Monday, January 23, 2012

Pretty in Pink Grapefruit

Next to clementines, my second favorite winter fruit treat is pink grapefruit.  Seeing as how I think of everything in terms of pie, naturally I decided to make a pink grapefruit pie.  Just like a lemon meringue, but with pink grapefruit instead.  And the topping has to be Italian meringue, of course.  I don't know why anyone bothers with "regular" meringue anymore when Italian is SO much better!

I really like the tart-sweet bitterness of pink grapefruit and didn't want to lose that quality in the pie.  So I didn't go too crazy with the sugar and I folded in chopped grapefruit sections to drive home the fresh taste of the fruit.  To do this you need to supreme the grapefruit, which involves cutting off all the skin and cutting out the segments, which produces beautiful slices of juicy fruit with none of the pesky white membrane attached.  You can get a quick lesson on how to supreme in this video by Elishia's Kitchen.

This pie is easy to put together and provides a fresh, beautiful addition to any winter meal!

1 9" graham cracker pie crust
2 cups freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
pinch of salt
zest of one grapefruit
few drops red food color, optional
2 Tb. unsalted butter
1 grapefruit, supreme and chop

Italian Meringue
3 egg whites, saved from the yolks used in the filling
1 cup sugar
2 Tb. corn syrup
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt

For the filling, combine the grapefruit juice, cornstarch, sugar, salt and egg yolks in a small, heavy pot.  Stir well to dissolve the cornstarch.  Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.  When the mixture is thickened, remove from the heat.  Stir in the zest, butter, grapefruit sections and food coloring, if using.  I used just a few drops to produce a dark pink color that resembled the fresh fruit when cut.  Pour the filling into the prepared crust and press plastic wrap directly to the surface to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until cold, about 4 to 6 hours.

For the  Italian meringue, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a small pot and stir to dissolve the sugar.  Clip a candy thermometer to the side and cook over high heat until the thermometer registers 240 degrees.  While the syrup is coming up to temperature, whip the egg whites in a stand mixer until soft peaks are formed and then whip in the salt.  When the syrup is done, pour it slowly down the side of the bowl into the whites while the mixer is running.  Avoid pouring into the whisk, as it will fling the hot syrup all over the bowl.  Continue whipping on high speed until the mixture has cooled and is fluffy, firm and glossy, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Pile the meringue onto the pie and make decorative swirls and peaks.  Toast in the hot oven until lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Chill about 30 minutes before serving.

Beautiful inspiration!

Adding the meringue to the cooled pie.

So simple and beautiful

Oh, a slice for me!?  Aw, you shouldn't have!

The perfect Winter sweet treat.

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