Cranberry and Orange Meringue Pie
My Cranberry and Orange Meringue Pie is a festive alternative to the classic lemon dessert. The pillowy meringue with its attractive golden top to make a showstopper dessert that is perfect for a winter dinner party or New Year celebrations. The orange curd filling is smooth, sweet and citrus with bursts of tart cranberry interspersed within it. I like a good thick layer of fluffy meringue on top so instead of wasting egg whites, as some meringue pie recipes do, I use all seven leftover from the pastry and curd to make a generous meringue.
Cranberry and Orange Meringue Pie Recipe
225g plain flour
110g unsalted butter, cold
80g caster sugar
1 free-range egg yolk
1–2tbsp chilled water
100g fairtrade caster sugar
2tbsp plain flour
3 oranges, zest and juice
6 free-range egg yolks
100g unsalted butter, melted
7 egg whites
300g caster sugar
1 Sift the flour into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces then rub it into the flour using the tips of your fingers. Continue until it has become a uniform, fine crumb. Shake the bowl to check if there are any larger lumps remaining, they will rise to the top. Stir in the sugar
2 Mix the egg yolk and water then add this to the mixture. Use a knife to combine the egg and add a little more water if needed to bring the pastry together. Use your hands to flatten the pastry into a disc, cover it in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
3 On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to about a 3mm thickness and use it to line a 22cm fluted loose-bottomed tart tin, leaving the excess pastry overhanging. Cover closely with cling film and chill for a further 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas 7.
4 Lightly pierce the base of the chilled pastry case with a fork. Crumple up a square of baking parchment and use it to line the pastry case. Fill the it with baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Then remove the baking parchment and beans and return to the oven for 5–7 minutes, until the pastry looks dry and sandy. Use a small sharp knife to trim away the excess pastry from the rim of the tart. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
5 Whilst the pastry is baking, make the orange curd. Mix the cornflour, flour and sugar in a saucepan. Stir in half of the water and beat with a whisk until smooth. Gradually add the other half, whilst whisking. Bring to the boil, then cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and mix in the orange juice and zest. Beat in the egg yolks, then stir in the melted butter and the cranberries. Set aside whilst making the meringue.
6 Whisk the egg whites in a freestanding mixer (or with a hand mixer) until they reach stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time whilst whisking on high until all combined and the meringue is glossy.
7 Pour the orange curd into the pastry case then pile the meringue on top. Spread the meringue to seal the edges along the rim of the pastry case and use your spatula to gently pull up bits of the meringue to form peaks all over the pie. Bake for 30 minutes until the meringue is crisp and lightly browned. Serve hot straight from the oven, or leave to cool then chill in the fridge to serve cold.
A thank you to my uncle, Paul, who took the photos of this cranberry and orange meringue pie when I made it for a family gathering a few years ago.