Happy Pi(e) Day!

Yes, I’m a day late. Sorry. Maybe I’m just tired of the Ides of March getting a bad rap!

I have never made a pie of any sort before. What I really wanted to do was make a classic blueberry with a gorgeous crust…but then I saw a recipe for a Ginger Pumpkin Meringue Pie and I couldn’t ignore my taste buds’ craving for a fall dish. All I sought was a crust from scratch and a bit of a challenge (which would prove to come in the form of meringue), so settling on this was perfect. There are three parts to this, parceled out as such below:

Ginger Pumpkin Meringue Pie

Ginger snap-Graham Crust:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup finely crushed gingersnaps
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Directions
– Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine gingersnaps, graham crackers and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in butter.
– Spread evenly on bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
– Bake for four minutes and cool on a wire rack.

NOTE: It is entirely possible that this is of my own idiocy, but I had to double this crust recipe to get it to fit nicely into my 9-inch pie plate. There was a little left over, but what the hell, that was just more for me to snack on. 

Pie Fillng

 Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions
– Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (or, just keep it that way after making your crust).
– Combine pumpkin, sugar, ginger, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the eggs by lightly beating them in with a fork. Gradually stir in milk and maple syrup. Pour it all into the crust.

NOTE: PLEASE DO THIS NEXT STEP. I didn’t. Because I’m dumb. You’ll see how browned things became.

– To prevent the crust from over-browning, cover the edge of the pie plate with foil or this fancy cool pie shield that I am going to go out and buy this afternoon.
– Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.
– When it’s done, take it out and let it cool a bit, and lower the oven to 350 degrees so you can get to work on the meringue. Or time the meringue just right so it’s ready when the pie is.

This, my friends, is where I leave you. Alas, I tried the meringue  but it was not meringue-y. At all.

IMG_1940
So if anyone has any meringue tips, I would greatly appreciate it!

Brown Sugar Meringue

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

Directions
– Let the egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. To this, add vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add brown sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks (tips stand straight)
– Spread the meringue over the pie, seal to edge. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Loosely cover and refrigerate within 2 hours.

IMG_1936

Post-bake (and no crust protection!):

IMG_1941
This turned out to be utterly DELICIOUS. It was light and even though that crust looks hellishly burnt, it tasted just fine. I could have probably made a thicker crust along the bottom, but overall I’m super pleased.
20150315_133249
First pie = success. Next step – fancy crust!

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