Next, I made the filling with the clementines. My main concern was that they'd be too sweet, and oh yes, they were. I tasted the gooey, bright orange filling and it just tasted cloying, with no citrusy tang. I had even reduced the amount of sugar to try to compensate for this, but to make it more palatable, I added the juice of two lemons. This made the filling taste much better, but perhaps too much like a basic lemon filling. I was willing accept this over the cringingly sweet pure clementine version.
So, after baking the crust (which shrank a bit - something to learn more about) and adding the filling, the recipe said to set the pie aside while I made the meringue. I really like to make meringue - it's fascinating to watch sugar and egg whites transform from a thin foam to thick, pure white ribbons that hold every fold and ripple. Eating meringue isn't as much fun for me - often there is too much for my taste. With anticipation, I waited to see what the pie to filling ratio would be! Imagine the drama!
Look at those stiff peaks!
Okay, so here I found something I really didn't like about the recipe. It told me to set the filled pie aside while I made the meringue, and then cover the filling with the meringue. However, when I did this, the meringue kind of just sank into the filling. It would have worked better to cool the filling for a while and then put the meringue on top so that it wouldn't displace the fillings as much. It still worked out so that it looked nice, and then it went into the oven. Hooray!
Behold, the finished pie:I shared this pie with my roommate and Marcue and Control. We all liked it, but it was quite close to a lemon meringue pie because of the lemon juice I added to cut the sweetness. I'd like to have tasted a more significantly orangey taste, but I can't really blame the recipe for that because I didn't follow it as written when it came to my citrus choices. However, I was disappointed that the meringue sank so much into the filling as I formed the pie. As a result of this, there were parts of the meringue that were extremely thin while other parts had sunk almost to the bottom crust. A completely cooled filling would have helped with this, I think.
from Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, with Pie by Patty Pinner
1 ¼ C sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
½ C fresh tangerine juice (from 4 to 6 tangerines) – I used clementines and two lemons
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp finely grated tangerine rind
¼ C (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 to 6 large egg whites (depending on how high you want your meringue), at room temperature
½ C sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the pie crust (roll out, form into pie plate) and fully prebake. Set aside on a wire rack.
Make the filling. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually whisk in the tangerine juice until smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks until thoroughly combined. Stir in the tangerine rind and butter.
Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, and gradually reduce the heat as the filling begins to bubble and thicken; this will take 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the hot filling into the pie crust. Set aside.
Make the meringue. In a medium-size bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat on high speed after each addition until dissolved, then until the egg whites form shiny, stiff peaks. Mound the meringue in the center of the pie, then spread it evenly around the edge of the inner crust. Use a spoon to create a design of peaks and valleys all over the meringue. Place in the oven and bake until the peaks are nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
Basic Shortening Pie Pastry
from Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie by Ken Haedrich
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
¼ cold water
Electric mixer method:
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the shortening, breaking it into smaller pieces and tossing it with the flour. With the mixer on low speed, blend the shortening into the flour until you have what looks like coarse, damp meal, with both large and small clumps. Sprinkle on half of the water. Turning the machine on and off, mix briefly on low speed. Add the remaining water in 2 stages, mixing slowly until the dough starts to form large clumps. Do not overmix.
Dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the dough, with floured hands, into disks about ¾ inch thick. Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight before rolling. Roll out, form into pie plate, trim and form edges. Cover with foil and prebake with pie weights or beans, then remove beans and bake again to brown. (Unfortunately, I forgot to write down the baking times for the crust before I took this book back to the library - so I'll update this section when I check it out again. I didn't want to neglect posting it until I had the complete information.)