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
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.
- 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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