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 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.
- 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 eggs, divided
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- Zest of 1 medium orange
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Set pie pan with crust on a rimmed baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, beat together brown sugar, salt, 1 whole egg, 4 egg yolks (reserve whites), pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, cream, lemon zest and orange zest. Once mixture is smooth, pour into pie crust. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until center is barely set.
Remove from oven and increase temperature to 425 degrees.
To make meringue: In a large bowl combine the 4 reserved egg whites with cream of tartar. (Be sure egg whites are free of any trace of yolk and that the bowl is immaculately clean.) Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat whites on medium- high speed until foamy. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat.
Once sugar is incorporated, beat until stiff, shiny peaks form, a total of 6 to 7 minutes. Spoon meringue on top of the cooked pie, completely covering the surface, swirling to make peaks.
Return pie to oven and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until meringue is lightly browned.
Cool at room temperature before serving. Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 370 calories, 20 g total fat, 10 g saturated fat, 175 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 33 g sugar, 7 g protein