Saturday, November 17, 2007

Martha's Cranberry Meringue Pie

This recipe from Martha Stewart was a huge hit last year, and as far as I'm concerned it will always be a staple of my Thanksgiving meal. A little lighter than pumpkin or pecan pie, it's a refreshing treat after a heavy dinner.

3 3/4 C fresh cranberries (or frozen ones)
1 3/4 C sugar
3 tsp finely chopped orange zest, plus 1/2 C orange juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
4 Tbs cornstarch
4 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/2 recipe pie dough

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough slightly. Sprinkle the dough with 1 tsp of orange zest, and fold over. Proceed to roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Fit into your pie plate, pierce the bottom with a fork, and freeze for 15 minutes.

Line the shell with parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans . Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment, return to oven, and bake until just golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Allow to cool on a rack while making the filling.

Bring 2 1/2 cups of cranberries, 1 1/4 cup of sugar, and 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries have burst, about 5 minutes. Pour through a sieve and discard the solids. You should have about 1 3/4 C of liquid- if you have less, add water.

Bring the strained cranberry juice, 1/4 cup of sugar, the remaining orange zest, spices, and remaining cranberries to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and simmer until cranberries are soft, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir the cornstarch, orange juice, and 1/4 C water in a bowl; whisk into the cranberry mixture. Return to a boil, stirring constantly until translucent, about 1 minute. Pour into the pie crust, and refrigerate until set (at least an hour, or up to overnight).

Preheat the broiler. Put the egg whites and remaining 1/4 C sugar into the metal bowl of an electric mixer set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch. Attach the bowl to the mixer and beat until foamy on medium speed. Raise the speed to high and add the cream of tartar. Beat until glossy peaks form, and spoon over the pie.

Set the pie under the broiler until the top is browned, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn!

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