For the last few weeks I have been doing the elimination challenges from MasterChef and this week’s challenge was a lemon meringue pie without using lemon. I know, don’t ask. Dumb challenge. But I immediately knew I wanted to make a grapefruit meringue pie. I adore the taste of grapefruit in my mixed drinks, so why not in a pie? I thought I would do a play on the typical lemon meringue by using a curd filling instead of a cornstarch filling. I used this recipe by Ina and just substituted the grapefruit for the lemon and I only used one cup of sugar because I think Ina puts in way too much sweetener. For the rest of the pie I used this recipe because it is my go-to for both the crust and the meringue. I use this crust for every pie and quiche I make- I just don’t use the graham cracker crumbles and if I am making something savory I omit the sugar. I swear this is a fool-proof crust recipe but you have to know that it still takes practice to get it right. I have made this at least 20 times and I don’t always get it perfect. Crusts are tricky but this recipe is by far my favorite.
The Perfect Pie Crust
Start by cubing up 6 Tbsp butter and then put them in the freezer until everything is ready to go. Also cut 4 Tbsp veggie shorting into cubes and place in freezer. I keep my shorting in the freezer all the time.
Combine 1.25 cup flour, 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to get everything mixed together.
You will be needing 4-5 Tbsp of ice water so get that ready to go.
Now it is time to mix in the butter. Take your butter out of the freezer and scatter around the flour mixture. Pulse 4 times. Then add your shortening and pulse in short bursts until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal.
That looks pretty good. This took maybe 20 pulses.
I couldn’t take a picture while adding the water because I use both hands- one to drop the water in slowly and the other to pulse. This crust took 5 Tbsp of water. I made a crust a few days later and it only took 4.5 Tbsp of water. I find the liquid to be the most difficult part of making a pie. I squeezed some of the mixture in my hand to show you it should easily stick together and not crumble, but the mixture should also not be very wet and sticky.
Here is what my food processor container looked like after I dumped the mixture out onto some plastic wrap. Notice there are almost no crumbs and just a tiny bit of moisture. That is what you are looking for.
Here is what the crust looks like right out of the bowl, and then I form it into a patty and wrap in plastic. This rests in the fridge for 30 minutes.
For some reason I always have a difficult time rolling out pie crusts unless I line my counter top with either parchment or plastic wrap. I also cover the top of the pie with plastic or parchment. It just seems to keep the crust for sticking so easily and I don’t have to use as much flour.
I had to show off my pretty rolling pin! (here)
When you place the rolled out crust into the pie pan, make sure not to stretch the crust because it will shrink. Also notice the large tear? Easily fixed.
I just patched it with a piece of crust. Make sure prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. This will keep the pie from getting bubbles like a pizza crust.
Now you can bake the pie for 20 minutes at 375 F. Don’t let the edges brown too much because you will be baking the pie again once everything is filled in.
Grapefruit Curd Filling
While the shell is baking, you can make the curd. To start you cream the butter, sugar together.
Then add the eggs one at a time. Finally add the grapefruit juice and zest.
Pour the mixture into a sauce pan and cook over medium low heat while constantly stirring until mixture thickens. The recipe says 10 minutes, but I wish I had only let it cook for about 8 minutes- I kinda felt it was overcooked, but maybe I am being too picky. Let that sit in the pot until the crust is finished and your meringue is made.
How To Make The Meringue Topping
To make the meringue you are going to start by cooking up a slurry of 1 Tbsp cornstarch and 1/3 cup water and then cook until thickened. This doesn’t take very long- maybe 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring or it will be lumpy.
Next take your 4 egg whites and mix them in a blender until frothy. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Keep beating.
Slowly add your sugar and cream of tarter. Then add your cornstarch mixture one spoonful at a time.
Your meringue should have soft peaks. This is over whipped, but still tasted fine. It just wouldn’t make those nice peaks you see on a typical meringue pie.
Making The Grapefruit Meringue Pie
1) Take your prebaked pie shell out of the oven. 2) Fill it with the grapefruit curd. 3) Top with the meringue. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes until top is golden brown. Let the pie cool completely and then serve.
You can see I cut my pie before it was totally cool and it was kind of messy. Still tasted good!
And there you have The Glamorous Housewife’s grapefruit meringue pie.
Grapefruit Meringue Pie Recipe
6 Tbsp butter cut into cubes and put in the freezer
4Tbsp veggie shortening also cut into cubes and frozen
1.25 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4-5 Tbsp ice water
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix everything together. Add your frozen butter and pulse 4 times. Then add your shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles course cornmeal. Slowly add water one Tbsp at a time while pulsing. Once mixture comes together stop and squeeze to make sure everything sticks together but isn’t too sticky. Dump onto a sheet of plastic wrap, form a disk and then let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pie crust and place in pie pan. Prick bottom of crust all over with a fork and then bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Don’t let edges get too brown.
2 red grapefruits
1 cup sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
4 extra large eggs
pinch of salt
Zest the grapefruits until it reaches 1/4 cup of zest then squeeze the grapefruits intil you get 1/2 cup of juice. Cream together the butter and the sugar and pinch of salt. Slowly add the eggs and then the zest and juice. Pour mixture into a saucepan and cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes until thickened. Make sure you are constantly stirring the mixture- you don’t want scrambled eggs!
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cook the cornstarch and water together until thickened then remove from heat. Beat egg whites until frothy then add the extract. Slowly beat in the sugar and cream of tartar. Then drop in the cornstarch mixture one spoonful at a time until mixture can make hard peaks.
Fill the pie shell with the curd then carefully place the meringue on top starting at the edges and working toward the center. Bake at 325 F for 20 minutes until golden brown. Let the pie cool down and then serve.
For more meringue pies and treats, check out these posts: