The next, but not the last apple recipe was to take those tart apples and make apple meringue pie. I did not bother to try to find an actual recipe for this, but instead looked for lemon meringue pie recipe. The one I used as a reference was from Allrecipes.com. I wanted it to be mostly like lemon meringue pie in that I did not want to have pieces of apple. Looking it up now, I saw a recipe for apple meringue pie with apple pieces, which is odd because it will clash with the soft meringue topping. Therefore I wanted to make a smooth apple filling for the inside.
I still wanted to get the acidity to the pie filling, so I ended up adding lime. The acidity from the apples tends to diminish as it cooks, so the added lime helped with that. The tough part was getting the apples fine enough so that the mix would not be grainy. To liquefy the mix, I put the chopped apples in the food processor for a good 5-10 minutes. Since they were still raw at this point, the cooking process would also smooth it out. It worked out quite well.
The liquefied apple was mixed with the sugar, flour, corn starch, salt, and butter, then thrown in a sauce pan. Because I had not realized that I needed a pie crust by the end of the filling preparation, so I ended up cooking it, letting it cool while I made the pie crust, and then heating it up and cooking it again. This probably contributed to a smoother consistency as well as a more concentrated flavour.
I wanted to give it that vibrant red tint that I had obtained with the apple skin infusion, so I added a bit of red food colouring to try to give it that colour. After boiling that mix for a short time, the egg yolks were slowly integrated, and the cooking continued. It was challenging to determine how thick was thick enough. With the lemon meringue, it is more straightforward due to the more liquid consistency, but the apple sauce thickens the mix, so it is harder to determine when it is done. I kept it going until it was the equivalent of soft peaks (maybe like a slightly runny custard). Once the mix was done, it was poured directly into the cooked pie crust.
The last step was to make the meringue. The meringue itself is fairly easy to do, although I learned that when they say that you cannot have any yolk at all in the egg whites for the meringue, they are not kidding. If there is any yolk that falls in at all, you may as well just throw it away and start over (which is what I had to do). I found the 4 egg white meringue was a bit much for that size pie (9 inch), I think 2 would be too little, but 3 should be just right. It is a standard meringue, so whip the egg whites to soft peaks, add the sugar, then whip to stiff peaks. I ended up using most of the meringue, but it was a bit much. Alternatively, you can just use the 4 egg whites, put as much meringue as you want on top, and then just make meringue shells on the side with the remainder. You can be very creative with the shape of meringue on top of your pie, I just went with the pattern that emerged as I was putting it on.
Finally, after a short 10 minute bake in the oven at 350 F, the top was browned. I was concerned that the meringue was not fully cooked through, but after cutting in, it was good. It could have cooked a bit more, to stiffen it a bit more, but it was done. We ate it warm and it was mmm mmm good.
Apple Meringue Pie Recipe
- 1 Pie shell (9 inch)
- 2 cups of liquefied apples – about 4 cups of chopped apples
- 2 limes
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3 tbps cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 6 tbsp powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Take the apples, combine with the juice from the limes and process until it becomes as fine as possible (about 5 min). If you do not have a food processor, you could probably chop small and cook them, then crush them to get them fine enough. Mix in with the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Transfer to a medium sauce pan and heat until a boil over medium heat, mixing continuously. Add the solid butter to melt. Once well mixed, remove from heat. Add a bit of the sugar mixture slowly to the yolks to warm them up. If you add them too quickly it will scramble the eggs. Once it is all fully mixed, return to the heat and continue mixing until it thickens to a soft peaks consistency, like a slightly runny custard consistency. Once done, put directly into the bottom pie crust.
For the meringue, whip the eggs on high until soft peaks, add the sugar, then continue whipping until stiff peaks. Ideally, I think it would be better to wait until the filling has cooled down a bit before topping the pie with it. Mine was still warm, and it turned out fine, no melt or anything. Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, and seal to the edges of the crust. You can make whatever design you like with the meringue. Put it into the oven on the bottom rack. Once the top has browned to your liking, take it out (about 10 minutes).
Since the centre is not particularly hot, you can serve right away if you want to have it warm, otherwise you can let it cool before serving. Enjoy!
Let me know how it turns out for you! I think next time, I will try to make an apple trifle.