Pumpkin Meringue Pie

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Confession time.  I have never, ever eaten pumpkin pie. Wait, don’t go!  I have a good reason- I’m deathly allergic to pumpkin.  Not really, but that excuse was my go-to when I was 10.  Here is the real reason-  I hate the smell of the inside of a pumpkin.  Whenever Halloween rolls around, and it’s time to carve out our Jack-O-Lanterns I always brace myself for that nasty pumpkin odor.  Well, I bit the bullet and made a pumpkin meringue pie today, and I had a slice.  It was really good.  Really really good.  Granted, I can’t compare this particular pie to other pumpkin pies, but it truly was yummy.  A yummy, creamy, autumn-flavored  pie, topped with a shiny, sweet meringue.  And it had no inner pumpkin smell whatsoever!  Hallelujah!

I got this elgeant recipe from Food & Wine Magazine. Besides eating pumpkin pie, another first for me was making a meringue topping.  Meringue is a foam made up of egg whites,  sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar.  The cream of tartar is used to help stabilize the egg whites when heated in the oven.  For this recipe, I made enough pie crust for two 9-inch pie shells I separated each pastry dough into two discs before chilling in the refrigerator for an hour.  I blind baked one disc in a pie plate.  I rolled and cut out little leaves with the other disc for some Autumn pie decoration.  You can find my Pie Pastry recipe here, and my Blind-Bake instructions here, and my YouTube “How To Make Pie Pastry” video here.

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While your crust is blind-baking, mix the pumpkin, sugar, salt, and autumn spices.

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Mix in cream and eggs.

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Pour pumpkin mixture into warm pie shell and bake for 45 minutes.

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Pumpkin pie! You could stop right here, and call it a day, or take it up a notch and make some kick-ass meringue.

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In a standing mixer, beat 4 egg whites and cream of tartar until you reach soft peaks.

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Slowly beat in sugar and vanilla extract until you reach shiny, stiff peaks.

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Top pumpkin pie with the meringue, and bake until meringue lightly browns (about 10 minutes).

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With the other pie pastry, roll out to 1/8 of an inch, cut leaves out with a cutter, and sprinkle with sugar.

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Bake leaves until golden brown (about 15 minutes).

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Adorn the pie with the delicate pastry leaves and dig in.

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Pumpkin Meringue Pie
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Ingredients
  1. Pie Pastry for two 9-inch pies; one already blind-baked, the other ready to roll out
For the filling
  1. One 15-ounce can (425 g) Solid Pack Pumpkin
  2. ¾ cup (150 g) Sugar
  3. 1 tsp. (2 g) Cinnamon
  4. 1 tsp. (1.5 g) Ground Ginger
  5. 1/8 tsp. freshly ground Nutmeg
  6. 1/8 tsp. Salt
  7. 4 large Eggs
  8. 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
  9. 1 and 1/3 cups (315.5 ml) Heavy Cream
To make the meringue
  1. 4 large Egg Whites
  2. a pinch of Cream of Tartar
  3. ½ cup (100 g) Superfine Sugar
  4. 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
To Make The Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Mix in the eggs, one at a time until combined. Finally, mix in the cream and vanilla.
  3. Pour the filling into the blind-baked pie crust. Cover the rim with foil, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the custard is firm around the edge and only slightly wiggly in the center.
  4. Transfer the pie to a baking sheet. Leave the oven on.
To make the meringue
  1. In a bowl connected to a standing mixer and fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in the superfine sugar. Add the vanilla. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form and appears glossy, about 2 minutes longer.
  2. Scoop the meringue onto the warm pie, spreading and swirling it decoratively. Make sure the meringue touches the crust all around.
  3. Bake the pie on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 4 hours. Decorate with sugared maple Leaves and serve.
To make sugar maple leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the second batch of pie pastry to 1/8 of an inch thick.
  3. Cut out leaf shapes with a small leaf cookie cutter. Sprinkle each leaf with sugar.
  4. Carefully transfer leaves to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. The pie can be refrigerated, uncovered overnight. Garnish with the leaf cookies just before serving. Enjoy!
Special equipment needed
  1. 9-inch pie plate
  2. Leaf-shaped cookie cutter
  3. Baking sheets
  4. Standing mixer
  5. Parchment paper
Adapted from Food & Wine
Adapted from Food & Wine
Project Pastry Love http://www.projectpastrylove.com/

3 comments

  1. jane ellinghaus says:

    Oh wow, Liz! I love the pictures of this pie! You know I’ve always loved my pumpkin pie with whipped cream. But since you’ve been so brave to FINALLY try a slice yourself . . I will be brave and try a slice with meringue! Can’t wait, actually. Good job . . and I love the leaves! This may be the recipe I use for Thanksgiving.

  2. Joy @ Yesterfood says:

    Liz, this is beautiful!! I have never had (or seen) pumpkin meringue pie, but I am a total convert!! Your crust, filling, meringue and cutouts are perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Treasure Box Tuesday- pinned! 🙂

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