Adding some lemon juice keeps it from being too sweet, and the fresh orange sections provide a nice change of texture—a treat in the midst of creaminess.
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
4 eggs, separated (whites will be used in meringue)
4 TB butter, cut into small pieces
1-2 tsp grated orange rind
Optional: cut up pieces of fresh orange
Organize your ingredients
• Have all ingredients at hand before you start.
• Grate the orange rind before squeezing the orange.
• Before you start to cook, separate the eggs and cut up the butter.
Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan, off the heat. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, and water and stir with a whisk. Add the egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is well blended and of uniform color.
Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. The mixture will thicken and start to bubble. It should be thick enough so that it holds its shape when you stir it.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and rind. The mixture will be thick and yellowy-orange. Stir in the cut up pieces of orange.
Pour the mixture into a baked pie crust and cover it with plastic wrap to keep a skin from forming on top.
4 egg whites
1 TB cornstarch
1 TB sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place oven rack in the middle. (Hint—the meringue will be tall, so make sure it won’t hit the top of the oven!)
In a small pan, combine the cornstarch, 1 TB sugar, and water. Cook for several minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken and become translucent. Cool.
Beat the egg whites until frothy, then add the vanilla, cream of tartar, and 1/2 cup sugar. Beat until foamy. Add the cornstarch mixture and continue beating until the meringue forms soft peaks; if you lift some with a spoon or spatula, it should form a peak that stands up. The meringue will also look shiny.
Remove the plastic wrap from the pie and spread the meringue over the filling. Start by spreading it around the edges, being sure to seal the edges of the crust. Pile the meringue into the middle of the pie and make some decorative swirls with your spatula. There will be a lot of meringue!
Bake for about 20-25 minutes. The meringue should be lightly browned. Check it frequently for the last 5-10 minutes to make sure the peaks don’t burn.
Tips from Jane
• The number of oranges you will need depends on how large and juicy they are. It usually takes me about two.
• Orange skin is softer than lemon skin and harder to grate. The amount of rind isn’t critical—just use what you have. If you don’t have fresh oranges but are using packaged juice, just leave out the rind.
• The cut up pieces of fresh orange provide a little tang and variety in the texture. If you prefer a creamy pie, leave them out, but I find them fun.