Plaquemine Parish Orange Meringue Pie

Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 8 Servings

When the Spanish arrived in Louisiana in 1762 to take control of New Orleans from the French, they brought with them numerous products new to the Gulf region: coffee, chocolate, hot peppers, and our citrus industry. St. Bernard and Plaquemine Parish are home to our orange. Mandarin, cumquat and satsuma crop and I must say, it's some of the best in the country. Enjoy this twist on a lemon meringue pie.


1 and 1/4 cups fresh orange juice, divided
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup cornstarch
4 eggs, separated and beaten
1 and 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup cold water
2 tbsps butter
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 (9-inch) baked pie shell


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk 1/4 cup orange juice, orange zest, cornstarch, egg yolks and 1 and 1/4 cups sugar. When well-blended, add remaining orange juice and water and whisk well to incorporate all ingredients. Pour contents of bowl into a saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk continuously until mixture starts to bubble and thicken. NOTE: Be careful not to overcook egg mixture. If the heat is too high it will cause the eggs to scramble and become lumpy. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in butter. Pour pie filling into pie shell. Set aside to cool slightly. In bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue to whisk until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. NOTE: It is important to whisk meringue until there are no visible signs of sugar, otherwise the meringue will weep after sitting for a few hours. Using a tablespoon, drop dollops of meringue on top of pie beginning at outer edge of pie and working toward the center. Continue this process until pie is completely covered. If meringue is allowed to adhere to pie crust, it will not shrink during baking. Place pie on center rack of oven and bake 10 minutes or until peaks are lightly browned. Remove from oven, allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to serve. This pie is best when refrigerated overnight.