But with experience came better pies, and I was very pleased with how the three pies I made for Easter Sunday dinner at my grandma's came out. So on the Saturday before Easter, I collected the ingredients I'd need for the pies, and got to work.
The first pie I made was Tangerine Chiffon Pie from the April issue of Martha Stewart Living. Oh, how I love you Martha. This pie seems much more complicated to make than it actually is, and the end result was a light, fragrant, citrus dessert with a crust everyone seemed to really like. I'd definitely make this one again, and I think it's a great dessert for spring.
Tangerine Chiffon Pie
2 cups store-bought tangerine-orange juice blend (I used Tropicana from the dairy case)
3 cups finely ground store-bought shortbread cookies (about 12 ounces)
5 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it has reduced to about 1 cup, 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2.) Pulse cookies, 1 TBSP lemon zest, and 1/4 cup sugar in food processor until thoroughly combined. With processor running, add melted butter and process until combined. Press cookie mixture evenly into bottom, up sides, and onto rim of 10-inch pie plate.* Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
3.) Put lemon juice into a small bowl and sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together yolks, 1/2 cup cup sugar, the juice reduction, and the remaining 2 TSPs zest in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Do not let boil. Remove from heat, and add gelatin, and whisk until gelatin has dissolved completely.
4.) Transfer gelatin-egg yolk mixture to a large bowl. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cool and thick enough to hold a ribbon on surface, 25-30 minutes.
5.) Put egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks forms. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry peaks form. Fold egg-white mixture into gelatin-egg yolk mixture in 3 batches, folding until just combined after each addition. Pour into cooled crust, and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or overnight.I then decorated mine with a pastry bag and my new pastry-decorating tips I received for Christmas.
Serve and enjoy!
* I didn't have a 10-inch pie plate, so I used a 9-inch instead. If I were to make this again, I'd probably use maybe 10 ounces of cookies for the crust, instead of the full 12, since the crust was pretty thick in the smaller plate. Or, you could just press the extra crust into muffin cups, and fill with the extra filling (I had some leftover) to make mini pies.
Stay tuned for Nigella's Chocolate Cheesecake later this week!