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Orange You Glad it’s Still Winter

The sun shines a bit brighter, the days seem to stretch a bit longer, and all that’s on my mind is the upcoming fruit season. I dream of bright Emerald Drop Pluots and oh so sinful Persian Mulberries. And figs, glorious figs bursting at their seams with sweet honey nectar. But in mid March, these fruits are still months away, and all that brightens the farmers market stalls are rows of oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. “Think citrus, Kat!,” Karen, the godmother of Southern Los Angeles produce and my recent new friend, keeps chiming in my ear. And so citrus it is for a little while longer. This playful pie is a bright way to celebrate citrus, with a molassesy crust and a decadent brown sugar meringue. It’s a great way to cool off on a hot, but it’s still winter, day.
Orange Meringue Pie
Brown Sugar Orange Meringue Pie

Brown Sugar Pate Sucree:

225 g soft, cool, butter
100 g dark moscavado sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg yolks, room temperature
400 g all purpouse flour
25 g heavy cream, cold

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter on low speed for 2-3 minutes until slightly creamy.

2. Add moscavado sugar and mix for 1 more minute.
3. Add salt. Slowly stream in yolks, scraping down sides of bowl to completely combine.
4. Add the sifted flour and mix on low speed until the dough just starts to come together.
5. Add the heavy cream and incorporate.
6. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and roll into ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours.
7. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
8. Remove dough. Cut ball in half, placing one half back in refrigerator. Cut the remaining dough into several pieces and work on low speed in stand mixer to get dough mailable enough to roll out.
9. Roll dough between two sheets of parchment, rolling from the center out, until the dough is even is roughly a 12″ round.(save the remaining dough for up to 3 days in the fridge and 2 weeks in the freezer)
10. Fit into a sprayed 10″ pie pan and finish the sides as you wish(I fluted mine). Return to fridge for 30 minutes.
11. Prick bottom of pie crust with fork several times and line with parchment. Fill with baking beans and place in oven for 15 minutes. Remove beans and bake for 5 minutes more. Place on cooling rack.

Orange Custard Filling:

200 g sugar
40 g cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
100 g water
100 g milk
4 large egg yolks(save whites for meringue)
28 g butter
150 g orange juice
2 tsp orange zest

1. Mix together sugar, cornstarch and salt in medium heavy bottomed sauce pot. Whisk in water and milk until combined.

2. Over medium heat bring mixture to boil. Temper in egg yolks(whisk some of the hot liquid into yolks, the return the mixture to the pot), and cook over medium low heat for 3 minutes, whisking constantly.
3. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, orange juice and zest. Pour into cooled pie shell.

Brown Sugar Meringue:

200 g brown sugar
40 g water
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
40 g granulated sugar

1. Place brown sugar and water in small heavy bottomed sauce pot and place over medium heat. In clean bowl of standing mixer, begin to whisk egg whites on medium low speed. As foam begins to form on whites, add cream of tartar and slowly rain in sugar. Continue to mix whites to frothy until sugar reaches 235 F.
2. Slowly pour hot mixture into whites and mix on medium high speed until stiff peaks. Mix on lower speed until meringue is cool.
3. Place meringue atop orange custard. Using a piping bag to create a rim of meringue around pie shell is helpful. Use rest of meringue to fill in center, completely covering the custard.
4. Place pie back into 350 F oven for 15 minutes. Remove and use a kitchen torch to brown meringue further if you wish. Let cool completely and enjoy.


Shaping the crust


Brown Sugar Orange Meringue



  1. Kat

    Sure Aaron. The Food Lover’s Companion defines pate sucree as “A French term for a rich, sweetened, short pastry used for desserts such as pies, tarts and filled cookies.” Basically this means pate sucree is a sweet dough that has a high ratio of butter(or fat) to flour. This makes it rich and crumbly, with a melt in your mouth texture. Hope that helps!

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