This Thanksgiving pie is deliciously deceptive. Until you cut into it, it looks like your classic lemon meringue pie, piled high with billows of whipped and toasted egg whites. But once the knife slices through that sweet topping, the real deal is revealed. Hidden under the meringue is a classic pumpkin pie spiked with just a hint of citrus.
This pie is best made the day you plan to serve it, then held at room temperature. But if you'd rather get a jump on things, prepare the pumpkin pie base the day before, then cover and refrigerate. The day you plan to serve it, uncover it, use paper towels to pat dry the top, then proceed with the meringue steps.
Citrus pumpkin meringue pie
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (20 minutes active)
1 prepared (raw) pie crust, homemade or purchased
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 eggs, divided
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup heavy cream
Zest of 1 medium lemon
Zest of 1 medium orange
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Heat the oven to 325 F. If the pie crust is not already in a pie pan, set it in a 9-inch pie pan and crimp the edges. Set the pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, beat together the brown sugar, salt, 1 whole egg, 4 egg yolks (reserve the whites for later), pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, cream, lemon zest and orange zest. Once the mixture is smooth, pour into the prepared pie crust and transfer to the oven to bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the center of the pie is just barely set. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 425 F.
To make the meringue, in a large bowl combine the 4 reserved egg whites with the cream of tartar. It is very important that the egg whites be free from any trace of yolk and that the bowl be immaculately clean. Use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat on medium-high until foamy. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat.
Once the sugar is all incorporated, beat until stiff, shiny peaks form, a total of 6 to 7 minutes. Dollop the meringue on the top of the cooked pie, completely covering the surface, swirling to make peaks. Return the pie to the oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned. Allow to cool at room temperature before serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 370 calories; 180 calories from fat (49 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (10 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 175 mg cholesterol; 270 mg sodium; 46 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 33 g sugar; 7 g protein.