Strawberry Angel Pie

Reprinted from SIMPLY STRAWBERRIES: A COOKBOOK by Sara Pitzer, Garden Way Publishing, Pownal, VT 05261.

Yield: 1 9-inch (22.5cm) pie (6-8 servings)

Suitable for using unsweetened frozen strawberries.

Whenever you see the term “angel pie” it means that the base is a hard meringue shell. The filling usually is predominately whipped cream. This version includes gelatin so that you can prepare it ahead rather than being stuck trying to assemble it at the last minute.

3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt (dash)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (1 ml)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (200 ml)
Preheat the oven to 250∞F. (130∞C)

Bring the egg whites to room temperature. Add the salt and beat until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until the whites form soft peaks. Begin beating in the sugar, a tablespoonful at a time. and continue until the whites are glossy and form stiff peaks.

Spread the meringue on a 9-inch (22.5 cm) pie plate, building up the edges to form a shell. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the meringue is hard on the outside and still slightly tender inside. (If you want to store the meringue rather than using it immediately, turn off the oven and leave the meringue shell in it to dry out completely.)

Remove the meringue from the pan to a serving platter before it cools. Cool completely before filling.

2 cups strawberry puree (500 ml)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream (250 ml)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
Sugar to taste

Purée berries in a blender. Place the purÈe in a saucepan and soften the gelatin in it. Stir over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves. Refrigerate until the purÈe begins to thicken and set.

Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Beat in the vanilla and sugar to taste. Don’t add too much sugar because the meringue shell will be very sweet. Fold the cream into purÈe and pour into the meringue shell. Chill at least 3 hours before serving.

VARIATION: Use sliced strawberries instead of puree. Eliminate the gelatin and fold the berries into the sweetened, flavored whipped cream just before serving. No refrigeration will be needed.