Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Empty Pie Plate

My mom tried to let me off the hook for promising to make her a pineapple pie for her birthday, but I wouldn’t let her. I have been craving this pie for months, but just haven’t had the right chance to make one, so we compromised, she made the crust and I did the filling and the meringue. She worked her strength and I worked mine.

This pie has a special place in my heart and taste buds. It is not only rich and creamy, it has chunks of pineapple creating a tangy contrast and neat texture and then there is the meringue, I’m a sucker for good meringue.

It is one of my grandmother’s recipes and I have tweaked it enough to make it mine now. I have taken my version to a holiday potluck only to be urged by one of my friends to rush to the dessert table to taste the pineapple pie, there was only one piece left, and she knew that it was something I would love. She knows me pretty well, I guess, since I had made it because I adore it. I did return to the dessert table later in the evening, there were heaps of chocolates, fancy layer cakes, and traditional holiday diet-destructors and in the center of it all was my empty pie plate. There is no greater compliment that anyone could pay to this pineapple pie.

Baked pie crust
1 1/2 c hot soy or goat’s milk
½ c sugar
½ tsp salt
2 Tbs cornstarch
3 eggs, separated
1 slightly heaped cup drained crushed pineapple
½ tsp vanilla
6 tbs sugar for meringue
¼ tsp salt for meringue

Mix sugar, ½ tsp salt and cornstarch in a double boiler (a saucepan if you are really careful and stir constantly). Add milk. Cook until thickened.

Place egg yolks in a small bowl, beat them, add a Tbs of milk mixture and beat quickly, repeat until yolks are hot and can be added to the pan without making poached scrambled eggs. Cook until mixture is thick.
Add pineapple and vanilla.
Pour into crust.

Make meringue
Beat egg whites until they make soft peaks, add salt (if using) and sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.

Spread on the pie and bake at 400º for 10 minutes or until the peaks are lightly browned. Thoroughly chill.

Make a pot of tea and enjoy your pie!

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