- Pastry for a 9-inch single-crust pie, store bought
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 cups evaporated milk, half-and-half, or milk
- 3 egg yolks, beaten well
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites
- 3 tbsp sugar
For pie crust:
1 Heat oven to 375°F.
2 Line a 9-inch pie pan with crust and then crimp the edges decoratively.
3 Line the pie crust with parchment paper or waxed paper. Fill it with dried beans or rice to keep the dough from shrinking and the sides from collapsing as it cooks.
4 Bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is very lightly browned and somewhat dry.
5 Remove the pie pan from the oven, and carefully lift out the parchment paper and rice or beans. Return the pie shell to the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until it is dry and evenly browned. Remove and cool.
For filling and meringue:
1 In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Use a fork or a whisk to mix them together. Add the milk to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until you have a thickened, smooth sauce. This takes about 10 minutes.
2 Place the egg yolks in a small bowl. Add about 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, stirring constantly as you pour the milk slowly into the bowl. Mix well. Pour the warmed egg yolks into the saucepan of sugar and milk, stirring constantly to help them mix in smoothly.
3 Cook 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring often, until the filling is thick and smooth. Remove it from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla, mixing everything evenly and well. Pour the filling into the baked pie crust and set aside.
4 For the meringue, heat the oven to 350°F. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and add the sugar gradually, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat the egg whites until the meringue is thick, shiny, and able to hold curly firm peaks.
5 Scoop the meringue onto the filling. Spread it out to seal the edges to the crust, mounding it up in the middle. Use the back of a spoon to swirl it up into curly shapes.
6 Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the meringue has turned a beautiful golden brown.
7 Place the pie on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let it cool. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve chilled.
Makes one 9" pie.
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Excerpted from Southern Pies. Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2010 by Nancie McDerrmott. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.