No matter how much recipe resource is available online, I always seem to turn to my cook books for inspiration. I haven’t counted them all yet but I’d say that I probably own close to a hundred.
There’s just something about holding a book in your hands and going from page to page that beats using a mouse. I love cook books with lots of pictures, preferably one for each recipe although that can add up in hours if you’re shooting your own book. But I think some sort of visual guide is really helpful when cooking.
I’d love to take the credit for this spectacular meringue pie, but I can’t. The recipe came from one of those 100 cook books that make my bookcase creak. The book I’m talking about is The Pie and Pastry Bible, from Rose Levy Beranbaum. I’ve used this book a lot and even though I have a fair amount of experience in baking, I always find something that amazes me.
A meringue pie is one of those old time classics, and been on peoples dinner tables for years. It’s fairly easy if you follow a few solid rules. This pie from Rose was slightly different than what I’ve made before because of the powdered sugar added to the meringue, but it came out of the oven exactly how I wanted it. The top was hard, actually hard enough to tap with a spoon but underneath the surface still had that gooey meringue and I loved the little crispy, chewy chunks of powdered sugar. The filling was a tart tasting blood orange curd made by using the fresh oranges I scored from my friends tree.
Don’t shoot me but I chose to use a frozen store bought pie shell. I figure if you’re making a fresh curd and mixing your own meringue, you should cut yourself some slack and buy a perfectly decent pie shell. There’s loads of good ones available including gluten free and whole wheat. This pie will keep at room temperature for a few days, if it lasts that long. It tastes so damn good it might disappear quicker.
More meringue pies for my blogging friends!
Chocolate Moosey – Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
Brown Eyed Baker – Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
The Baker Chick – Cranberry Meringue Pie
Blood Orange Meringue Pie
For The Blood Orange Curd
- 2 teaspoons blood orange zest
- 4 large egg yolks keep the egg whites for later
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh blood orange juice about 4 oranges
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 inch unbaked 9 deep pie shell
For The Meringue
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line the pie shell with parchment and rice or dried beans. Bake it blind for 10 minutes.
- Remove the weights and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until lightly golden, let cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Gather the blood orange zest before you cut the oranges for the juice. Set aside
- Squeeze the oranges, enough to fill 1 cup with juice.
- Place the juice into a small pan and heat over a medium heat.
- Reduce the juice until you have 1/2 cup left.
- In a small pot, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until blended.
- Add the reduced orange juice and butter.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the curd over a medium to low heat constantly. Do not let it boil.
- As it starts to thicken, keep stirring taking it from the heat if it gets too warm.
- As soon as it coat the back of the spatula, set it aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Add the orange zest to the curd and mix through.
- Pour the curd into the semi cooled pie shell and bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes and it becomes less wobbly and more firm. Set aside while you make the meringue.
For The Meringue
- In a clean stand mixer bowl, add the egg whites. Mix on high speed until foamy, about 7 minutes.
- Add the cream of tartar and mix on high until the mixture starts to thicken and become shiny.
- Gradually add the sugar as the meringue is mixing on high speed, adding all of it to get to a stiff peak meringue.
- Sieve the powdered sugar onto the completed meringue. Using a spatula gently fold it through the meringue until well mixed.
- Scoop the meringue onto the pie and spread it evenly creating big swirls.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and the top has turned a light golden color.
- Let cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
Recipe from The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.