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Meringue-Topped Pecan Custard Pie

I only use this recipe on special occasions. It's an amazing variation on the pecan pie everyone knows—the filling is a custardy delight, and the meringue gives the whole thing a lightness that's the perfect ending to a multi-course feast. —Therese Asche, Maple Grove, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 15 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    8 servings

Ingredients

  • Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups 2% milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • MERINGUE:
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar

Directions

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425° .
  • Line unpricked pastry with a double thickness of foil. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake on a lower oven rack until edges are light golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Remove foil and weights; bake until bottom is golden brown, 3-6 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven setting to 350°.
  • In a large heavy saucepan, mix sugar and flour. Whisk in milk and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans and vanilla.
  • For meringue, in a large bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form.
  • Transfer hot filling to crust. Spread meringue evenly over filling, sealing to edge of crust. Bake until meringue is golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.
Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches): Combine 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. salt; cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until crumbly. Gradually add 3-5 Tbsp. ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
Editor's Note
Let pie weights cool before storing. Beans and rice may be reused for pie weights, but not for cooking.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 522 calories, 33g fat (15g saturated fat), 126mg cholesterol, 272mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (32g sugars, 2g fiber), 8g protein.

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