Mmmm... lemon meringue pie. If there's ever a time for citrus desserts, it is the springtime.
Florida Citrus Meringue Pie
is a bright and sunny pie that incorporates both lemon and
orange flavors. It's a great combination of sweet-tart, and perfect for all your backyard barbecues and family get-togethers that happen this time of year.
I know what you're thinking... "Meringue??!
You expect me to make that from scratch??!" Absolutely! It is not tricky at all - the hardest part is separating the egg whites from the yolks. The mixer does the rest of the work.
Get started by blind-baking your pie crust. Because the pie doesn't actually bake in the oven, you have to pre-bake the crust so it's nice and crisp. Line the pie pan with the pastry, and prick with a fork. (Shhh, I won't tell if you use store-bought.) Line it with foil, and fill it with ceramic pie weights or dried beans or rice. This weighs the foil down so the crust won't slide all around. Pop it into the oven for a few minutes; then remove the foil, and continue baking until golden brown.
While the pie crust is baking, work on the citrus filling. Start off by separating the eggs - 4 egg yolks into a small bowl and 4 egg whites into a mixing bowl.
Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan; whisk in the orange juice and water. Bring it to a boil and let it bubble away until thick. Make sure to stir it frequently so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan! After it's bubbled for a few minutes, add a bit of the filling to the bowl of egg yolks, stirring until smooth. Then, add the yolks back to the saucepan with the rest of the filling mixture. This keeps the eggs from scrambling as soon as they hit the filling. Bring it to a boil again; then stir in the lemon juice, butter, and the zest from a lemon and an orange. Set aside.
Now you're ready for the meringue! Add a bit of cream of tartar and vanilla extract to your egg whites from before, and beat on medium speed until foamy. You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer, whichever you prefer. (Or your good ole' fashioned elbow grease, but it might take awhile!)
Increase the speed to high, and gradually add the sugar just a little bit at a time. Beat until soft glossy peaks form. It is so fun to see the transformation from foamy egg whites to puffy cloud-like whipped egg whites.
Now you're ready to assemble the pie. Pour the filling into the baked crust, then very carefully spread the meringue over the filling. Swirl the top of the meringue with the back of a spoon if you're feeling fancy.
Now, if you have a fancy kitchen torch, here is an excellent opportunity to use it. (So much fun!) Just toast the meringue until it's golden brown. If you don't have a torch, no worries! Simply pop the pie into a 350*F for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
And then the hardest part - waiting 4+ hours for it to set up! I must admit, I didn't quite wait the entire recommended time. (As you can see the filling oozing out the edge of the pie piece.) No worries, it still tastes just as good. ;)
Not only is this pie a tasty treat, but it's absolutely beautiful to look at.
Florida Citrus Meringue Pie
- pastry for single-crust pie
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup orange juice
- 4 egg yolks, (save the whites)
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- For the meringue
- 4 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup sugar
Preheat oven to 450*F. Transfer pastry to a 9-inch pie plate; flute edge. Line with foil and fill with pie weights (or dried beans or rice). Bake 8-10 minutes until bottom is golden brown. Remove foil and pie weights; bake 5-8 minutes longer until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
For the orange-lemon filling, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the water and orange juice; turn heat to medium-high. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
Place egg yolks in a small bowl; whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks. (This keeps the egg yolks from scrambling when you add them to the pan.) Add the egg yolks back into the saucepan along with the rest of the mixture; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook and stir 2 additional minutes; remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, butter, grated lemon peel, and grated orange peel.
For the meringue, place the egg whites in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer with vanilla and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until glossy peaks have formed.
Transfer warm filling to prepared crust. Spread meringue over filling, sealing to edge of crust; swirl top with the back of a spoon.
If using a kitchen torch, lightly toast the meringue until golden brown. If using the oven, preheat oven to 350*F. Bake 13-16 minutes until meringue is golden brown. Let cool 4 hours before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Source: Taste of Home