Pie #2: Persimmon Meringue Pie

I had such high hopes for this pie. I still think it can be an epic recipe! Persimmons. Meringue. To be honest, it tasted good but looked like, well…baby poop meringue pie. At least it was pretty before I cut into it:

At least the meringue was pretty.

This was my first meringue pie. I did a lot of research into meringue (you’ll see some of it over the next couple of days) and settled on adding both cornstarch and cream of tartar to my meringue. If I was making this pie to serve immediately (or even within a few hours) I would’ve just used one of those additions…or neither! I’d originally intended to bake this pie one day and transport it the next…dangerous for a meringue, I know. This pie didn’t end up leaving my apartment, as I don’t like feeding my friends food that looks like baby poop.
My problem was the curd. There are not many recipes for persimmon curd out there on the internet, or in any of my cookbook. I checked out a bunch of recipes for passionfruit curd and adjusted accordingly. Unfortunately, the persimmon’s bright color does not stand up well to cooking despite the addition of lemon juice. My first attempt turned resulted in this:

Perhaps if I call it 'cinnamon-persimmon curd'...

“Oh no,” I thought, “the cinnamon totally masked the pretty persimmon! So, despite the curd tasting AMAZING I tried again without the cinnamon and got this:

Persimmon's Progress (or not).

I’ll take the cinnamon, thanks! It was not only less reminiscent of poop, but tasted better. It’s back in the recipe.
Check out the recipe and send over some advice on how to bake with persimmons while maintaining their awesome color.

PERSIMMON MERINGUE PIE

1 9-inch pie crust baked blind

Persimmon Curd

3 large eggs

3 egg yolks

About 3/4 cup of sugar (adjust to taste and sweetness of fruit)

A pinch of salt

1 cup persimmon pulp pushed through a sieve or strainer

Juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger juice or ground ginger (optional)

1 stick/4 oz butter-cut into small chunks

Meringue

4 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)

1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

1/2 cup sugar (I used superfine, but you can use regular granulated stuff)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 250F and adjust your rack to the upper-middle position. Make sure all of your meringue items are ready to go. Time is of the essence with meringue, so you’ll want everything measured out and your egg whites already in a metal mixing bowl egg whites beat better at room temperature, anyway).

2. Place a large bowl over a saucepan filled with simmering water. Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt in the bowl. Now, whisk in persimmon pulp, lemon and spices. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture has thickened (about 20-25 minutes). You’ll know when it is done because your whisk will leave trails…trippy! Turn off the stove.

3. Take the bowl off of the saucepan and whisk the butter in one piece at a time. When it is all incorporated put the bowl back on the saucepan of water (with the heat off) to keep it warm.

4. Make the meringue: If using cornstarch place it in a small pan with three tablespoons of water and whisk over medium heat until it simmers and turns translucent. Remove from heat.

5. Now start beating your egg whites. Remember that once you start this step you really can’t stop. Once they turn frothy add the sugar and optional cream of tartar. When the meringue forms soft peaks (heh) add half of the cornstarch mixture (think of this as your meringue’s Viagra). Once that is incorporated add the rest and continue until you’ve got stiff peaks (heh).

6. Turn the heat on under your filling on and up to high for two or three minutes, mixing the filling until it is hot again. Then dump it in your pie shell. Immediately spoon your meringue on top of the filling starting around the edges. Go ahead and cover up all of the pie shell while your at it–you really want to make sure there is total coverage here otherwise the crust and meringue can pull apart from each other in the oven. . Then dump the rest of the meringue in the middle and slap it around with the back of a tablespoon to make a nicely messy meringue mountain.

7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until you reach your desired shade of golden brown. This is subjective, as some people just like the peaks browned while others go for golden all over. Cool until the pie is about room temperature and devour.

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1 Comment

Filed under 52 pies

One response to “Pie #2: Persimmon Meringue Pie

  1. Your Sister

    Next time you get persimmons, why not try this cocktail? It will give you something to drink while you bake pies.

    http://www.drinkoftheweek.com/blog/golden-gate-persimmon-cocktail/

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