Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
We have our first show of Nutcracker tonight, so unfortunately for my stomach, I'll be dancing as a snowflake and a golden flower instead of following tradition and eating until I'm so full that I actually have to lie down.
I will all the while be dreaming of the übermoist turkey, the stuffing, and of course the pecan pie that I'm hoping will be sending you, dear reader, in to your #Thanksgivingcoma.
Of course there's no time - or space in my costume - for a sit-down dinner tonight, but who's to say I can't celebrate regardless? I refuse to miss Thanksgiving.
So in the true spirit of Thanksgiving, I've baked this tasty treat to share with my wonderful friends and colleagues instead.
I wanted to create something to highlight my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal - cranberry sauce - and that's how this cranberry meringue pie came to be.
I decided to make a meringue pie because I love lemon meringue pie, and the tart cranberries are the perfect autumnal substitute.
I've tried to keep it as simple as possible, because I know how stressful Thanksgiving can be.
First of all, I've used a biscuit-base because you and I both know that there's no clean counter space on Thanksgiving for rolling out pie dough. Secondly I've replaced the 'cream of tartar' found in most meringue recipes with a 1/2 lemon rubbed on the inside of the bowl and whisk(s) because no one actually has cream of tartar or knows what it's called in German*. Lastly, cranberry sauce sets quickly, so you don't have to wait around for ages before shoving your face into this pie and devouring it.
*that may well only apply to me.
Follow the recipe, and you'll be experiencing #madnomz real soon. But please don't accidentally knock the flower junk on to your pie before eating it haphazardly like I did.
My reasoning was: If koalas can eat Eucalyptus I can eat Eucalyptus too...
Good call? I'll let you be the judge of that.
Cranberry Meringue Pie
*Makes 1 9-inch pie* for the base: 300 g speculoos cookies or any other cookie you prefer, finely crushed 125 g melted butter for the cranberry sauce: 250 g cranberries, about 3 cups 100 g brown sugar, 1 cup zest and juice of two oranges 1 vanilla pod, split open 1 cinnamon stick 1 star anise 5 cloves 3 green cardamom pods 1/4 nutmeg, grated for the meringue: 4 egg whites, room temperature 100 g white sugar, 1 cup 125 ml water, 1/2 cup half of a lemon
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F.
Combine the cookie crumbs and the butter. It should be the texture of wet sand. Pour the biscuit mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and press the base into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, combine all of the ingredients for the cranberry sauce. The spices can go in whole.
Heat the mixture over a medium/high heat until all of the berries have popped and the sauce has thickened slightly. The sauce will continue to thicken when it cools.
Pass the cranberry sauce through a sieve.
By this point your pie base should be out of the oven. Let the pie base cool down before pouring the cranberry mixture in and spreading it evenly over the base.
Set a pot with the water and sugar over a high heat. Bring to the boil. Swirl the mixture by moving the pot around, but don't stir.
Whisk the egg whites in a bowl rubbed with half of a lemon until you get soft peaks. They should only slightly hold their shape.
When the sugar syrup has slightly thickened and the bubbles become really big, remove the pot from the heat and slowly add the syrup to the whisked egg whites whilst continuing to whisk simultaneously. Try to keep a steady stream of syrup and pour on to the side of the bowl to slightly cool the syrup so you don't overheat the eggs.
Continue whisking until you have stiff peaks - when you feel comfortable holding the bowl upside-down over your head. Marvel at the fact that you've just made Italian meringue.
Top your cranberry pie with spoonfuls of meringue. Place the pie under the broiler for 2-3 minutes whilst watching it to prevent burning, or use a blow torch if you're fancy like that.
Let cool for as long as you can resist.
Instagram [#ballerinachef] and enjoy!
Gobble, gobble, gobble.
© 2014 The Ballerina Chef