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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tangelo Meringue Pie


Tangelos are my favourite orange.  They are actually a hybrid of a tangerine and a grapefruit or pomelo and not a true orange as such, but I don't really care how they came about, I just love them.  I can eat 2 or 3 in one sitting if I let myself have such unrestrained pleasure but I try to spread them out more judiciously so I can at least have one a day during the only time they are in season--which is NOW!  

Last night, while indulging in my third tangelo of the day it came across my mind that the juice of the tangelo (of which the tangelo is mostly composed) would make a lovely meringue pie.  I knew I had an orange meringue pie recipe in my files and thought I could use that and replace the orange juice with tangelo juice.  The original recipe had a wonderfully large  amount of sugar, and why I do not know, as orange juice is not as nearly sour as lemon.  So I fooled around with the amounts and came up with this recipe for Tangelo Meringue Pie.  

Tangelos sitting in the fruit crisper of my new refrigerator.

This was not the best day to attempt the recipe as I was waiting for a new refrigerator to be delivered early this morning.  But as the morning wore on and no refrigerator appeared at my door I took out the ingredients and made the pie.  As it happened, the delivery guys didn't show up until noon because they had had a few unforeseen problems with a some of their deliveries and one of them had even lost his cell phone.  It took nearly an hour to get the fridge in through the door because it had to removed from the box, both fridge doors had to be removed and the front door of the house had to be taken off its hinges and removed so everything could be moved in without scratching the paint on either the front door or the sides of the fridge.  Don had arrived home minutes after the delivery guys arrived and the three of them were hard at work.  Don scurried back to work minus his dinner and the two young men left, each with a piece of pie tucked under his arm, probably glad to see the back of our town in their rear view mirror.  

I hope the pie was a bright spot in their day--it was for me.  When everyone left I ate dinner and then sat back and enjoyed a taste of sunshine.  My, oh, my, what a pie!  I enjoyed every bite.  I brought Nan Gill a couple of pieces later on in the afternoon and Don had a couple of pieces for supper.  I ate the last little piece and the pie was gone, gone, gone. . . but not forgotten.  O, lovely Tangelo Meringue Pie you will be made again before the season ends.


Tangelo Meringue Pie
9-inch baked pie shell (See recipe here.)
½ cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt 
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten (Reserve the whites for meringue)
2 cups fresh squeezed tangelo juice (can use orange juice if tangelos are not available)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated tangelo or orange peel
Meringue for 9-inch pie, (See recipe below.)

Heat oven 400 degrees F.  Stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan. Blend with tangelo juice. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.  Remove from heat and pour some of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, stirring constantly.  Pour the tempered yolks back into the saucepan with the remaining mixture and return to the stove.  Bring the mixture back to a gentle boil and cook for an additional minute. 

Remove the filling from the stove and stir in butter, lemon juice and tangelo peel.  Immediately pour into baked pie shell. 

Heap meringue onto hot pie filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking or weeping.  Bake about 10 minutes or until a delicate brown.  Cool away from draft. 

Meringue
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)

Place egg whites in the mixer bowl. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until frothy before adding sugar. 

Increase speed to high and gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. 

Spread meringue on pie, sealing carefully to edge of pastry shell. 

Bake for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven or until golden brown. Cool away from draft and then refrigerate until ready to serve. 

I got about ½ cup of juice from each tangelo.  
They are so juicy.  When I eat them I wear a bib!

 
Don't forget to grate the peel.  
It's easier to grate the full orange before juicing.

 
Separate the eggs and lay them aside.  
Don't get any kind of fat or oil in the whites.

 Mix the sugar and cornstarch together.


 I strained the tangelo juice but it's not necessary.

 
 Mix the juice and sugar/cornstarch together and bring to a boil until thickened.


Always pour the hot mixture into the egg yolks stirring all the while so the eggs won't cook.  This is called tempering the eggs.


Return the tempered eggs to the saucepan with the remaining filling and bring to a gentle boil for 1 minute.


 When the eggs are cooked remove from heat and add butter, lemon juice and grated rind.


Before you bake your pie crust make sure you prick it all over with a fork to keep the crust from puffing up into a huge bubble.  The pie shell should be baked before you start making the filling. 


When the filling is completed pour it into the pre-baked pie shell.


Now it's time to make the meringue.  A three-egg meringue makes a lovely billowy topping for a pie.

Before making the meringue make sure your bowl and beaters are clean and free from any trace of fat.  As a precaution wipe out the bowl and beaters with a vinegar dampened paper towel.  Place the egg whites in bowl of mixer and add the cream of tartar.  Whip the egg whites until frothy and then increase the speed and gradually add the sugar.  Whip until the whites are beaten to a stiff peak.

 Pile the meringue on top of the hot filling.  


Swirl the meringue around the pie, lifting up with the back of a spoon to make decorative peaks.  Make sure you bring the meringue to the edge of the crust sealing in the filling.

 Bake in the pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.

Sweet tangelo filling topped with billowy meringue makes for an elegant dessert.  
But don't wait for a swanky occasion to make this gem of a pie.

Where's my fork?



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