Lemons aren’t the only citrus worthy of a luscious tangy pie piled with a toasted layer of meringue. The brightness of naval oranges forms a delightful acidic counterbalance to pillowy sweet meringue—all on top of a flaky and buttery piecrust. The filling of the pie is made from the zest of two naval oranges, the juice of oranges and lemons, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and butter. The orange zest is packed with flavorful oils that mute any strong lemon flavor, so the lemon juice can add the proper tartness without overwhelming the orange taste. We temper the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolks into the warmed juice. Once heated, the cornstarch will thicken the mixture as the sugar dissolves to make an incredibly smooth and gelled orange custard. Stir the butter into the thickened mixture off of the heat to allow it to gently incorporate and make the filling that much richer and glossier. Our method for making meringue is a slow process but one that professionals use to prevent any meringue failures. The slow and prolonged incorporation of sugar into the beaten egg whites allows all of the sugar to dissolve, making a perfectly smooth and shiny meringue that sets beautifully after 15 minutes in the oven. 

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist
Orange Filling
Meringue

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out chilled pie dough to an 1/8-inch-thick circle. Place in 9-inch pie pan, fit to sides and trim edges leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under itself and pinch all around the perimeter to make crust edge. Crimp as desired. Line inside of pie pan with parchment paper and pour baking weights into lined crust. Bake for 20 minutes; remove pie weights and parchment paper, and bake for an additional 10 minutes until crust is lightly browned all over. Remove to cool slightly.

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  • Zest two of the oranges and place zest in medium-sized saucepan. Juice all oranges and lemons until you have 1 3/4 cups liquid (note: if you don’t get the full 1 3/4 cups juice, simply add water to make up for the missing liquid). Transfer juice to saucepan, add 1/4 cup of sugar to saucepan, and set aside.

  • In a bowl, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch. Add egg yolks and whisk vigorously until lightened in color, about 3 minutes.

  • Heat the saucepan with juice, zest, and sugar until just simmering. Remove from heat and slowly stream half of the warm juice into the egg yolk mixture while whisking. Once well incorporated and sugar is dissolved, pour this mixture back into the saucepan while whisking over medium heat. Continue whisking until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Whisk over heat for an additional minute after the mixture is thickened and boiling. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until melted and combined.

  • In a stand mixer, beat egg whites on power level 2 for 2 minutes before sprinkling in 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, beating for another 2 minutes. Add another 2 tablespoons of sugar, increase the speed to 4, and beat for another 2 minutes. Add another 2 tablespoons of sugar, increase speed to 6, and beat for another 2 minutes. Add final 2 tablespoons of sugar, increase speed to 8, and beat for a final 2 minutes.*

  • Transfer cooled Orange Filling to pie crust and spread evenly. Add Meringue to the top of the Filling and spread with a spoon, making decorative swooshes. Bake until Meringue has toasted, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Chef's Notes

This method of making meringue takes time but it allows all of the sugar to dissolve into the egg whites, helping to prevent some of the “weeping” of the meringue after it bakes.