Cooking with Pete and Barb: Pinch pie

Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them, and cook up a feast.

"It's spring, and since all the berries right now are so delish, I thought this recipe from my mom for pinch pie would be fun," says Barb of this week's recipe, which isn't a pie at all, but a large meringue shell. "It's stupidly simple, and when I served it for Easter, even the non-sweet eaters in the crowd wanted to know what we'd just eaten. Damn, it was good!"

Pinch Pie

To make the meringue

1/4 teaspoon salt 4 egg whites, brought to room temperature 6 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Berries of your choice Vanilla ice cream Meringue shell (recipe follows)

Using a dry and clean mixing bowl, add the salt to the egg whites and beat on low speed until stiff. Gradually fold in the sugar and add the almond and vanilla extracts.

Meringue shell

1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. 2. Drop the meringue on a greased baking sheet covered with parchment paper. 3. Mash out with back of a spoon and make a hollow in the middle to hold the filling. 4. Bake for 1 hour, turn oven off and let cool in oven. 5. Fill with berries and vanilla ice cream and serve.

For more from Pete, Barbara and Marczyk Fine Foods, visit the market website. And be sure to check out Who's Drinking with Pete.

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