Spiced pumpkin pie with maple torched meringue

Spiced pumpkin pie with a torched meringue topping. Photograph: Donal Skehan

Spiced pumpkin pie with a torched meringue topping. Photograph: Donal Skehan

Fri, Nov 18, 2016, 12:00

   
  • Serves: 8
  • Cooking Time: 60 mins
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • Serves 6-8
  • For the pastry:
  • 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125g cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1-2 tbsp caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the filling:
  • 100g of sugar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 large thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 425g tin of Libby’s pumpkin puree
  • Half of a 397g tin of condensed milk
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the meringue frosting:
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Half tsp vanilla extract
  • Half tsp cream of tartar

Method

Inspired by the brilliant Brown Hound Bakery in Drogheda, this over the top pie is an all-American treat. The torched meringue isn’t completely necessary but will certainly add drama to proceedings should you choose to go all-in.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/gas four and grease a 22cm (9 inch) pie tin with a little butter.

Place the flour, butter and salt in a mixing bowl and using your finger tips rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Stir through the sugar and mix through two tablespoons of cold water. Press the mixture into a dough. Shape into a flat oval and cover with cling film. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes.

Roll the dough out on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour until it is roughly four millimetres in thickness. Transfer to the prepared pie tin. Prick the base of the pastry case and cover it with a sheet of parchment paper. Pour in baking some beans and place the tart tin on a baking sheet. Bake the pastry case for 10 minutes and then remove the baking beans and parchment paper and return the tart tin to the oven to continue to cook for a further five minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. While the pastry is cooking, mix together all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl.

Pour the filling into the prepared pastry case and place in the oven to bake at 180 degrees Celsius/gas four for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the pie comes out clean.

Allow the pie to cool completely before covering it with the meringue. To make the meringue, place the egg whites, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cream of tartar in a large, heatproof bowl sitting over a pan of gently simmering water. Using an electric whisk, beat on low until the sugar has dissolved completely (check with the back of a spoon against the bowl). Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to beat for six minutes until the mixture has transformed into soft and glossy peaks.

Pile a generous amount of the meringue frosting on the top of the pie and using a mini offset spatula swirl up into beautiful peaks. Use a blow torch to turn the peaks golden brown. Serve immediately, or within one to two hours. The meringue is an optional addition.