Sweet, bright and tart lemon raspberry pie made of four components: a cinnamon oatmeal sucree crust, a smooth, creamy raspberry custard filling (made in one bowl – no need to temper any eggs), a layer of sharp lemon curd and a fluffy layer of crushed raspberry whipped cream..
Fresh and Frozen Raspberries: For this recipe, I ask for both fresh and frozen berries. For the whipped cream, it’s really important you use fresh as they’ll have less water and won’t make the topping soppy. For the filling, I prefer frozen most of the year because they are guaranteed to be flavorful and they’ll be pureed and cooked. If you have raspberries in season that are really red and juicy, use those.
Sweetened condensed milk: This is milk that’s water content has been severely reduced and has been cooked with a bit of sugar. It’s a great shortcut to making any custard. And since this filling is made in the method of key lime pie, it’s my go-to. You can find it canned in the baking isles.
Egg yolks: These will help set the custard. No substitutes.
Heavy Cream: Or you may find it as heavy whipping cream. The difference between these two is fat content but both will whip up a lovely whipped cream.
You can do this in a food processor or in the bowl of a stand mixer. If you’re feeling particularly confident about your level of patience/arm muscle, you can even do it by hand. The goal is basically to get all the ingredients blended into a dough that when pressed, will clump together.
The trickier part of a pate sucree (sweet, shortcrust pastry crust) is getting it to bake sufficiently without breaking/shrinking/etc. A few things I like to do to prevent any of that:
This one is really quite easy, it starts with frozen (thawed) raspberries which are blended and sieved to remove seeds. The puree is mixed with sweetened condensed milk, a bit of lemon and some egg yolks which will help ‘set’ the custard and make it really smooth.
Make sure you press the puree through the sieve really well, you want to get as much of the raspberry juice and flavor as possible. The lemon isn’t necessary but helps brighten up the raspberry as it gets slightly muted by the milk and eggs.
Once you’ve got your smooth puree, whisk it with the yolks, lemon and sweetened condensed milk and pour it into the shell. The custard needs about 12 minutes to ‘set’ in the oven. Transfer it to the fridge and let it chill there for a few hours before serving and topping.
First let’s talk about how to make a really stable whipped cream; there’s lots of tips out there: some say add cornstarch, some say add gelatin. I have found though that if you make it in a food processor it’s utterly creamy, smooth and sits perfectly for days on a pie without seeping.
So we’re just going to pour the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the food processor and pulse until it’s thick. This will happen in a matter of minutes, especially if your food processor is particularly strong and quick.
Then you’ll crush the raspberries with a fork and stir them into the whipped cream. Voila!
Make a chocolate pate sucree like the one in this peanut butter ganache pie, you can use black cocoa if you have it. Bake it with the weights/beans for 20 then pour in the raspberry custard and bake for another 12 minutes. Then, for the whipped cream, add crushed oreos in addition to or instead of the fresh raspberries.
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