For those like me at altitude, the word ‘meringue’ strikes fear in the heart of the most skilled baker. Meringues for us are a commitment and endurance test. Hang in and do it; the end result is worth it! If you choose to make this without fresh fruit, the original recipe specified a 1 pound can of pie cherries which is equivalent to 2 cups.
- 1 baked 9 or 10 inch pie crust (regular or gluten-free)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed Orange Juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel (zest)
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ½ cup Bing cherries, de-stemmed, pitted and sliced in half
- ½ cup blueberries, rinsed
- Bake pie crust and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In medium sauce pan, combine ½ cup of the sugar, cornstarch, water, orange juice and salt. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Allow to boil 1 minute, still stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in orange peel/zest and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
- Once mixture above is cooled, in the bowl of a standing mixer or using a handheld mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until beginning to foam. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat on medium-high until soft peaks form.
- With the mixer on high heat very gradually add another ½ cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- With the mixer on the lowest setting, gradually add the cooled sugar-cornstarch mixture until fully blended.
- Pour mixture into the prepared crust. Cover and place into the refrigerator to firmly set; at least 4 hours.
- In a medium bowl combine the cherries and blueberries. Sprinkle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and stir occasionally to coat with juices. Fruit can be left at room temperature or chilled.
- When filling is firm in the chilled pie, add almond extract to the berries, stir to combine and top the chilled pie with the berries using a slotted spoon to drain excess liquid before adding the fruit to the pie. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Sunset Magazine 1981 (M.V., Hillsboro Oregon)