I bookmarked this the first time I flipped through the pages of Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts. Reason being, I love the cranberries in the pie and the lips-smacking meringue on the pie .... healthy and delicious... with the homemade cranberries compote ...simply mouth-watering! I love every bite of this mini pies packed with cranberries ! The meringue was browned all over but not burnt :p I left them in the oven and forgotten about them , while I attended to the washing up...thank God I remembered and got them out in time ! Anyway, they tasted DARN GOOD! I apologize to all my buddies and Piggy Cuz for not making more for them. These mini pies was our after meal dessert ! Best eaten the moment they are out of the oven :p I took 3 pieces , while watching the Korean dramas on Astro! The cranberry compote tasted so good and it makes the pies delicious with the meringue tops . Now I know what to do with the rest of the cranberries in the freezer !
I do not have a kitchen torch, so I placed them in the oven instead and alas, due to my forgetfulness they were left in the oven a wee bit longer than necessary, thus the golden browned top...LOL! Wild Boar warned me about multi-tasking while baking LOL! This is the result of multi tasking! This is my first time making meringue...the whites need to be whisk over a pot of boiling water. But I think I over whipped the white :p anyway I always believe in ' practice makes perfect ' policy...I swear I will do better the next time :)))) Making them was fun. Cranberry compote can be made days ahead and the pastry shells too. But for better presentation, as Martha advises, wait to top each with meringue until just before serving.
Cranberry Meringue Mini Pies - taken from Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts
I halved the recipe
All-purpose flour for dusting
1/2 recipe Pâte Sucrée, Citrus Variation
3 1/4 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups plus 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp finely grated blood orange zest plus 1/4 cup fresh blood orange juice * I used orange zest and juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 large egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
Making of Pâte Sucrée - Citrus variation
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour - add 2 tsp of finely grated orange zest and 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup or 2 sticks ( 226 oz ) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 -4 tbsp cold heavy cream or ice water
Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yolks and drizzle 2 tbsp cream evenly over mixture; pulse just until dough begins to come together, no more than 30 seconds. If dough is too dry, add remaining cream, 1 tbsp at a time, and pulse. Divide dough in half, pat each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months ( thaw in refrigerator before using )
Making the Cranberry Meringue Mini Pies
1. Preheat oven to 375F or 180C . On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out twelve 4 inch fluted rounds, and fit into cups of a standard 12 cup muffin tin ( not nonstick) Pierce bottom of shell in each cup with a fork. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
2. Line shells with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment. Bake until bottoms are just turning golden, 5 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks; let cool 5 minutes. Remove shells from tin; let cool completely.
3. Bring 2 cups cranberries, 1 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 sugar, and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer mixture, stirring occassionally, until cranberries burst, about 5 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve ( in batches, if necessary ); discard solids ( you should have about 1 3/4 cups; if you have less, add water )
4. Bring strained cranberry juice, 1/4 cup sugar, the zests, salt, cinnamon, cloves and remaining 1 1/4 cups cranberries to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer , stirring occassionally, until cranberries are soft but have not burst, about 3 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, combine cornstarch, orange juice, and remaining 1/4 cup water in a bowl; whisk into cranberry mixture in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring until translucent, 1 minute. Divide mixture among shells. Refrigerate until set, 1 hour or up to 1 day.
Making the Meringue
6. Whisk egg whites and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a heatproof bowl set over ( not in ) a pan of simmering water, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is hot to the touch. With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until foamy. Raise speed to high. Add cream of tartar, beat until medium glossy peaks form. Divide meringue evenly among pies.
7. Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown meringue peaks. Alternatively preheat broiler, and place pies under broiler for 30 seconds or up to a minute; watch carefully to ensure meringue doesn't burn. Serve immediately.