Deliciously tangy Orange Meringue Pie recipe with an (optional) gluten free Lime and Walnut Pastry. A yummy twist on an old favourite. Optional dairy free.
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Orange Meringue Pie – a classic dessert with a little twist
Here’s my Orange Meringue Pie. It’s a delicious twist on the old lemon classic which was originally inspired by my attempts to ‘bake along’ with the Great British Bake Off. The particular challenge in question was for ‘Botanical Week’ and a signature ‘Citrus Meringue Pie’.
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good meringue pie. And this is by no means the first ‘twist’ I’ve made on the recipe. Search the Dessert Index and you’ll also find a stunningly-coloured (and very fruity) Raspberry Meringue Pie… And a seasonally delicious Rhubarb and Strawberry Meringue Pie…
I’ve also previously written about the history and origins of Meringue Pies, so head over and have a read if it’s something that interests you.
What is a Meringue Pie?
For anyone who hasn’t come across a meringue pie before… They comprise a crisp shortcrust pastry case which is filled with a tangy curd filling… all topped with a mallowy meringue that has a good crisp surface. While meringue pies are traditionally lemon in flavour, any good sharp flavour base in the curd works well… With ‘sour’ being the perfect ‘taste’ to offset the sugar-sweetness of the meringue.
For my Orange Meringue Pie (and because oranges are usually a little sweeter than lemons), a little lime juice has also been added to the mix. The lime brings the essential level of tartness for a perfectly tangy curd.
What’s the best pastry for Orange Meringue Pie?
Choosing the right pastry for an Orange Meringue Pie will depend on whether you want a plain pastry at the base, or a pastry with flavours that complement and enhance the filling.
Additionally, it will depend on whether you are gluten free or have other dietary needs. And further… Whether you want to make your own pastry or to take a shortcut and buy it ready-made.
Ready-made shortcrust pastry
Most supermarkets offer ready-made shortcrust for gluten eaters in the chiller cabinets. But if you are gluten free, the search may be a little harder. In the UK, Genius offer a frozen gluten free shortcrust pastry block which is also dairy free. Alternatively, many supermarkets now offer a dry mix to make shortcrust pastry dough in the ‘free from’ aisles.
Homemade shortcrust pastry
To be honest, when it comes to shortcrust pastry (gluten free or otherwise), it’s easy to make at home. And it tastes so much better than ready-made. Plus, you can be sure the ubiquitous palm oil isn’t sneaking in under your nose!
For the gluten free among us, I’ve written a super-helpful guide and recipe to making great basic gluten free shortcrust pastry. Perfect if you feel less confident. And full of tips and tricks.
Orange Meringue Pie with Lime and Walnut Pastry
The recipe shared here for my Orange Meringue Pie however, uses a delicious gluten free Lime and Walnut Shortcrust Pastry. It incorporates ground walnut into the pastry dough for a wonderfully earthy depth. Although not compulsory (it’s your pie after all), the walnut definitely enriches the flavour notes and pairs deliciously against the lime and orange.
And if you’re wondering about the lime in the pastry dough? I’ve found that adding a little citrus seems to help make gluten free rice-based dough more malleable. I have no idea whether there’s any scientific basis to the process. But this pastry rolled without a crack in sight and moulded into the pie-tin like a hand in a glove.
Be aware that gluten free pastry generally doesn’t have the same shrinkage when baked as found with glutenous pastry… So, I always trim it flush before baking, being fairly sure it will keep its size and shape.
Can Orange Meringue Pie be made dairy free?
Yes. Providing you make the usual and simple substitution of butter for a good-quality block alternative (such as Stork or Flora baking blocks), all elements of this Orange Meringue Pie recipe can be easily made dairy free.
Unfortunately, the recipe is heavily reliant on eggs, so cannot be made vegan or egg free.
What equipment do I need to make Orange Meringue Pie?
To make Orange Meringue Pie, you’ll need a few bits of kit.
Whether making your own or buying a ready-made pastry block, you’ll still need a rolling pin, some baking beans to blind-bake the pastry (dried beans have never worked as well for me)… And a loose-bottomed pie tin. I usually use a 9 inch (23 cm) tin, but feel free to go smaller… And/or make mini meringue pies in a mini tin.
Ready to make Orange Meringue Pie?
So… Here’s my recipe for Orange Meringue Pie. It’s a keeper! If you make it, I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment, tag me on social media with your yummy photos (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter). And don’t forget to star-rate the recipe (particularly if you loved it). It’s the easiest way to make sure other people find it on the search engines.
