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Fresh Strawberry Meringue Pie

Enjoy colorful and tasty fresh California strawberries any time of year in this delicious pie. Piled high, the fresh strawberries are lightly sweetened and accented with lime and then topped with a Swiss meringue. This style of meringue is fully cooked, so it does not have to go into the oven after assembling. You can use your own pie pastry recipe or a pre-made pie shell. Recipe by Anna Olson.

Fresh Strawberry Meringue Pie

Fresh Strawberry Meringue Pie

Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 1 9" Pie

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Ingredients

Filling:

  • 6 cups 1 kg fresh California strawberries, divided
  • ¾ cup 150 g granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp 24 g cornstarch
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

Meringue:

  • 1 blind baked pie shell recipe follows
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup 200 g granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Prepare the strawberries. Hull the strawberries, then purée 1 cup (165 g) to make ½ cup (125 mL) strawberry purée. Set aside the rest.
  • Make the sauce. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a small saucepan. Whisk in the strawberry purée, lime zest and juice followed by 1 cup (250 mL) of cool water. Set the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the sauce to a simmer, whisking constantly until it thickens and begins to bubble, about 4 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a bowl to cool, then chill for at least 1 hour before assembling.
  • Finish the filling. Slice the remaining strawberries into a large bowl and toss with the chilled sauce. Spoon this filling into the prepared pie shell.
  • Make the Meringue. Whisk the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl placed over a pot filled with an inch of gently simmering water until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm (150F/65.6C). Use electric beaters or a mixer to whip the whites to a meringue that holds a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted, but the meringue can still be a little warm.
  • Decorate. Dollop and spread the meringue on top of the strawberry filling. If you wish, you can use a kitchen butane torch to brown the meringue lightly, but the meringue is cooked so this is not essential. Chill until ready to serve.
  • This pie is best enjoyed the day it is made, but it will keep in the fridge for a day.

Notes

Anna’s Classic Pie Dough
An all-butter pie dough delivers a rich taste and a tender flakiness to any pie, savory or sweet. This is my staple pie dough that I have been using for at least 10 years, ever since I discovered that adding a little oil before the butter protects the flour and that the butter does not have to be ice cold, contrary to popular belief.
Makes enough for one 9-inch (23 cm) double-crust pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling
2½ cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp (12 g) granulated sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
3 Tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil
1 cup (225 g) cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces (does not have to be ice cold)
¼ cup (60 mL) cool water
2 tsp white vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1. Combine the dry ingredients by stirring the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the oil. Using a pastry cutter, electric beaters or a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend until the flour looks evenly crumbly.
2. Add the butter and cut in until the dough is rough and crumbly but small pieces of butter are still visible.
3. Add the liquids. Place the water and vinegar (or lemon juice) in a small bowl, stir together and then add all at once to the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together. Shape it into two discs, wrap well and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
If you are not making a pie immediately, refrigerate the dough, well wrapped, for up to 2 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before rolling.
Stand Mixer or Hand Beaters
Butane Kitchen Torch (optional)
How to Blind-bake Pie Pastry
Blind baking involves faking a filling. If you were to place an unfilled pie shell into the oven, the sides would slip down the pie plate and the bottom pastry would bubble up, leaving no space for the filling and losing all of its shape. By weighing down the pie pastry with foil and weights, the pastry stays in place.
1. Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle just under ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Trim away any large pieces of dough from the edge and tuck and pinch the edges in a pattern. Alternatively, trim the pastry to the outside edge of the pie plate and press in place. Cut out shapes from the excess pastry, moisten with water and press gently along the top edge of the pastry. Dock the bottom of the pie shell with a fork. Chill the pastry shell for at least 30 minutes (up to a day).
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
3. Weight the pie shell. Place two sheets of aluminum foil over the pie shell, gently covering the outside trim. Use pie weights, dried rice or dried beans (about 2 cups/500 mL) and pour these on top of the foil, spreading them out to the edges.
4. Bake the pie. Carefully remove the foil together with the pie weights (this is why you double up on the foil). Return the pan to the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until the edges of the pastry are golden brown and the bottom of the pastry is lightly browned.
5. Brush the pie shell, hot from the oven, with lightly whisked egg white.
6. Cool the pie shell in its pan on a rack before filling.

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