Called angel pie, heavenly pie or the admitedly less-seductive upside-down meringue pie, this dessert is simply a meringue base, filled with cream, fruit, curds and (occasionally) syrups. When it inevitably falls apart into a delicous jumble, it is almost an Eton Mess, or Lanton Mess, depending on what fruit is on top. What I've decided to call an angel pie is a secret weapon of bakers across the country, but especially in the South, a pantry-ingredient pie that looks like a celebration dessert and is just as good for breakfast as it is before your evening nightcap.
Recipes for meringues have been around since at least 1691, and cooks have likely been utilizing the aerating magic of whipped egg whites for longer. However, given the intensity of the beating needed to bring egg whites into a stable foam, meringues and meringue-like dishes were historically eaten by those with the resources to employ or enslave a cook to do all of that work. It wasn't until the advent of the mechanical egg beater around the turn of the 20th century that meringues really took off in home cooking.
The popularization of pavolovas, named to the ballerina Anna Pavolova, made meringue a full-on trend, the avocado toast of the 1920s, if you will. This angel berry pie is similar to that dish, yet by using a pie dish for meringue support, is far, far more forgiving. You needn't worry that your meringue is cooked perfectly to a crisp or that you billow its sides in the most beautiful manner. You'll be covering the whole thing in whipped cream anyway.