Making the Pastry Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 190°C
- Unroll the defrosted pastry sheet.
- Do not roll pastry out or press down with fingers.
- Using a 23 cm round pie dish, cut out a circle from the pastry that is 5 cm bigger than the top of the pie dish – keep the off-cuts
- Drape the pastry over the dish.
- With your finger tips, press the pastry well into the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish.
- Trim the edges.
- With a small circular cutter, cut 1 cm circles from the off-cuts and place them around the edge of the pie top.
- Prick the bottom of the pastry shell with a fork
- Line the pastry with tinfoil, pushing well into the bottom.
- Half-fill with beans or raw rice.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until pastry is golden brown
- Remove from oven and remove the tinfoil and beans / rice
- Allow to stand and cool.
Making the Filling:
- Separate the white and yolk of 3 of the eggs. Keep the egg whites for the meringue topping.
- Beat the 3 egg yolks and 3 whole eggs until mixed.
- Add the sugar, fresh cranberries and water to a heavy saucepan.
- Simmer on low heat just until cranberries pop – 5 to 7 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Stir in the butter.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the egg.
- Place back on low heat and cook until the curd is thick – 4 to 6 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Spoon the curd into the pastry shell and chill in fridge until the meringue is ready.
Making the Italian Meringue:
- Heat the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved.
- Boil without stirring until the syrup reaches the hard ball stage.
Hard ball stage is 120°C on sugar thermometer or
- Take a small spoonful and let cool for a few seconds. Take a little bit of the syrup and roll between thumb and forefinger. If it forms a firm, pliable ball it is ready.
- While the syrup is cooking, place the egg whites in metal bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form when the beater is lifted.
- Gradually pour the hot syrup into the egg whites, while constantly beating.
TAKE CARE: Be sure to pour the syrup directly into the egg whites so that it does not stick to the side of the bowl!
- Continue beating until the meringue is cool and stiff – 5 minutes.
TAKE CARE: This mixture will separate if it is left to stand – continue with pie making and grilling as soon as it is done!
Making the Pie:
- Set the oven rack 7.5 cm from the grill – second shelf on standard oven.
- Heat the grill of the oven.
- Remove the pastry shell and curd from the fridge.
- Spread the meringue over the filing – use a fork to decorate the meringue with a pattern.
- Grill the pie until golden brown
- TAKE CARE: Browning will occur very quickly – 1 to 2 minutes. Do not burn the meringue!
- Remove and allow to cool.