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Blood Orange Butterscotch Meringue Pie

8 servings

2 hours

Adapted from Melissa Clark's Original Recipe on cooking.nytimes.com; Photo by Alex Lvrs

For the Crust:
    • All-purpose flour, for rolling out dough
    • Dough for 1 (9-inch) pie
Method for the Crust:
1. On a lightly floured surface, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll pie dough into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.
2. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan (not deep dish); fold the edges over and crimp them together.
3. Prick crust all over with a fork and chill in freezer for 30 minutes until frozen. Cover with plastic if freezing for longer than a few hours. Wrap crust well if keeping in freezer for up to a month.
4. Heat oven to 425°F.
5. Line chilled crust with foil and fill with pie weights or dried rice. Bake for 12 minutes.
6. Remove foil, lower oven temperature to 350°F, and bake until pale golden, 10-16 minutes longer.
7. Transfer to a rack to cool while you prepare the filling.
For the Filling:
    • 1 tsp. The Perfect Purée Orange Zest, thawed
    • Blood Orange mixture (dilute 1 cup The Perfect Purée Blood Orange Concentrate with 2 1/3 cups water)
    • 4 egg yolks (save whites for the meringue)
    • 1 large egg
    • 2/3 cup / 133 g. granulated sugar
    • 2 tbsp. / 30 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • Pinch of salt
    • 6 tbsp. / 85 g. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Method for the Filling:
1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, egg and sugar.
2. Stir in the blood orange mixture, lemon juice, Orange Zest and salt.
3. Add pieces of butter and cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat a spoon, about 7-9 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should register 180°F.
4. Inspect the filling: If you think there are any coagulated bits of egg, strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
5. Pour filling into pie crust and return to the oven to bake until filling is set (it should jiggle only slightly in the center), about 18-40 minutes. (Chef’s note: Pies prepared in glass and ceramic dishes can take much longer to bake than those prepared in metal dishes. Don’t give up: The curd will eventually set.)
6. Remove pie from oven and increase oven temperature to 400°F for baking the meringue.
For the Meringue:
    • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
    • 1 packed cup / 210 g. light brown sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
    • Pinch of salt
Method for the Meringue:
1. As the filling bakes, make the meringue. Fill a medium pot with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
2. Using a large metal bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt.
3. Set the bowl with the egg white mixture into the pot above the water, and whisk constantly by hand until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm (160°F on an instant thermometer) and has thickened and lightened in color, 5-7 minutes.
4. Remove bowl from heat.
5. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-low speed and gradually increase speed to high, until mixture is thick, fluffy and stiff peaks form, about 5-8 minutes. Be careful not to overbeat.
6. Spread the meringue over the hot filling, making sure it meets the edges of the crust. Using a knife or spatula, swirl in a design if you like, and bake until lightly browned, about 8-12 minutes.
7. Allow to cool completely and top with freshly grated orange zest before serving.