Caramel Meringue Pie
- Prepare Baked Pastry Shell.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare Meringue for Pie.
- For filling: In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in half-and-half then dulce de leche. Cook and stir over medium-high 5 minutes or until thick and bubbly; reduce heat. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
- Gradually stir 1 cup hot mixture into egg yolks. Combine all in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.
- Beat meringue briefly with a mixer to refresh. Pour hot filling into baked pastry shell. Immediately spread meringue over filling, sealing to edge of pastry. Using the back of a spoon, swirl meringue to make peaks. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until meringue is golden and a thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Let cool on a wire rack 11/2 hours. Chill 3 to 6 hours before serving.
From the Test Kitchen
To measure the doneness of the meringue, insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the meringue, holding the thermometer at an angle.
Meringue for Pie
- Separate eggs; set aside yolks for pie filling. Place egg whites in a clean glass or copper bowl; let stand until room temperature. SECRET: Cold eggs separate more cleanly because the yolks are firmer and less likely to break. Room-temp whites are less viscous so they beat into a foam more quickly. Separate first, then let stand to reach room temp.
- In a 1-cup liquid measure whisk to combine the water and cornstarch. Microwave 45 to 60 seconds or until boiling, stirring once. Set aside. SECRET: Cornstarch stabilizes the meringue, helps prevent shrinking, lowers the chance of beading--those golden liquid droplets on the surface--and makes for smoother cut edges.
- Add vanilla and cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat with a mixer on medium 1 minute or until soft peaks form (tips curl). Add sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating on high. Gradually beat in the warm cornstarch mixture until stiff, glossy peaks form (tips stand straight). SECRET: Cream of tartar is an acid that helps egg whites expand and hold the foam structure.
Nutrition Facts (Meringue for Pie)
- Per serving:
- 62 kcal ,
- 0 g fat
- ( 0 g sat. fat ,
- 0 g polyunsaturated fat ,
- 0 g monounsaturated fat ),
- 0 mg chol. ,
- 28 mg sodium ,
- 14 g carb. ,
- 0 g fiber ,
- 13 g sugar ,
- 2 g pro.
Baked Pastry Shell
- In a bowl stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening and butter until pea size. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. water over part of the flour mixture; toss with a fork. Push moistened pastry to side of bowl. Repeat 1 Tbsp. at a time until mixture begins to come together. Gather pastry into a ball, kneading gently until it holds together.
- On a lightly floured surface, slightly flatten pastry. Roll pastry to form a 12-inch-diameter circle.
- Fold pastry circle into fourths; transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Unfold; ease pastry into plate without stretching it.
- Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Fold under extra pastry even with the plate's edge; crimp as desired.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prick bottom and sides of pastry. Line with a double thickness of foil. Bake 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 6 to 8 minutes more or until golden. Let cool on a wire rack.
From the Test Kitchen
Fit the pastry dough in a freezer-to-oven pie pan, slide the unbaked pastry shell and pan into a resealable freezer bag, and freeze up to 3 months. Bake as directed.
Nutrition Facts (Caramel Meringue Pie)
- Per serving:
- 407 kcal ,
- 18 g fat
- (8 g sat. fat ,
- 3 g polyunsaturated fat ,
- 6 g monounsaturated fat ),
- 117 mg chol. ,
- 260 mg sodium ,
- 55 g carb. ,
- 1 g fiber ,
- 32 g sugar ,
- 7 g pro.