This Satsuma Meringue Pie tastes like sunshine, and is easy to make. It’s a lovely winter pie, but is tasty and adaptable – you could substitute lemons, blood oranges, or grapefruit for the satsumas!
Ten Years of Pie
I first had this pie over ten years ago, when I was in New Orleans just after Christmas. It was, in fact, just after Christmas and just after Katrina. The entire city was quite literally a disaster area, with cars still perched precariously in the tops of trees, where the floodwaters had left them, and the neutral ground, the median to everyone not from New Orleans, littered with refrigerators full of rotten food, mold, and fungus.
There was hardly anything open.
It seemed, at times, that there was hardly anything left.
I was there to help gut a house, for a friend of my friends. It was grueling work. There is something intensely and immensely satisfying, though, about tearing down a house. I am not a strong girl, and physical labor is NOT my thing.
But I swung a sledge hammer.
I swung a sledge hammer at walls and watched them crumple. I then piled the rubble into wheelbarrows and carted load after load out to the neutral ground. I remember thinking it was better not to stop.
Because every time I would pause to change my blackened mask, or take a drink of water, the ache would begin to settle in my muscles. And the enormity of what we were doing, of what had happened to the city I loved, but did not yet know well, would sink in.
I will never forget those three days.
How quickly that house came down. How hard, and yet how satisfying the work was. How strange an electric that time out of time seemed.
And also breakfast.
Because I am who I am and food is almost always where my head is at, I remember starting that first day with a slice of satsuma meringue pie that my friend Nancy had made.
I’d never had satsumas before, and I didn’t know exactly what they were. Pie for breakfast though? Any day that starts that way is a win in my book.
Satsumas, I learned, are basically a mandarin orange.
Small, sweet, and perfectly juicy.
I bit into that pie and it was a revelation. It tasted like sunshine.
What follows is my adaptation.
I have never really made a lot of meringue pies, but I have to say I am a fan of this one, and I have this feeling that meringue, and meringue pies, are IN in 2018.
Another thing I realized is that the base of a lemon, or in this case satsuma, pie, is basically curd. I wrote here about how strange and wonderful I find fruit curds. The combination, here, of the sweet citrus base and the light, fluffy, ethereally sweet meringue is blissful.
I highly recommend this satsuma meringue pie.
It’s lovely with coffee, or with after dinner drinks as well.
Tools I Use
Of course, making meringue is easier if you have a stand mixer, but you can also make it with a hand mixer like this one as well. I just love to watch egg whites turn into meringue!
I also recommend using a glass pie plate like this one. This isn’t a deep dish pie, so a basic pie plate is all you need, and glass makes it easier to slice the pie out for this one. I find this pie shield invaluable! And you’ll also want to grab a set of pie weights – check out the recipe details for why these are necessary!
For this pie, I also used my Easy Flaky Buttery Pie Crust recipe.
Satsuma Meringue Pie
- 1 Whole Pie Crust, Unbaked
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Cornstarch
- 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Satsuma Juice - About 4 Satsumas, Juiced
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice - about half of one lemon I use Meyer Lemons, but you may use any kind.
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 4 Eggs Seaparated
- 4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into one tablespoon size pats/chunks.
- 1 Teaspoon Grated Satsuma Zest
- 1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Zest
- 1/2 Cup White Sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place pie weights or dried beans in bottom of pie crust. This is done to keep the bottom of the crust from bubbling up too much and will keep the bottom nice and even. Wrap the sides with tin foil, or use a pie shield like this one.
- Bake pie crust about ten minutes. Then remove the shield and weights and bake a few minutes more until it is lightly golden brown on the edges.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the 3/4 cup of sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
- Mix in the satsuma juice, Meyer lemon juice, and water. Bring the sauce pan to medium heat.
- Add in the four egg yolks, and stir until the mixture becomes thicker and starts to bubble.
- Remove from heat, and stir in grated satsuma and lemon zest.
- Spread in the bottom of the pie crust, and set aside to let it come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl whisk together the 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
- Begin beating your egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl using a hand mixer.
- When egg whites are starting to become foamy, slowly add in the sugar/cream of tartar mixture a tablespoon or so at a time until it is all incorporated.
- Turn the mixer up to high speed, and continue beating until stiff peaks begin to form.
- Spread the meringue over the pie leaving no gaps between the meringue and the edges of the pie.
- Bake in preheated oven until topping is lightly toasted/light golden brown. It takes about 14-18 minutes.
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Well, this is quite a pie! I’ve never heard of satsuma, but I am very familiar with mandarins — and I love citrus pies… My Mom has a calamandin orange tree in her backyard and we’ve started to experiment with the fruit. YUM!
HI Lisa – Satsumas were imported into New Orleans (after WWII I think) but they are so sweet and tasty they are spreading. It’s a very popular New Orleans fruit though and I look forward to fresh ones every winter! You could absolutely sub mandarins, or Meyer Lemons for a more traditional meringue pie. Those calamandins though – I’m envious!
Loving the mile high meringue, girl. Fantastic story, too.
Thanks Teri! 🙂
I love a different take on a meringue pie. I’ll have to see what kind of fruit is available to try something similar.
Hi Donald! Thank you 🙂 I think Meyer Lemons are available pretty much everywhere these days and would make a tasty substitute. Mandarin oranges too would work, and even regular oranges. Let me know if you try it!
This looks so perfect. I am going to try this out soon.
Thanks Kushi! Let me know what you think.
I think you summed up the recipe to a tee. It looks and tastes like sunshine. I would love to grab a LARGE slice of your satsuma pie.
Thanks Charla! I would share it with you right now if I could 🙂
I love satsumas! They’re so delicious and I love how easily they peel. Must have been such a hard time in New Orleans, but sounds like you did a cool and difficult project there — and this pie must have been such a yummy reward.
Thanks Valentina! It was a strange time. But the pie was definitely a nice reward!
Hmmm, don’t think I’ve ever had Satsumas! Now I’m intrigued! And what a great way to try them. Can’t beat pie!
Hi Lisa! They are fabulous. Similiar to a mandarin, they are SUPER common in New Orleans and Louisiana. This is their season! Supposedly they were imported from Japan.
This pie looks FABULOUS! It looks like sunshine too 🙂
I’m always ready for pie, no matter what pie it is! This one looks super good!
Thank you! 🙂
I have been eating so many mandarins/satumas this season I need to start cooking with them and this pie will be in my future.
Hi Janette! They are soooo good aren’t they?
This is a great story for a great recipe! Thank you for sharing both!
Hi Jillian! Thank you 🙂