Monday, August 18, 2014

Citrus Cloud Pie

Everyone has been talking about school starting unusually early this year. Even so, it was a major shock when the school bus showed up on Friday morning. It could only mean one thing – summer is rapidly coming to an end, even if most of the tomatoes aren't ripe yet.

It dawned on me that we never had our summertime favorite – lemon meringue pie. I knew why, though. While I love the sweet tartness of the lemon filling, it has become too sour or acidic for my mom. She looks forward to lemon meringue pie but then only eats a bite or two before pronouncing it too sour. So I switched up the recipe a little bit for her.

I reduced the amount of lemon by half and added orange juice to cut some of the sour flavor. Because orange juice is sweeter, I also reduced the amount of sugar by 1/4 cup. To thin it a little bit, I mixed 1 cup of the meringue into the filling, and I added 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to cut the acidity.

Did it work? It tastes great. It's not a lemon meringue pie but there's still a nice citrusy thing going on. I added a little orange juice to the graham cracker pie crust as well, a trick that worked out great. It doesn't taste very orangey but it made the crust nicely manageable.

Not too long ago, I read an old recipe that suggested spooning meringue in a circle around the edge for a fancier presentation. It's a nice change. I think we have to call this something like Citrus Cloud Pie.

Citrus Cloud Pie

Pie Crust

10 sheets honey graham crackers
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the graham crackers and the sugar in a food processor and chop until very fine. Add the oil and pulse until well mixed. Add the orange juice and pulse. It should stick together somewhat.

Press into a 9" pie pan and bake 10 minutes.


1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water

1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Meringue (Clouds)

4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar

Mix the 1/3 cup water with the cornstarch until it's smooth. Add the sugar, 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil and add the cornstarch. Stir constantly until it becomes thick and clear. Remove from heat.

Whisk the eggs lightly, add the lemon juice and orange juice and mix well. Stirring, pour in a bit of the warm cornstarch mixture, then add the egg mixture to the pot. Stir while it comes to a boil again. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. When it has melted, add the cream and stir. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 325.

Add the 1/4 teaspoon salt to the egg whites and beat. When it begins to froth, slowly add the sugar. Beat until the sugar has dissolved and it holds a peak. Add 1 cup of the meringue to the lemon filling and stir until completely combined. Pour into baked pie shell. Using a large cooking spoon, ladle the meringue around the edge of the pie in clouds. Smooth a bit with your finger. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow time to cool and set before serving.


  1. It's so beautiful Krista--that could win a contest!!

    1. LOL! I wish! But it is pretty and so easy to do!

  2. Oh boy! This looks out of this world, Krista! I love the changes you made suited your mom too.



    1. Thanks, Mary Jane. I think she likes it. I might need to add more cream . . .

  3. Isn't this a fun recipe. What a nice way to switch it up, and how nice of you to accommodate your mom. So sweet!

    Daryl / Avery

    1. We all try to bake things our friends and family will like. After all, we want them to eat what we cook!

  4. What a gorgeous pie, Krista. The meringue cloud makes me want to dive right in, and the flavor twist is great, switching it up for folks who find straight lemon pie too tart, fantastic. As for summer, we're feeling cooler nights here in NYC, and my nephew is packing up this week for his first year of college - we're so proud of him! Yes, fall is definitely in the wings!

    ~ Cleo

    1. Colleges aways start so early. It's a sign that fall is almost here, Cleo. I hope he loves his college experience!

  5. I love citrus flavors and this pie looks just absolutely irresistable.

    1. Thank you, Sue! That old recipe was right about the cloud dressing it up. I hope you'll enjoy it if you try baking it!