I’ve spent a lot of time lately daydreaming about a few things. Of how I want to buy a giant Spice Girls poster and hang it in my bathroom, for one. Of how if I meow back and forth with my cat frequently enough, I should probably discover true communication with her. And also, of potential flavor wow-ing combos for meringue pies.
However, I may enjoy this new creation the most : the tangy, slightly sour and bitter, but still sweet Grapefruit Lime Meringue Pie.
This filling is amazing. The lime juice brings tangy sourness and its zest brings a hit of bitterness. The grapefruit juice and zest are milder and sweeter, and successfully balance out the limes. Over time the custard sweetens, so that by its second day in the fridge, it is predominantly sweet.
In addition to pie filling daydreams, I’ve lately been experimenting with various flours. High gluten flour in pancakes [a smashing hit!], rice flour in tempura batter [not a huge success!], and for this recipe, a Rye Flour and Hazelnut Pie Crust [which I will now talk more about!].
Rye flour is high in protein and low in gluten, which I used to my advantage. As with other meringue pies, the pe crust must be blind-baked in this recipe. Normally, regardless of the amount of beans I pile onto my crust, the dough puffs up awkwardly and inevitably breaks in places, creating a poofy mess. Not so here: the low gluten content in rye flour means it has relatively weak rising powers. Win!
The crust reminded me a bit of linzer torte pastry dough. It was tenderly sweet and nutty, and was the perfect companion for the tart limey grapefruit custard and delicious pillowy meringue.
Grapefruit Lime Meringue Pie
Rye Flour and Hazelnut Pie Crust
1 c. rye flour
1/4 c. hazelnuts
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter
ice water (1-2 tbsp)
Pulse rye flour, hazelnuts, salt and sugar to combine in food processor. Add pieces of unsalted butted, mix well. Add ice water a few drops at a time, mixing just until ingredients begin to ball together.
Spray a pie plate with baking spray if desired – the crust is a bit sticky after baking, and while I didn’t do this step, I will next time. Roll dough out into a circle and press into pie plate (or just press it in by hand, as I did). Put in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Fill chilled pie shell with a circle of aluminum foil, and cover with dried beans or pie weights. Blind-bake for 25 minutes, remove beans and foil, and cook an additional three to five minutes until bottom appears cooked. Cool to room temperature.
Grapefruit Lime Custard
Zest of 1 grapefruit
Zest of 1 1/2 limes
Juice of 3 grapefruit
Juice of 2 limes
3/4 c. sugar
3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 c. hot water
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
In a sauté pan on medium-high heat, reduce grapefruit and lime juice to 3/4 cup, roughly half of it’s original volume. This will only take a few minutes; watch for the color to darken in hue. Set this juice aside in a small bowl to cool.
In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, cornstarch, salt and hot water to a boil, whisking frequently. When the mixture boils, it will change in consistency, and will look gloopy and viscous. Cooking, stirring continuously, 2 additional minutes.
Add egg yolks and 1 1/2 tbsp of zest to the cooled juice mixture. Temper eggs slowly with 1/2 cup of the hot sugar-cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly. Return pan to heat, and, whisking continuously, stir in the grapefruit-lime mixture. When all is mixed, add butter. Cook over medium-high heat for three to five minutes. Near the end of cooking, sift flour over mixture and whisk in well. When all is combined, turn off heat and allow to partially cool.
Mixture should be lump free. If so, pour into cooled crust. If not, strain into crust. Cool to room temperature, then place in fridge while making the meringue.
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp water
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 – 2 tsp grapefruit juice, if desired
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. Beat in cream of tartar until eggs reach soft peaks. Slowly add boiling hot sugar syrup in a thin stream, mixing constantly on medium speed. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
Add grapefruit juice, if desired, to give depth to the meringue. Note: This will reduce the meringue’s ability to remain stiff, but will taste nice !
Spoon or pipe meringue onto cooled pie. Leave no filling exposed.
With the broiler set on low, cook meringue until adequately browned. Remove promptly, and return to fridge.
Enjoy, as we here in northern Maine did, beside a fire created of freshly-split logs taken from the side of the