Wine & Berry Chiffon

After the failed straight up fresh fruit method with wineberries, it had me rethinking approaches to fillings. Wineberries are very juicy, worse than strawberries. The juice sat on the unbaked pastry shell and turned half of it into raw mush. Even with an open face in a shallow pie plate, the pie took almost two hours to thicken. After a few failed pies, I recommitted to the project and am taking time to think about the ingredients.

So what do you do with a juicy berry? Thicken the juice, stabilize with gelatin, and fold into a Swiss meringue, and you have a chiffon pie! The first thought was to use the recipe from the Dreamsicle Chiffon. The wineberry juice is a beautiful color, though, and I didn’t want to mask it with egg yolks. So, as the original chiffon pie used cornstarch, I went with that. Arrowroot or ground instant tapioca should work fine.

I collected about a quart of wineberries from the mountain. When crushed and strained, they yielded about ¾ cup of juice. I had hoped for 1½ cups of juice. Rummaging through the fridge, I found a bottle of Barboursville Rosato and thought, “Why the hell not?"

So, securing permission from my SO to open her wine, I used that to make up the difference. The process is pretty easy. Other than collecting the berries and baking the shell, the work probably took 20 minutes. It was easily the nicest pie I’ve made in a few months. A bright clean flavor of rosé and berries. The Swiss meringue gives it a light, airy texture perfect for a hot summer day. Charlotte placed it in her top five pies so far.

 

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 9" pie shell of your choosing

Filling

  • 1½c juice/wine

  • ¾c sugar

  • 1½T cornstarch

  • ¼c water, cold

  • 1 packet gelatin

  • 120g egg whites

  • 120g sugar

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine some of the sugar with the cornstarch. Whisk in a small portion of juice/wine to create a slurry.
  2. Bloom the gelatin over 1/4c cold water.
  3. Combine the remaining juice/wine with the sugar and bring to a boil.
  4. Whisk the slurry into the boiling liquid. Bring back to a boil, stir vigoursly, and keep there for several minutes to cook out the starch flavor.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the hot liquid.
  7. Let cool to near room temp.
  8. Make a Swiss meringue with the whites and sugar.
  9. Working in batches, fold the meringue into the liquid.
  10. Mound into the baked pie shell, and chill till set.