If you’re looking for a dessert to wow those gathered around your Thanksgiving table, this pie will do the trick.
It takes a little effort, but it is definitely worth it!
baked pie crust
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 ¼ cups half-and-half
1/3 cup dulce de leche
4 egg yolks (leftover from meringue)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup granulated sugar
Bake pie crust and cool.
Prepare meringue. Start by separating the eggs, reserving the yolks for pie filling.
Place egg whites in a clean glass bowl and let stand until room temperature. Cold eggs tend to separate cleanly because the yolks are firmer. Egg whites at room temp will quickly beat into a lovely foam, hence the reason to separate them while cold then warm before beating.
Mix cornstarch and water together in a microwave-safe cup. Heat 30 seconds and stir. Heat an additional 30 seconds, or until boiling. Set aside. The addition of cornstarch to the meringue helps prevent shrinking and chases away those annoying droplets that can get into the pie filling.
Add vanilla and cream of tartar to egg whites. The cream of tartar helps egg whites expand and hold the foam structure.
Beat with a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. At the soft peak stage, egg whites will slide around in the bowl if it’s tilted.
Add sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating on high. Add warm cornstarch mixture, a little at a time, until incorporated and stiff, glossy peaks form. At this point, if you hold up a beater, meringue should stand straight out on it.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a heavy saucepan. Add in half-and-half then dulce de leche. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring to blend ingredients, for five minutes, or until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to medium and cook two additional minutes while continuing to stir. Remove from heat. Gradually combine one cup of the mixture into the egg yolks, stirring to blend as you temper the eggs. Add egg mixture to saucepan ingredients and return to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook two more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, set aside.
Beat meringue for a few seconds to refresh.
Pour hot filling into the pastry shell then immediately top with meringue, sealing to edge of the pastry. Using the back of a spoon, swirl meringue to make peaks, if desired.
Bake 20-25 minutes until meringue is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for an hour. Chill at least three hours before serving.
Yields: 8 servings
Find more recipes like this one along with holiday traditions and more in A Cowboy Christmas!