As soon as I saw the recipe for blackberry lime pie in Bon Appetit I knew I wanted to try it. But I’m a tweaker so it’s been a little changed each time I’ve made it. For starters, as soon as I saw the instructions for the meringue I thought, “Now, that’s a RECIPE for disaster!” So I’ve never made it. Since the whip cream for the filling doesn’t use the whole container I do a little separate batch and set it aside for topping.
I also mistrusted the incredibly long bake on the pie crust and I’ve been using Tyler Florence’s sweet crust (that lemon blueberry filling that comes with the crust recipe is also yummy!) for all dessert pies for a while so I’ve used that crust each time and, of course, substituted spelt flour for wheat flour since I’m not supposed to eat wheat. I like a strong taste of lime or lemon when I use them so I zested part of one of the limes first and added the zest. It makes the lime pop a little more. Also note: the blackberry compote takes 3 or 4 times longer to reduce to 1/2 cup than the instructions imply.
I’ve mentioned before, I like to plan a big dinner do so that I can start making things a few days ahead and not have too much to do on party day. This pie is quite nice for that as you can make the curd a couple of days ahead. I’ve also made the compote the day before but it does tend to get a little runny after it sits. To me, it also makes a little more than needed so I reserve a little and sprinkle some over the top of each piece instead of plain blackberries. And I make the pie crust dough the night before and do the rolling out and baking on the day.
I made this pie for a dinner party while I was in Marin this spring and it was a big hit but had more tweaks than I expected. I have trouble finding the kind of spelt flour I like out there so this time I bought some gluten free flour. Make note: it doesn’t substitute well in a pie crust. It’s way too dry. So the pie crust fell apart–fortunately before I put any fillings in it. Had to ask one of my guests if she could stop and pick up a store-bought pie crust (I was house sitting on a hill, with no car). Not how I prefer to provide dessert.
The limes I bought were the driest limes I’ve ever met so after I spent half an hour squeezing them to death I only had not quite half of the juice I needed for the pie. And, as mentioned, I was a couple of miles, mostly straight up, from a grocery. Fortunately my friends have meyer lemon trees on the property so I filled in the rest with meyer lemon juice. Wow did that combo turn out good! Talk about taking lemons and making…
I’ve served this now (with my various tweaks) at several dinner parties and a few people have proclaimed it one of the best desserts they ever had. One or two have asked permission to lick the plate (which I was more than delighted to grant)! If you want a big wow from your guests, I highly recommend this pie!