Orange Meringue Pie

Orange Meringue Pie

I made this pie because I had seville oranges left over when I was making marmalade.  Lemon meringue works well because the sharpness of the lemon contrasts so well with the sweet meringue – the same is true of seville oranges.  This pie is a scrummy mix of flavours and textures; crisp, buttery pastry, smooth tangy orange filling and a crunchy but sticky meringue.

If you can’t get seville oranges (they are usually only available in January in the UK) then you can make it with navel oranges but add a little lemon juice for sharpness.

This recipe doesn’t use the peel and pith of the oranges but don’t throw them away – freeze them and use them next time you are making marmalade.

Ingredients

For the Pastry

225g / 8 oz Plain Flour

25g / 1 oz Icing Sugar

Pinch of salt

150g / 5 oz Butter (straight from the fridge)

1 Egg Yolk

3 tbsp Cold Water

For the Orange Filling

400ml / 14 fl oz of Seville Orange Juice (probably about 6-8 oranges)

Grated Zest of 1 Sweet Eating Orange

75g / 3 oz Cornflour

4 Egg Yolks

250g / 9 oz Caster Sugar

For the meringue

4 Egg Whites, at room temperature

220g / 8 oz Caster Sugar

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.

To make the pastry

Grease a 25cm / 10” loose bottomed flan tin.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and salt. Cut the butter into cubes and rub it into the flour mix until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg yolk with the cold water, reserve a tablespoon full of this mix and pour the rest into the pastry mix. Stir with a dinner knife until a dough forms. Pull together into a smooth ball, wrap in cling film and chill for half an hour. Alternatively you can do this in a food processor but don’t over mix the dough.

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of cling film and use to line the flan tin. Tuck it gently into the sides and leave the excess pastry to hang over the edge. Prick the pastry lightly all over with a fork and return to the fridge to chill for a further 20 minutes.

Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper (I find it easier to scrunch this up first, then open it out and it will sit better in the flan) and fill with baking beans. Place the flan case on a baking sheet and bake blind for 12 minutes.

Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans, brush the bottom of the tart with the reserved egg yolk and water and return to the oven until the pastry is cooked through and slightly golden, about another eight minutes.

Lower the oven heat to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2.

To Make the filling

Put the cornflour into a bowl, add the orange juice a little at a time and stir until you form a smooth paste. Whisk the paste into the rest of the orange juice and stir in the grated zest.

Bring 250ml / 8 fl oz water to the boil, then pour in the juice mixture. Simmer gently, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined, and stir into the thickened orange juice. Bring back to a simmer, whisking until it begins to bubble, remove from the heat and pour into the tart shell.

To make the meringue

Wash a mixing bowl and the whisk in hot soapy water to remove all traces of grease, rinse and dry well. Pour in the egg whites and whisk until they form stiff peaks. Add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

Spoon the meringue over the top of the orange tart filling and pull into peaks with the back of a spoon. Bake for about an hour, until the meringue is crisp and lightly browned on the outside and soft and sticky in the middle.

Serve warm or cold.

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