Eduards mother came to visit us a few days ago. Just before she left to visit us, she filled a whole bowl with red currant berries and brought it to us. I wasn’t sure what to do with it – since currants aren’t my favourite berries – so I placed the box in the fridge to make something of them later on. I personally don’t like the sour taste of currants. That sour taste though is exactly what Eduard loves about currents.
Yesterday I figured out that it was time to do something with the currants, since they were going bad. But what to make? Jam? Hmm.. I wasn’t sure. And then this idea came to me: cake! I started a Pinterest search and dug into my cookbooks and figured out I should make something in between this and this.
Yes, “in between”! I generally don’t make recipes like they are prescribed. I’m a bit strange in that way. Often I don’t have all the ingredients that are necessary at home and I prefer not to make a big fuss about it or walk for one hour to the super marche. So I use the recipe just as a visual inspiration and I adjust the recipe according to what I think would be a good substitute. So in this case for example I left the oats out of one of the recipes and replaced them by goji berries. Not exactly the replacement one would predict. But it a pretty clear choice in my head. I didn’t have any oats and I did have goji berries. Both seem to be somehow healthy, and therefore exchangeable. I see some chef-heads shaking. Don’t worry.
These adventures sometimes turn out bad, sometimes turn out perfect and most of the times obviously something in between. This cake turned out perfect! So I decided to share my recipe with you. Feel free to adjust it according to the contents of your fridge and pantry.
There are a few important things to keep in mind though. First of all I wouldn’t mess too much with the meringue ingredients. The dough ingredients are easily adjustable, so go wild on that one! Another note on this one: the kitchen scale somehow gave up service a week ago, so where I would normally adjust “cup” recipes to “normal” european gr. recipes, I didn’t do that with this one. So this recipe will speak about “cups”, since I just used cups. I used normal coffee cups to measure this. Not the espresso ones, and not the american sized ones. But just the plain, normal ones, you know what I mean right? Now don’t give up, I know these aren’t very clear instructions, but unclear instructions give you more space to experiment. Embrace the freedom.
Currants meringue pie
1 cup of plain all purpose flour
1/2 cup of ground almonds
1/2 cup of ground hazelnuts
1/2 cup of soaked goji berries
2 tbsp corn starch (maizena)
1/2 cup of butter (room temperature)
3 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
2 tsp lemon zest
pinch of salt
Currants Meringue Filling:
2,5 cups of red currants
2 egg whites
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 tsp corn starch (maizena)
Start with the dough. Just place all the dough ingredients in a bowl and start kneading the mix with your hand for a few minutes. The dough will be pretty wet when it’s ready if you used my ingredients. Now place the dough in a small bowl or a piece of plastic and let it settle down for at least 30 minutes in your fridge. You can prepare this in advance. The idea of these 30 minutes is apparently that it doesn’t crumble too much after it’s baked.
When the dough is done you can prepare a springform tray. Place some baking paper on the tray and place the dough in the tray and press it against the bottom and a bit up the pan. Now it’s ready to be placed in the oven which is pre-heated on 180 degrees celsius. Bake for 20 minutes or till it’s nice and crusty. When it’s ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool down for a bit.
Continue with the meringue. I always thought this was the difficult part, but it’s not. Place the two egg whites in a bowl and start beating them with a mixer till they are stiff. Don’t quit too early. Add the corn starch and add the sugar in small amounts and keep on beating the meringue for a minute or five. Again, don’t quit too early, the mix should be pretty stiff
Spoon the red currants slowly, gently and carefully into the egg white mix and then place it slowly, gently and carefully onto the crust that was waiting. Don’t make the filling too even on top. If you make a bit of a mountain scenery on top, you will get better results when it comes out of the oven. The grilled brown shades will come out more dramatically. Now you can place the whole pie into the oven which was pre-heated on 200 degrees celsius. Keep it there for at least 10 minutes till it’s nice and brown. This depends a bit on your oven. Then take it out and let it cool down.
Now cut it into
small pieces and enjoy the smell, look and taste…