I used a premade crust for this, baked at 400 F for 18 minutes until crisp and golden-brown.
Juice of 4-5 blood oranges (about 2/3 cup)
Juice of 2 Meyer Lemons (about 1/3 cup)
4 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/3 c sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten
zest of one blood orange peel
4 egg whites
1/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Curd is best made in a double boiler, but I don't always do this. If you choose to cook it directly, you will have to stand and stir all the time!
Reserve 1/3 cup of the juice. To the rest of the juice, add enough water to dilute it to 1 1/2 cups.
In a pan, whisk together the sugar, flour, and cornstarch. Slowly pour in the diluted juice, and continue to stir occasionally as it comes to a boil. Once it reaches the boil, reduce the heat and continue to whisk until the curd is very thick and becomes clear (note: clear is not colorless, as my chemistry professor emphasized). Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly.
Whisk together the reserved juice, the zest of the peel, and the four egg yolks. Then whisk this mixture into the curd, continue whisking until it is well combined. Pour into the pre-baked pie shell. Set aside while you make the meringue. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
In a very clean bowl (there must be no oils or the meringue will fail) place the four egg whites. Use a stand mixer, or a hand mixer, begin to beat the egg whites until they are very frothy. Sprinkle in the sugar slowly, then the cream of tartar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks hold their shape when the whisk is removed from the bowl, only falling over a little at the very top.
Spoon the meringue onto the curd, making sure it touches the crust to seal in the filling. You could pipe it in for very pretty shapes, but I rarely bother with this step! Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, until the peaks are a golden brown. Watch carefully! The meringue will burn quickly.
Remove to a rack, and allow to cool. The cooler the pie, the firmer the curd. Do not place in refrigerator if you don't have to, as the meringue will soften and sweat.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who is a fan of blood oranges. And I know there was some excitement on my social media when I made a comment about being sad I couldn’t make this Blood Orange Meringue Pie on Pi Day – just no time. But this weekend, a few days late, I carved the time out of my spring cleaning to give it a whirl.
I was sure it would work. Not only are Blood Oranges a brighter, tarter citrus flavor than navel oranges, they have enough color to make the curd portion of the pie a pretty color. What I wasn’t sure of was my proportions. Lemon juice packs a lot more acidic flavor pop than Blood Orange. Add to that, I was working off the framework of a lemon meringue pie recipe from my venerable Fannie Farmer cookbook, and it looked like it didn’t use enough juice. So I played with that.
And it worked. Nicely! I loved the flavor. I regretted cutting it too soon, but it was either that, or pie for breakfast. So the curd was still soft. But next time I could add another tablespoon of cornstarch and solve that little issue. Or just leave it as-is, if I don’t care about the perfect congealed pie slice. Sometimes it’s more about flavor than it is looks.