When winter rolls around, forget treating your loved ones to a gift under the tree—instead, focus on a present inside the oven. The fluffy, light meringue puts a delightful twist on your traditional pumpkin pie. The infusion of warm spices and classic pumpkin filling will keep this dessert on your mind for seasons to come.
—Alexa Diaz, Baked contributing writer. Follow Alexa on Twitter @alexalucina.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
• Refrigerated pie crust
• ¼ cup heavy cream, for glazing
For the pumpkin pie filling:
• 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin purée
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1½ cups heavy cream
For the meringue:
• 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
• ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
• A pinch of salt
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a clean, lightly-floured surface, flatten dough into a 10-inch circle using a floured rolling pin. Place it in a 9-inch pie pan. Use your thumb and index finger to crimp the edges of the pie shell and lightly brush them with heavy cream. Set aside while you make the filling.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine the pumpkin purée and eggs until mixed. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Mix the ingredients, scraping the bowl down several times. Add the heavy cream and mix again, until all ingredients combine.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Bake the pumpkin pie for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the filling is firm in the middle but still soft to the touch. Transfer the pie to a wire cooling rack and let cool for at least two hours.
- When the pumpkin pie has finished cooling, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat the egg whites until they create a foam. Add the cream of tartar and salt and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds. It should be light and fluffy. (To test it, insert a spatula into the mixture and quickly pull it out. If it forms little peaks but does not fall, you have achieved the desired consistency.)
- Place the meringue on top of the pie, forming a mound of meringue over the center of the filling. Use a spatula to pat and lift it across the top of the pie, forming peaks.
- Place the pumpkin pie on the middle oven rack and bake for 10 minutes, or until the peaks of the meringue are slightly toasted. Serve.
This story was originally featured in Baked’s Fall 2014 issue. To read more, click here.