Florida Citrus Meringue Pie elevates the classic lemon meringue pie to new levels. With its sweet/tart lemon curd base and fluffy cloud-like meringue topping, lemon meringue pie is a classic American favorite dating back to the nineteenth century. In this version, the classic citrus flavor gets an extra punch from orange juice, plus the grated rinds of both peels. It’s a winner year-round as a cool dessert in summer or to bring a taste of Florida to the table during dreary winter months. Check out my notes below before you begin.
Florida Citrus Meringue Pie Recipe
Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
1 cup sugar
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup orange juice
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons sugar
Roll out pastry to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer pastry to pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Flute edges. Line unpricked pastry with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil.
Bake at 450 F. for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 5 to 7 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 350 F.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in water and orange juice until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer (mixture will be thick).
Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the lemon juice, butter, and lemon and orange peels. Pour into prepared crust.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread over hot filling, sealing edges to crust.
Bake at 350 F. for 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Yield: 8 servings
• Make your own homemade pie crust, or save time with pre-made from the refrigerated case in the market. It won’t be traditional, but you may also use a pre-made graham cracker crust.
• You will need 2 to 3 fresh medium lemons to get 1/2 cup of juice.
• You will need 2 to 3 fresh medium oranges to get 1 cup of juice.
• The juice content of citrus fruits varies widely, so I suggest buying at least one more than you think you will need. The excess can be used for garnish.
• Remove the grated zest before you juice the lemons and oranges, and set aside for later use. A microplane makes fast work of this chore, but a simple box grater will also work.
• Let the egg whites come to room temperature before beating to achieve a high-rising, fluffy meringue.
Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 350 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 115 mg cholesterol, 293 mg sodium, 57 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 4 g protein.
Recipe Source: Marlene Sanders, Paradise, Texas, as printed in “Taste of Home: Best Loved Recipes: 1485 Favorites from the World’s #1 Food & Entertaining Magazine” (Reader’s Digest)
Reprinted with express written permission.
Florida Citrus Meringue Pie Recipe Photo ©2019 Reader’s Digest