredibly delicious as well as being very simple and easy to make. I think you are going to love this one. I can pretty much guarantee your family will also!
Berry Angel Pie
With its crisp meringue crust this is a real favorite during the berry season!
- 3 large free range egg whites
- 2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar (in the UK use castor sugar)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 10 custard cream type of cookies/biscuits, coarsely broken into bits
- 1 cup (240ml) whipping cream
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup (150g) sliced strawberries
- 1 cup (190g) fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/gas mark 4. Butter a 9-inch pie plate really well, or spray with low fat cooking spray. Set aside.
- Whisk together the first amount of sugar and the baking powder. Set aside.
- Beat the egg whites in a clean grease free bowl with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Slowly start to add the sugar mixture, beating continuously, until the mixture becomes glossy and forms stick peaks. Fold in the broken cookies.
- Spread this mixture into the prepared pie plate.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned. It will look really puffed up, but don't worry it will sink.
- Allow to cool completely in the pan, on a wire rack.
- Whisk the cream along with the 2 tsp of sugar in a clean, grease free bowl until thick. Spread into the meringue crust.
- Top with the sliced berries. Serve immediately.
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