Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Strawberry Shortbread Meringue Pies

Hurrah...it's officially the start of summer...British Strawberries have arrived...we might just have to ignore the weather though!! What could be better on a warm summer's evening than sitting in the garden with a glass of wine and one of these Strawberry Shortbread Meringue pies.
The recipe for these desserts specified to use shop bought shortbread which I would be more than happy to do but for this blog post I thought I'd add a bit more of a baking element and make the shortbread! The recipe I used is below but I perhaps found it a little crumbly...so you can either try the same recipe or how about this one from Delicious magazine...they also add a hint of Orange.

To make the base for these pies, it's a bit like a cheesecake, crumb up the shortbread and then add melted butter before pressing it into the tin. My only complaint about this recipe was that it was nigh on impossible to get the dessert off the base so in the end I had to resort to leaving on. To get round this problem, the recipe suggested making the baking paper for the base larger than needed. My other thought was to just use a food ring and leave the base as a whole circle of shortbread, baked in the shape for the purpose.
So once the base is chilled, it's just a case of cutting the straweberries in half and putting a circle around the edge. Inside of this goes whipped double cream with a little sugar, mint and crushed strawberrries. Then the finishing touch is to make a gorgeous Italian meringue which can be piped on to make dramatic peaks. The meringue is then browned off under the grill and voila! To make the meringue it does help to have a sugar thermometre but you can do without.
So the finished product is a dreamy desssert of shortbread, cream, strawberries and clouds of gorgeous Italian meringue...who could resist...certainly not me...I'm going to make this again next weekend!! :-)
It seems everyone has gone berry mad this month...and who can blame them! I'm therefore entering these luscious lovelies into the following challenges. The first being Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen over at Lavender and Lovage and Kate at What Kate Baked.
Next up is the One Ingredient Challenge hosted by Working London Mummy and Laura at How to Cook Good Food. The theme for their challenge this month is Strawberries.
Finally, we have Simple and in Season where you can pick any seasonal product you like...hence the lovely British Strawberries! The challenge is from Fabulicious Food and this month it is also hosted by How to Cook Good Food...a busy month for Laura!
Ingredients

65g unsalted butter, melted
200g shortbread fingers
500g strawberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
185g caster sugar plus extra for dusting
200ml double cream
Handful of fresh mint
2 eggs
Pinch of cream of tartar

So to put it altogether...start by melting the 65g of butter and breaking your shortbread up into crumbs. Combine the two and then press into the base of four greased and based lined 10cm tins (springform). It is suggested you make your base paper circle larger than the actual base to help you remove the dessert from the tin when it's finished. Chill this in the fridge.

Next up whip the double cream with 1 tbsp of sugar and quarter 200g of the strawberries. Mix the quartered strawberries with the vanilla extract and 1 tsp of sugar. Then add the whole lot together with a little mint and crush the strawberries slightly with a fork.
You should have 300g of strawberries left which can be halved. To make the Italian meringue place 185g of sugar in a heavy based saucepan with 60ml of water. Gently dissolve the sugar and then bring to the boil (do not stir). In the meantime shisk up the two egg whites until they are at the soft peak stage. Using your sugar thermometre heat the sugar and water to 115 degrees. When it gets to this heat begin whisking the egg whites again and slowly pour a steady trickle of the sugar syrup into the egg whites. Try to avoid the beaters as you pour, otherwise it tends to splatter everywhere.

Finally, to assemble place the cut strawberries on the shortbread around the edge of the tin. The recipe calls for alternating cut side and non-cut side out...however, I think it looks better with all the cut sides out! Place a blob of the strawberry cream in the middle and then using a medium size round nozzle and piping bag, pipe the Italian meringue into peaks on top. Fo finsh off, brown the meringues under a grill until they go golden or use a blow torch if you have one. The whole thing can then go back in the fridge to chill before serving.

Shortbread

200g flour
200g butter
50g castor sugar

Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan. To make this it is suggested that you use a food processor but you can make it without too. Add the flour and butter into the food processor and mix, then add the sugar and combine, it should be crumbly at this stage. Ensure you have a 22cm greased fluted tart tin to hand and press the mixture into the tin with a spoon. Bake for 30-35 minutes, when it's golden it's done! Cut into wedges whilst still warm and then dust with a light covering of castor sugar.

* Recipe adapted from Delicious Magazine and is by Allegra McEvedy

23 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! you had me at meringue pie! but strawberry and shortbread too - what an amazing combo! I just love how glossy your italian meringue peaks look, I can imagine this tasted incredible!

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  2. This is outstanding! I have never seen something this impressive! Absolutely amazing!!

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  3. oh wow these look so elegant and I'm sure they're very tasty! love strawberries - please send one over :)

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  4. Wow Laura your meringue is P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Glossy and firm. Super like.

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  5. I have a bucket load of eggwhites from making custard and a huge amount of strawberries. I may have to make this beautiful dish at the weekend. Not sure my piping skills are up to much but I'll give it a go! Beautiful!

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  6. This looks absolutely lovely!
    I followed your blog on GFC quite recently so I don't miss out on anymore of your deliciousness!
    I may actually try this one out on my week off, If I do, I'll post it on my blog and link back to yours :)
    http://rosieposiespuddingsandpies.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. Oh wow! Very pretty! This looks and sounds mouthwatering. Nothing like strawberry treats for summer or any other season. : )

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  8. Pllease check out my latest post about the blogger award. I have nominated you!

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  9. What a beautiful dessert! There is nothing quite like a strawberry dessert in the summer! This is not only elegant and beautiful, but it sounds delish too! Blessings dear one, your friend, Catherine xo

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  10. Thanks!

    Rosie and Dom...I'd love it if you made this...it really did taste good! :-)

    Ellen...thanks so much for nominating me...I'll be over to check it out! x

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  11. This just says summer to me and I know it is something I would love to eat. A brilliant effort! Shortbread is something I love to make but have not cooked Italian meringue before. Your piping skills are so good, most of all it is a truly delicious dessert......!
    Thanks so much for entering into Simple and in Season and look forward to sending you my Bake swap in the post xx

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  12. This looks amazing! Would love to have presentation skills like yours!

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  13. Looks lovely Laura. We are getting through so many strawberries at the moment. My children love them. Your dessert for me highlights just how many different ways they can be used. Might order an extra punnet in this weeks shop and give this a go.

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  14. So GOOD!!! I love the presentation and I am definitely sure that the taste would be superb!!

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  15. This is SO stunning! I can imagine it tasted as good as it looks :-)

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  16. STUNNING! Absolutely wonderful Tea Time Treats entry thanks and as ever, I LOVE your recipe ideas and photos too....THANKS Laura for this entry and thanks for embracing berries! Karen

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  17. That is the prettiest little pie I've seen in a long time! The meringue is perfect!

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  18. Elegant, enticing and absolutely exquisite! Thank you so so much for entering these into TTT!

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  19. Beautiful - perfect little pie :)

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  20. Wow, these are absolutely beautiful!

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  21. absolutely gorgeous and I love strawberry with meringue. Your meringues are perfection. Thanks for entering the June one ingredient !

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Your comments are greatly appreciated!