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Cranberry Meringue Pie is the Perfect Holiday Dessert

Image for article titled Cranberry Meringue Pie Is the Perfect Holiday Dessert

Photo, AA Newton

Cranberries are often the only source of the precious, richness-cutting acid on the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables, which is why I have always insisted He they are on equally rich dessert table, too. This year, I finally gave in to a recurring pie-based intrusive idea: What if I made lemon meringue pie, but cranberry?

If you have a bag of Thanksgiving cranberries taking up freezer space, trust me: Cranberry Meringue Pie is their highest possible calling. (And if you don’t have leftovers, it’s worth taking an extra bag to make.) Your family and friends uh And Ahh Over beautiful swirls of bright magenta filling and toasted meringue — and they’ll only love it more when they take a bite. Tart, perky cranberry curd sets off the crisp, buttery crust and marshmallow Swiss meringue perfectly. It’s not like any ordinary holiday pie, and here’s why you should make it.

Best of all, Cranberry Meringue Pie isn’t at all difficult to make, especially considering the visually stunning final product. The filling is a simple, no-bake cranberry curd thickened with egg yolks and cornstarch; Just cook it on the stove, pour it into a prepared crust — or homemade if you’re fancy — and let it cool. A quick Swiss meringue with lots of vanilla and salt uses leftover egg whites and is sturdier than normal unbaked French meringue, so your pie will be gorgeous by the time the dessert course rolls around. Will see

Cranberry Meringue Pie

Image for article titled Cranberry Meringue Pie Is the Perfect Holiday Dessert

Photo, AA Newton

You can use any pre-made or homemade crust of your choice here. My go-to is Smoked Kitchen Extra-Flaky Pie Dough recipe (i make it in stand mixer), but a ritz cracker crust, Pretzel Crust, or even store-bought graham cracker crust will work great. Just be sure to bake it if necessary.

For stuffing:

  • 1 12-ounce bag whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons cold salted butter, cubed
  • 1 8- or 9-inch pie crust, any type, cross-baked if necessary

For Meringue:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup (135 g) granulated sugar
  • generous pinch of salt
  • Heavy splash of vanilla extract

To make filling, combine cranberries, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan with lid. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue boiling for 3-5 minutes, or until the cranberries have completely disintegrated and the mixture has become thick and sticky.

While cranberries cook, in a large mixing bowl whisk egg yolks and cornstarch. When cranberries are ready, strain contents of saucepan through a fine-mesh strainer into bowl of eggs and cornstarch. Shake and press the solids in the strainer until you’ve extracted as much liquid as possible, then pour whatever is at the bottom of the strainer into a bowl.

Whisk together the cranberry-egg-cornstarch mixture until well combined, pour it back into the saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook at a full boil for the full 3 minutes, while whisking. Finally, beat in the butter piece until it is fully incorporated and pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Cool on a rack at room temperature until no heat comes from the bottom of the pan, then refrigerate overnight (or about three hours if you’re on deadline and like to live dangerously).

To make the meringue, combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and place it in a small saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring with a flexible spatula, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is slightly frothy, then add the salt and vanilla and beat to stiff peaks. Top the cooled pie with the meringue in any pattern, toast with a culinary blowtorch or under a broiler and serve.

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