grapefruit lime meringue pie

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.

I’ve made a few excellent versions in the past, flavored with blood orange and rhubarb.

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

{Original recipe}

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 road forest.



31 thoughts on “grapefruit lime meringue pie

  1. Key lime pie is one of my faves and can only imagine how much more amazing it is with grapefruit! Nicely done, especially with that fancy crust. I haven’t been brave enough to attempt my own baking recipe yet. (sad) The meringue looks like marshmallows! (happy)

    1. I just enjoy throwing random things in a bowl and seeing if it works!

      Sometimes (like with this crust), it does. Some other times (like as a child when I made ‘popsicles’ in a plastic toy horse mold with vinegar, honey, chocolate chips, etc.), it doesn’t.

      Happy smiling marshmallows, yeah! :)

  2. Yum! I still have your blood orange meringue pie on my list of things to bake, but that will have to wait til next year now. This version sounds great, although I’d have to let the pie sit a day or so to let the custard sweeten up. I haven’t gotten used to the bitterness of grapefruit just yet.

    Props on the rye crust! Adding hazelnuts is such an excellent idea.

    1. Interestingly, I think it was the limes that made this dessert as bitter as it was. I kept tasting the juice as I added more of the grapefruit, and it got noticeably sweeter. But then again, I’m a grapefruit fiend, and I could eat them until my mouth was riddled with sores (eew, why did I type that??).

      The crust was delicious! I’ll definitely be heading in that direction again.

    1. Your grapefruit cookies sound good, that’s for true. I would like to make them:)

      Even though I love my gluten, I’m sure it’s good for my body to seek alternatives and low-gluten options from time to time !

    1. I love citrus desserts too – there are endless options, and so many variations on a theme to explore ! And the tastes are so drastically different, too.

      You know what? I’ve never made a regular ol’ lemon meringue pie. That’s kind of silly:)

  3. Squeeeeee! I love meringue desserts and tangy desserts, so please, please can we make some sort of meringue pie when I’m in your country? Somehow? Even if we have to take over a hostel kitchen to do it? :P

    1. Psshaw, girl, of course we can make a meringue pie! If we really do get to meet up, I don’t think there will be anything that we can’t do!…. [cue dreamy but bold musical number]

      Hostel kitchens frighten me a bit, but only cause I’m shy. I’ll work on getting a bit more bossy:)

  4. This sounds SO cool. Am not the hugest grapefruit fan but just thinking about this I can almost taste it (in a good way!)

    If you get a Spice Girls poster for your bathroom I’d back you 100%! Will be good singing-in-the-shower inspiration, for one thing :)

    1. You could take this recipe in at least ten different directions to minimize the grapefruit component – or you could just reduce the zest to reduce the bitterness (if that’s what bothers you with grapefruit).

      I knew you’d back me and my Spice Girls poster dreams! My boyfriend’s not that into it, but it’s been discussed – – so in my mind, it’s in the works;)

  5. Wonderful looking pie!! Very creative crust…I must try it. And, let me know when Hannah visits…I want to sit and watch the two of you cook:-)

    1. Unless she lets you know first! Just kidding:)

      It’d be kind of creepy and unhelpful if you just sat and watched us cook though…. don’t you think? Still just kidding.

      Try the crust, and let me know how you like it. And I’m not kidding. Well, kind of! :P

      1. Actually, yes, it would be creepy and unhelpful(well, maybe not creepy), but it would be like reality TV, except that I would get to taste the results of all of the fun!

        1. And who doesn’t like a good dose of reality tv every now and then!

          You would most likely just be witness to heaps and heaps of giggling and singing;)

  6. This is beautiful and I am drooling. (Although, for some reason any time I see citrus my mouth fills with saliva…but this pushed it over the edge!) And I love the picture of all the zest in front of the pie. :)

    1. I know what you mean about the citrus – – I crave it majorly when there’s none at home (like todaaaaaaay).

      The pie definitely would have been a bit too sour if I had included all that zest !

And now I'd like to pass the mic / So you c'mon and do anything you like ...aka, Leave your reply.

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