Today begins a spontaneous meringue week!
You know those weeks when you accidentally, somehow ended up with too many eggs in your fridge? Just me? Welp, I need to use them, and I always can practice my meringue skills.
I wanted to create a meringue pie that was luxurious, enormous, and also a little unusual. Hence the delightful flavor combination of this grapefruit and black pepper pie. The fresh ground black pepper adds a surprising kick to the bitterness of the grapefruit, and the entire pie is lightened by the sweetness and airiness of the meringue.
I wanted a break from the usual lemon meringue, and I've always liked savory and sweet combos. But I was entirely surprised and ecstatic when the pie in my head actually existed in the world, and was gorgeous to boot. I used the recipe from an interview with the owners of Sister Pie, a bakery in Detroit.
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cold and cubed
Zest of 1 grapefruit
1 stick of butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs whole
2 eggs yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
black pepper, for garnish
Make the pie:
- With a food processor or a pastry cutter, mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the cubes of butter and pulse/mix until there are no pieces larger than peas.
- Gradually add the water (you will not need to use it all) until the dough just comes together. Drop onto a floured surface and gently pat together. Separate the dough into two disks about 1 inch thick. Wrap with cling film and store in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Roll out the pie dough and fit into an 11'' tart tin. Poke holes in the crust and place in the freezer for 20 minutes
- After the pie crust is set, blind bake it for 10 minutes, then remove the weights and bake 5 minutes on its own. While this is going on, you can make the filling:
Make the filling:
- Place the sugar and zest in a bowl, and massage with your fingers until it is the consistency of wet sand.
- Add melted butter, cornmeal, honey, and salt, then whisk till combined. Gently whisk in the eggs, yolk, cream, black pepper, or citrus juices.
- When the pie crust has baked, carefully brush with eggs whites lightly on the inside. Then add the filling. Turn down the oven to 325 F, and place the pie carefully back in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, till the center is set and jiggly. While it's baking make the meringue:
Make the meringue:
- In a large bowl, whip the eggs and salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar slowly, continue to beat until the sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form.
- When the pie has baked, place the meringue directly onto the hot filling. Turn the oven up to 450 F, and bake the pie for another 5-10 minutes, until the meringue is a golden brown.
- Allow the pie to cool completely. Sprinkle with black pepper as desired, and enjoy!
And there you go! Fluffy, crusty, peppery goodness!
I've always liked grapefruit, so I was pleased as punch about this pie. It was just weird enough, sweet, enough, and it's quite the looker.
What a cutie.