Hidden under a cloud of puffy meringue lays a refreshingly tart layer of cranberry. Using coconut palm sugar instead of regular granulated sugar adds more nutrients, boosts flavour, and reduces the usual blood glucose spike. Palm sugar has a natural caramel sweetness that cuts and brightens the acidic tart flavour of cranberry.
1 1/2 cups (350 mL/150 g) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) 100% pure cranberry juice
1 cup (250 mL) coconut palm sugar
1 cup (250 mL) orange juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) cornstarch
1/2 tsp (2 mL) almond extract
1 pre-baked pie shell
3 Tbsp (45 mL) coconut palm sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
4 large free-range egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2 mL) natural white vinegar
For the filling, in saucepan, stir whole cranberries with cranberry juice, sugar, and 1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and berries burst, 4 to 6 minutes. Coarsely mash, then press through sieve. For best results, use the bottom of a ladle in a circular motion to press berries through. Discard remaining solids. You should have about 2 to 2 1/4 cups (500 to 560 mL) liquid.
Pour cranberry liquid back into saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir cornstarch with remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice. Stir into boiling cranberry. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until thick and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.
Pour into prepared pie shell and cover surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
For the topping, preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Pulse 3 Tbsp (45 mL) sugar in food processor to grind finely. Pulse in cornstarch to mix, then pass mixture through mesh strainer.
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites with vanilla and vinegar until foamy. While whipping, gradually pour in sugar mixture and whip until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted.
Mound over chilled cranberry filling. Using tines of a fork, score meringue. Bake in lower third of oven until golden, 6 to 10 minutes.
Each serving contains:
174 calories; 3 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat.fat, 0 g trans fat); 29 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 100 mg sodium
Source: "A fine holiday feast", alive #350, December 2011
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