Deep-Dish Pumpkin-Meringue Pie

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Room-temperature egg whites will produce the most voluminous meringue. For just the right texture, whip the whites until they hold stiff, glossy peaks–but keep the mixture still spreadable enough that you can make decorative swirls in it as you top the pie.

Deep-Dish Pumpkin-Meringue Pie

SERVINGS:10

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUST:
  • 1 small disk Pate Brisee
  • All-purpose flour, for surface
FOR THE FILLING:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
FOR THE MERINGUE:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 large egg whites, room temperature
Cook’s Note:
Pie can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Top with meringue just before serving.
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the crust: Roll out pate brisee to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Trim edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang; fold edges under and crimp as desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Line crust with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges just start to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment. Bake until crust is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Whisk together eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the nutmeg in a large bowl.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until center is set but still slightly wobbly, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pie plate set on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).
Just before serving, make the meringue: Combine granulated sugar and egg whites in the heatproof bowl of a mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer, and whisk on medium speed for 3 minutes. Raise speed to high, and whisk until stiff glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes more. Dollop meringue onto pie, and spread using a swirling motion.
Hold a small handheld kitchen torch at a 90-degree angle 3 to 4 inches from surface of meringue. Move flame back and forth until meringue starts to brown.
On average, two restaurants a week closed in the year to the end of March, including casual dining chains, as well as upmarket and independent establishments, according to the latest data from analysts CGA and corporate advisory firm AlixPartners. Graeme Smith, the managing director of AlixPartners, said he expected restaurant numbers to continue to drop throughout the year as large chains in particular slim down. There have already been high-profile closures by burger chain Byron, Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, the Prezzo Group and Sir Terence Conran’s Albion restaurants, but more large chains and independents are expected to suffer. “It’s easy to say this is a crisis in casual dining,” said Peter Martin at CGA. “This is a crisis happening for everyone.” Restaurants are suffering because the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote has made ingredients more expensive while staff costs have risen, partly due to increases in the minimum wage. Economic uncertainty has stalled growth in the sector just as competition has increased after a surge in openings partly fuelled by private equity investment.

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