Pineapple Pie with Brown Sugar Meringue? It just kinda happened to me. See, I was in need of a recipe to use up my egg whites after making this. So I did what I do when I need to think through a big decision: I hitched Oliver into his harness, laced up my sneakers, and hit the seawall. Loping along the dusty trail that flanks the Vancouver shoreline, my thoughts darted through all the important things I had to consider. Like pavlova... and dacquoise... and homemade marshmallows... and seven-minute frosting. But all I really wanted to become of those whites was a pile of soft, billowy meringue to top something gooey. So I moved on to the next important decision. What kind of gooey did I want to sit beneath my meringue? (Yes, this really IS what I think about while I run - call it the carrot that drives the horse).
It struck me that a refreshingly tangy pineapple curd tucked into a buttery graham cracker crust would accomplish the task admirably. So I scampered my way back home, de-harnassed the dog, whipped up a crust and a creamy pineapple filling. I used canned pineapple chunks as a base, whirled with their juice in the food processor to a puree. I then whisked it together with several egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch on the stove to make a thick, fruity custard. The filling was poured into my pre-baked graham cracker crust, mounded high with meringue, and baked until golden. Swapping brown sugar for white in the meringue complemented the sweet, southern feel and the end product was charming in very sunbathed-island way. A perfect balance of sweet and tart, with a creamy, sunshine filling and a pillowy, golden topping.
A perfect solution for leftover whites, right? Except for the glitch you may have caught... That creamy pineapple filling, in all its feelgood, glowing, tropical glory - used yolks! Which means, once again, I am left to ponder what to do with leftover whites. I guess it's a good reason to go for another run, eh? Com'on Oliver, let's get your harness...
Creamy Pineapple Pie with Brown Sugar Meringue
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie plate. Mix together the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir to combine. Press mixture evenly into prepared pie plate. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool.
2. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
Creamy Pineapple Filling:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups canned pineapple and juice, pureed *Pour chunks along with juice into measuring cup to 2 cup mark, then puree.
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add yolks and pineapple puree, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and bubbles, about 8 minutes. Stir in vanilla and any leftover pineapple chunks.
2. Pour mixture into prepared crust.
Brown Sugar Meringue:
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1. Put egg whites and cream of tarter in bowl of electric mixer. Beat on high until soft peaks form. Slowly add brown sugar, beating until stiff.
2. Pile meringue on top of warm filling, making sure to spread it right to the edges. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Cool at least one hour, then refrigerate.