Pie fail




This is an appeal to the people of Florida, to rescue their famous dish from the slander that is about to follow…  

While writing my way through a giant stack of vintage postcards for the thousand postcard project, I came across this wonderfully lurid recipe-card from the 1960s or 70s. The children and I decided we had to give it a try before sending it on (it ultimately went to my cousin in the UK – it was 68 of 1000).

After all, I figured, “Orange meringue pie. I like oranges, I like lemon meringue pie, this is going to be delicious!”)

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

Maybe it’s my fault. I’m not much of a baker. Or maybe it’s the postcard’s fault. The instructions were pretty vague and, never having tasted this pie before, I didn’t really know what flavours I was supposed to be going for. 

Whoever or whatever is to blame, this pie tasted like orange-flavoured cough-syrup. Only gelatinous. And nuclear reactive in colour. 

So, dear People Of Florida, how is this pie supposed to taste? What did I do wrong? And do you have a better recipe for me to try? 

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ps. For anyone not from Florida who is brave enough to try this (WHYYYYY???), the ingredients are on the front of the postcard that you see pictured here. The method, printed on the back, was as follows:

Combine orange juice, sections, grated rind, sugar and cornstarch. Cook on low heat until clear. Add a little hot mixture to beaten egg yolks. Return to hot mixture and cook about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Blend in lemon juice, butter or margarine. Pour into baked pie shell. Be sure filling and shell are both hot or both cold. Cover filling with meringue. Bake in 350° oven until lightly browned.

There were no instructions for the pastry or meringue, so you’ll just have to wing those bits. Tell me how you go!

Your comments make my day

  1. Naomi, wow you tried it. I was about to get the ingredients over the weekend plus the pie base. I was really intrigued to see if it would work out. It sounded a little interesting with the orange segments and cornflour. Hmm now I might just go by your recommendation and pictures. Your pie certainly looks so much more appealing than the postcard! Thanks for sending it. Lyrian

  2. I’m from Texas, not Florida, and have never made any kind of meringue pie, but I’d be suspicious of any recipe calling for 5 tbsp of cornstarch!

    I had hoped to find a similar recipe from Cook’s Country, and found a copy of their lemon meringue recipe on this website: http://lapiestory.blogspot.com/2015/10/mile-high-lemon-meringue-pie.html. The key might be the rind – “we flavored the filling with lemon zest and lemon juice, then strained the filling to remove the zest. If left in the filling, the zest would mar the texture of our recipe’s silky smooth filling.” Here is an orange meringue pie recipe from Country Living for comparison: http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/recipes/a1238/orange-meringue-pie-3346/.

    It is a beautiful pie, though!

  3. I checked several “Orange Meringue Pie” recipes on Pinterest. They were all more or less minor variations on the recipe you used. Maybe someone will comment with one that is a family favorite that works or suggest ways to fix this one. It’s so disappointing when something looks so good but tastes so bad. Hope you find a good one!