And if you love cooking and baking… there’s loads more recipes and bundles of inspiration where this came from! Check out our beautiful gluten free Recipe Book Index full of drool-worthy photos to help you choose.
Other sweet treats with orange on Gluten Free Alchemist
Orange Meringue Pie with Lime and Walnut Pastry (optional)
- non-stick pie tins
- oven + hob
- cling film
- flat-bladed knife
- sharp knife
Lime and Walnut Pastry (see NOTES for alternative recipe link)
- 130 g fine rice flour
- 60 g corn starch flour
- 40 g walnuts finely ground
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 110 g unsalted butter (or DF block alternative) cold & cubed
- 60 g golden caster sugar
- 1 lime – juice made up to 1½ tablespoons liquid with cold water + finely grated zest
- 1 large egg UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
Orange & Lime Curd Filling
- 3 to 4 large oranges – sieved juice total juice volume (with lime (below)) = 450 ml (use additional orange if needed)
- 2 limes – sieved juice see above note
- 45 g corn starch flour
- 150 g golden caster sugar
- 3 large egg yolks UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 40 g unsalted butter (or DF block alternative) cubed
- 4 large egg whites UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 215 g caster sugar
- Prepare your pie tin(s) – if you use non-stick, they won’t need any preparation, otherwise lightly flour the inside.
- Grind the walnuts in a blender if required.
- Weigh and mix together the flours, ground walnuts, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
- Rub the cold, cubed butter into the flour mix until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add and stir in the sugar and lime zest.
- Lightly beat the egg and add, with the lime juice (+ water if required), to the dry ingredients.
- Mix together with a flat-bladed knife until it comes together as a dough.
- Dust your hands with corn flour and gently but briefly knead the dough to ensure it is evenly blended.
- Do not chill the pastry dough if using straight away. (Or chill to use later, being sure to bring back to room temperature before rolling).
- Lay a large piece of cling film on your rolling surface and dust liberally with corn flour.
- Place your dough in the middle and flatten slightly.
- Dust the top of the pastry with a further sprinkling of flour.
- Roll the dough out to a thickness of about ½ cm. Re-flour if it starts to stick to either the rolling pin or cling film.
- With the support of the rolling pin, transfer the pastry to line the pie tin(s), gently easing into the base and up the sides with finger tips. (If necessary or easier, use the base-layer of clingfilm to flip the pastry over onto the tin, before moulding it gently in. If the pastry has stuck to the film, refrigerate for 20 minutes or so and the cling film should come away easily).
- Carefully trim the edges with a sharp knife.
- If there are any notable cracks or holes in the pastry base, take a small off-cut of rolled pastry and dampen the area around the hole before sticking the off-cut over. Smooth and seal the edges with a wet finger.
- Now chill the pastry in the fridge for about half an hour in the tins, to allow to rest.
- While chilling, pre-heat the oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
- Line the pastry cases with baking paper (that has been scrunched and then unfolded) and then fill with a layer of baking beans.
- Bake the pastry for 10 minutes with the baking beans before removing the beans.
- Bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes until the pastry is golden and dry.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Squeeze the oranges and limes and sieve the juice to remove any fibrous bits. You should have approximately 450 ml fruit juice. If you have less, top up with a little extra orange juice.
- Put the corn starch into a small bowl and add a little of the juice. Mix into a smooth, but quite liquid paste.
- Pour the rest of the fruit juice into a clean saucepan and add the sugar.
- Add the corn starch paste to the pan and stir well to combine.
- Gently heat the mixture, stirring continually, until the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer.
- Once thickened, remove from the heat and cool slightly.
- When cool enough (but still warm), add and beat in the egg yolks one at a time using an electric whisk.
- Lastly, add and beat in the cubed butter until well blended and smooth.
- Spoon the filling into the pastry case(s) and smooth the surface.
- Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the filling to set.
- While making the meringue, pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk in a large, very clean bowl until they form stiff peaks.
- Gradually add the sugar to the egg whites a little at a time, continuing to whisk vigorously until the meringue has a stiff, glossy appearance.
- Pipe or spoon the meringue onto the top of the tart(s), spreading to the pastry edge to seal.
- Place the tarts on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes until the meringue surface is crisp and golden. Check frequently while cooking to make sure the tops are not burning and turn the oven down slightly if you are concerned.
- Once baked, carefully remove the tart(s) from the tin(s).
- Eat warm or cold. Delicious with cream.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist