Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Little Something Different

I'm always looking for something just a little different.  I had a bag of cranberries in the freezer, and some egg whites leftover from making pumpkin cream pie and I thought, dare I make cranberry meringue pie?  I Googled possible recipes and found there were quite a few.  I decided on my own version flavored with orange juice and spiked with a touch of Grand Marnier.   Of course I had to make delicious, fluffy Italian meringue to top off the sweet-tart fruit.  Success!  This pie is both rich and refreshing and absolutely perfect if you're looking for something a little different for your holiday table.

Cranberry Meringue Pie
1 9" pie crust, blind baked (I use Wholly Wholesome)
1 lb. fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
zest and juice of one orange
1 Tb. cornstarch
1 Tb. Grand Marnier

Combine  the cranberries, sugar, water, cornstarch, orange juice and zest in a small pot over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Cook until thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the liqueur.  Scrape the filling to the cooked and cooled  pie crust.  Refrigerate until completely cooled.

Italian Meringue (from
3 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 Tb. corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
Place egg whites in a mixer bowl.   Whip the whites in mixer until soft peaks form.  Whip in the salt.  Stir sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high and boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, until thermometer registers 240°, 6-8 minutes. Remove pan from heat.  Slowly pour hot sugar syrup down side of bowl into whites and beat until meringue is firm and glossy. Continue beating until cool, about 4 minutes.  Spread the meringue over the top of the cooled pie, being sure to connect it to the edge of the crust.  Bake the pie in a 400 degree oven until nicely toasted to your liking, about7 to 10 minutes.

Pile on the meringue.  I said pile it on!
Make decorative swirls and peaks.
Brown the meringue in a hot oven.
Fluffy meringue pairs perfectly with tart cranberry.