I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing
Apple pie with a dutch crumb topping (Miranda @ A Duck in Her Pond) Buttermilk spice cake (Mary @ One Perfect Bite) Chocolate cherry pie Dilly Potato Salad (Gloria @ Cookbook Cuisine) Election Day Cake Fruit Cocktail Meringue Pie
For the letter “F” recipe, I had a dish in mind that I had bookmarked a while ago. (I could probably manage almost any letter of the alphabet, including Q — my “to cook” bookmark folder has something like a hundred retro recipes, with varying levels of ewww). So on Sunday, I cheerfully pulled up the bookmark for what I had labelled as “Fruit Cocktail Meringue Pie”, and realized the recipe name was actually “Christmas Meringue Pie.”Whatever. I’m BRINGING fruit cocktail meringue pie, that’s all I know.
This recipe comes from Flickr, from a vintage advertisement unsettlingly titled, “Look what you can do with fruit cocktail and dairy foods!”
Fruit Cocktail Meringue Pie: Combine 1 envelope Knox gelatine, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp salt in top of double boiler. Stir in 3/4 cup syrup from fruit cocktail, 2 beaten egg yolks. Cook over boiling water, stirring often, 15 minutes, till slightly thickened. Remove from heat, stir in 1 cup commercial sour cream, 2 tbsps lemon juice. Cool till thickened. Fold in 1-1/2 cup drained canned fruit cocktail. Turn into baked 9-inch pie shell. Top with Marshmallow Meringue. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Chill 2 hours or longer.
For meringue: melt 16 marshmallows with 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp syrup from fruit cocktail, over low heat, stirring often. Cool. Beat 2 egg whites with 1/4 tsp salt till stiff. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar. Fold in marshmallow mixture.
I didn’t expect this to be complicated by just glancing over the recipe, but it turns out to require double-boiling a custard, chilling for a couple hours, melting marshmallows, and beating egg whites. Rather like Election Day Cake, there’s a lot of effort required — the question was whether it would pay off in the end.
A zabaglione is a very fussy egg-yolk custard, requiring stirring in a bowl over steam (or using a double boiler, if your kitchen is so endowed) until your arm falls off or the mixture thickens. I was rather surprised to see it showing up in a fruit cocktail pie recipe, particularly including gelatin and then being added to sour cream; it seems with thickeners like that, you wouldn’t really need to cook your egg yolk until it solidified. I suppose they did that just to put the separated eggs to full use or something.
Note my ultra-fancy, incredibly upscale double boiler. (I don’t recommend trying this if you don’t have a Pyrex bowl, though.)
Putting a tasty zabaglione in with sour cream just feels wrong somehow, but for the moment I’ll trust the recipe…
Melting marshmallows is fun. We also have a recipe for grasshopper pie which requires marshmallow melting, and it’s great to see them slowly shrinking and turning to thick goo.
After assembly, chilling, and a sprinkling of coconut, it looks really impressive.
It’s a little on the sweet side, and definitely very firm (which means it will stand up well to being in summer heat for our picnic). Overall, it’s tasty and fun. Would I want to make it again… maybe for a special occasion. (The ice cream Jell-o pie is a lot less work, albeit also a lot meltier.)