My mother read me many books when I was a child. She read me Pat the Bunny. It was an “interactive” book and I still remember what the page of scented flowers smelled like. She read me biographies of heroes gone before. But one of my favorite choices was a book called Amelia Bedelia. In this book the very literal, very eager, new housekeeper-Amelia, makes a lemon meringue pie. The house was in disarray thanks to her literal take of the instructions she was given, but in spite of the chicken wearing clothes and the lightbulbs on the clothesline she had made a pie, a perfect pie, and that was all that mattered.
Life will never fail to disappoint, but pie will always be there to pick us back up.
I dropped the first crust I made for this pie and it fell to the floor in a crumbled mess. I then reluctantly returned to the food processor and made another.
At the end of all the mistakes, I came out a bit more patient, jeans a bit tighter and smile a bit wider because I learned something.
This is what makes a beautiful life.
Amelia Bedelia may not have known what she was teaching her uptight employers that day, but I believe she reminded them of what matters. She helped them to forget about dusty furniture and fancy hand towels so that they could remember to love their life.
This pie has been filled with orange custard and topped with fluffy meringue. An orange meringue pie…it just feels like spring. Wishing you a beautiful weekend…
Recipe: Orange Meringue Pie
for the crust:
recipe adapted from Baking At Home
-1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
-1/4 cup ice water
In the work bowl of your food processor, pulse to combine flour and salt. Add cubed butter and pulse several times, until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Slowly drizzle in ice water while continuing to pulse. Add only enough water to form a rough dough. Turn the dough out unto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to shape a round. Wrap in parchment and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
for the filling:
recipe adapted from Baking by James Peterson
-3 large eggs
-2/3 cup granulated sugar
-3/4 cup heavy cream
-1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
-1 teaspoon orange zest
In a medium bowl beat eggs and sugar for about 2 minutes, until the mixture has turned pale yellow. Beat in cream, orange zest, and orange juice.
for the meringue:
-4 eggs whites
-1/4 cup sugar
-pinch of cream of tartar
In a medium bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar. Add sugar very slowly while continuing to beat until stiff peaks have formed.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pie crust. While the dough chills prepare orange custard. After the dough has chilled, roll out on a floured surface and form into pie pan. Use the tines of a fork to puncture several rows of holes into the bottom of the crust. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the dough-lined pan and fill with enough dried beans or pie weights to come up the sides. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove pie weights and allow the crust to cool before filling with custard. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or until the custard has set and no longer jiggles when moved. Allow to cool to room temperature before topping with meringue. Then replace the pie to the oven and bake until the meringue has browned. Refrigerate for one hour before serving. Enjoy!