Maybe all-a-ya-all are still coming down from your holiday sugar highs, but except for a plate of cookies from a neighbor, I completely missed the holiday sugar train and was in the mood for something sweet last night. Besides, we’ve seen time and time again that sugar is a health food, so something sweet is the obvious thing to support the usual New Year’s resolution, right?
So I flipped through my collection of recipes culled from old Mormon magazines and found just the thing in a 1954 Improvement Era: Frozen Orange Juice Pie! “Frozen” matches the weather, “orange juice” sounds healthy, and “pie,” well, pie is pie. Except when it are squared, of course.
The recipe came from an advertisement for Sperry Drifted Snow Flour to be used in the pie crust. I just used my usual pie crust recipe, not reproduced here. Sorry, Sperry. We have enough drifted (well, crusted and grimy) snow on the ground outside.
Frozen Orange Juice Pie
Measure out and save 2 tablespoons juice from
1 can (6 oz.) frozen orange juice, undiluted
Place remaining juice in a saucepan and add –
1 can water (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons butter
Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, blend with a rotary beater until smooth –
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 can water (3/4 cup)
Then slowly stir into boiling liquid. Bring again to a boil and cook 2 or 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and thickened. Pour into –
a baked 9-inch pie shell
Let stand until filling is cool. Just before serving, spoon Orange Blossom Meringue in mounds around edge of pie. Place under broiler until meringue is a deep golden brown, about 1 minute. Watch carefully as this topping burns very quickly. It is best to serve this pie within an hour or two as this type meringue may “water” slightly upon long standing. 6 servings.
Orange Blossom Meringue
Measure into the top part of a double boiler –
2 egg whites, unbeaten
2 tablespoons undiluted frozen orange juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
Beat with rotary beater at high speed over boiling water for 2 minutes. Then remove from heat and continue beating 2 or 3 minutes longer until mixture forms soft peaks.
This was easy to make, and quick – well, maybe a little slow, using the double boiler, but I’ve learned from making lemon meringue pies that it really is safer to use a double boiler and avoid the easy scorching that can come with a filling like this. And, of course, this was very much like lemon meringue – but such a pretty color, and, as it turned out, with a stronger, fruitier flavor.
While it was cooling I googled to see whether this recipe or anything like it had survived the last 50+ years and discovered that there are thousands of “orange juice pies” out there – why haven’t any come under my pointed, whiskery nose before now? All of the recipes I looked at, though, were made with sweetened condensed milk or sour cream or other heavy dairy. While that sounded good, I really, really liked this lighter version. None of the recipes I looked at bothered to flavor the meringue with juice, either, another detail I really liked.
The recipe warns that the meringue should be made and browned just before serving because of a tendency toward watering. Yeah, the meringue this morning has separated a bit and doesn’t look very pretty at all. But will that stop me from having leftover pie for breakfast?
Nah. (Or, gnaw, gnaw, gnaw …)