Meringue Topped Cranberry Curd Pie

The world didn’t end, so let’s celebrate another year of my existence!

Now, my grudge against the Mayans for predicting the end of the world right before my birthday aside (quite inconsiderate of them), I am always up for celebrating anything, especially when that celebration will include dessert.  The traditional birthday celebration usually ends with cake, but I am a pie lover through and through.  And I may have made a fruitcake and a fancy layer cake for the upcoming Christmas festivities.

Besides being a pie lover, I am also a cranberry lover.  The cranberry curd comes out slightly sweetened and tart- and it is a beautiful holiday red color.  The curd is poured into a graham cracker crust, my personal favorite, and topped with meringue just to be fancy.  The meringue is absolutely divine, a nice light and fluffy topping.  Just watch it carefully while broiling- as you can see from my pie it can change in an instant.

Adapted from Cooking Light

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Cranberry Curd:
12 ounces cranberries
1 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup water, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter, softened

For the Meringue:
3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water


For the Crust:

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Grease a 9 inch pie pan.

In a bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, salt, sugar, and butter.  Stir together until moist and mixture clumps together.  Pour into pie pan and press into an even layer.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown.  Cool completely.

For the Cranberry Curd:

In a large saucepan over medium heat combine cranberries, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract..  Cook for 10 minutes, until cranberries begin to burst and mixture boils.  In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup cornstarch, and 2 egg yolks.  Whisk together until smooth.  Temper the egg mixture by adding approximately 1 cup of cranberry mixture while whisking constantly.  Pour egg mixture into pan while whisking constantly.  Cook over medium heat until the filling reaches 160°F, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in butter.  Pour mixture through sieve, straining out the cranberry skins.  Run through food processor until smooth.  Pour filling into crust.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill.

For the Meringue:

Preheat the broiler.

In a large bowl combine egg whites and 1/8 teaspoon salt.  Beat at high speed with mixer until soft peaks form.  In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 238°F.  Gradually pour hot syrup into egg white mixture while beating until stiff peaks form.  Transfer meringue to a piping bag and pipe on top of pie.  Broil for 30-60 seconds, or until lightly browned.  Serve immediately.

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