For the 4th of July I decided to try making a raspberry pie. I wanted to do something with just fruit so that I could make some lavender creme Anglaise to go with it. This pie turned out to be exactly what I was hoping it would be. It's a light fruit tart with intense raspberry flavor but not too much sweetness. I served it with a little pool of the lavender creme Anglaise and that was exactly the sweetness and creaminess it needed to offset all that berry flavor. It turned out great, though I think next time I would use a little half and half in the creme Anglaise. I used only whole milk and it is a little on the thin side. But it is still delicious. And now for the recipe...
1 9-inch tart crust, pre-baked to a light golden brown
1 lightly beaten egg white
4 cups of raspberries, cleaned
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
1/2 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon
more raspberries for garnish, optional
1. Put 1 cup of the raspberries in a medium saucepan with the 1/2 cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil. When they have come to a boil, lower the heat and stir constantly for about 4 minutes. Then add the cornstarch/water mixture, continuing to stir until it is dissolved and clear. Add the sugar and lemon juice and simmer for just a minute.
2. Put the remaining 3 cups of raspberries in a large bowl and pour the cooked mixture on top of the berries and stir gently to combine.
3. Spoon into the tart shell and arrange more raspberries in two rows around the edge of the tart, if desired. Let sit until it firms up a bit, a couple hours.
Lavender Creme Anglaise
1 cup of whole milk (or better yet 1/2 cup half and half and 1/2 cup whole milk)
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 or 3 stems of lavender, flowers removed from the hard husks
1. Heat the milk in a medium sized saucepan until just bubbling around the edges.
2. Beat the egg yolks with a whisk until pale and then add the sugar and beat until fully incorporated.
3. Pour the hot milk slowly over the egg mixture, stirring constantly and then return the mixture to the saucepan, adding the vanilla bean and the scrapings of the vanilla. Cook over low heat until it thickens and can coat the back of a spoon.
4. Strain into a bowl and stir in the lavender. Let it cool and put plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate until serving.