Angel Berry Pie
About the recipe
Called angel pie, heavenly pie or the admitedly less seductive upside-down meringue pie, this dessert is simply a meringue base, filled with cream, fruit, curds and (occasionally) syrups. When it inevitably falls apart into a delicous jumble, it is almost an Eton Mess, or Lanton Mess, depending on what fruit is on top. What I’ve decided to call an angel pie is a secret weapon of bakers across the country, but especially in the South, a pantry-ingredient pie that looks like a celebration dessert and is just as good for breakfast as it is before your evening nightcap.
Hands On Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours and 30 minutes
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick oil spray.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until soft mounds form, 1 to 2 minutes. With the mixer running, gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar, followed by the vanilla. Gradually beat in about 1/4 cup more of the sugar, followed by the vinegar, and 1/4 cup more sugar. Continue to beat on medium-high, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until glossy, very thick, and holds stiff peaks, 2 to 4 more minutes.
Transfer the egg white mixture to the pie plate and smooth the top. (It should completely fill the pie plate.) Run a finger along the inside rim of the pie plate to create an indentation along the exterior edge of the meringue. (This step will help the meringue to rise evenly.) Wash the mixer bowl and attachment.
Bake for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 300 degrees and continue to bake for an additional 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, but do not open the oven door. Let the pie cool completely in the oven, 2 to 3 hours.
While the pie is cooling, place the strawberries in a medium bowl and toss gently with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Once the pie has cooled, place the heavy cream in the mixer bowl and beat on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the cream forms slightly-firmer-than-soft peaks, about 2 more minutes.
Spread the whipped cream into a mound on top of the cooled meringue, leaving 1/2 to 1/4 inch of visible crust along the outside edge. Lay the strawberry slices in a decorative pattern on top of the cream. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.