Introduction: Pi(4)2*Die(4) = Texas Ruby Red Pie
Texas grapefruit are big and juicy right now, and inspired me to create this red citrus twist on the traditional Key Lime pie. Creamy and sweet-tart, mounded with perfectly browned meringue- perfect for a Sunday brunch or a weekday dessert.
Step 1: Assemble the Ingredients
For the filling:
5 egg yolks
1 15 oz can of sweetened condensed milk (like Eagle Brand)
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1/2 cup fresh squeezed red grapefruit juice OR
for a more intense flavor, 1 cup of grapefruit juice, simmered over low heat until reduced to 1/2 cup
2 teaspoons grapefruit zest
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Rose's Grenadine syrup
pinch of salt
a drop or two of red food coloring (optional)
For the topping:
5 egg whites, room temperature ("old" eggs provide the better whites for meringue than really fresh eggs. It helps to leave the eggs out at room temperature for 12-24 hours before assembling your pie)
3/4 cup white sugar
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
Step 2: Prepare the Crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
Crush the graham crackers by placing one package in a paper sack and roll with a rolling pin OR roughly break up with your hands, place in a deep bowl and use an immersion blender to pulverize OR add crackers to a conventional blender or food processer. Do the same with the hazelnuts.
Toss the graham cracker crumbs, hazelnuts, brown sugar and melted butter in a bowl and blend thoroughly. Place the crumb mixture in a 9" pie pan and pat gently onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Brush away any loose crumbs (these may burn during baking).
Bake the pie shell at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Step 3: Mix the Filling
Separate the 5 eggs, being very careful to get no yolk in the whites. Put the whites in a clean, deep bowl, and set aside so they may come to room temperature.
Juice a large Ruby Red or Rio Star grapefruit; strain out any seeds or pulp. Set aside 1/2 cup of juice. Zest grapefruit, add 2 tsp of the zest to the juice..**on edit- I have made this pie twice more, and I find that you'll get a much more intense grapefruit flavor if you start with 1 full cup of freshly squeezed juice and simmer it until it reduces to 1/2 cup. This tends to eliminate the need for lemon juice for added tartness, as well.**
Place the yolks in a larger bowl and blend briefly with a hand or stand mixer. Add the sweetened condensed milk and sour cream, and blend briefly again. Add the grapefruit juice, and Grenadine - blend just long enough to thoroughly mix the ingredients. Do not over blend.
Taste the filling and adjust the tartness by adding the lemon juice one Tablespoon at a time until you are satisfied. with the level of acid.**Taste FIRST. Lemon juice may not be necessary if you have used reduced grapefruit juice** Add a drop or two of red food coloring if you wish to enhance the pink color of the filling. Blend just briefly again.
Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust and let pie sit for 10 minutes to set up. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 C) for 15 minutes. Take the pie out of the oven, assemble your meringue and top while the pie filling is still hot.
Step 4: Make the Meringue
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the room temperature egg whites on high speed until they form soft peaks. Slowly sprinkle in the sugar and continue to beat until the meringue is stiff, thick and glossy. Check to make sure the sugar is dissolved (meringue not gritty).
Spread meringue over the still-hot pie filling, making sure that meringue reaches past the filling to the pie pan to "seal" the edges and prevent shrinkage. Create peaks in the topping with the back of your spoon
Bake the pie at 350 degrees (175 C) for 8 to 10 minutes or until meringue is delicately browned.
Cool pie completely before serving (but do not place in refrigerator).
May also be served with whipped cream if preferred.
Grapefruit Pie- a trippy tropical treat!