Christmas-Spiced Orange Meringue Pie

Christmas-Spiced Orange Meringue Pie

2018 Great British Bake-Off contestant, Dan Beasley-Harling, has created this magnificent Christmas centre piece to ensure this year is extra special. This beautiful meringue pie really is a guaranteed Christmas showstopper, bound to make this year the one.

The pie contains a creamy orange filling spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, topped with a layer of Italian meringue and beautiful meringue tree decorations!

Dan used his Thermapen One to create the perfect curd filling and meringue.


Take your sugar syrups to 120°C when making Italian meringue, to ensure it holds it shape.

Heating the curd to 82 °C will guarantee that you'll get a good set.

Sugar syrup: 120°C

Curd: 82°C

For the pastry base
  • 100 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 grams icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 40 grams whole egg, beaten
  • 200 grams plain flour
For the orange filling
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 2 oranges, zest and juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 200 grams unsalted butter
For the meringue top
  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 125 grams caster sugar
  • green gel food colouring
  • red & gold dragées
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, icing sugar, and salt with an electric hand whisk.
  • Crack an egg into a jug and whisk well. Weigh out 40g of the egg into the butter mixture and whisk again to combine.
  • Sift over the flour and whisk until it just starts to come together.
For the pastry base
  • Bring the dough together and knead briefly, until smooth.
  • Wrap in some cling film and press into a flat disc, then chill in the fridge for an hour or more.
  • On a well-floured surface, roll out the pastry into a large circle about 3mm thick – the thickness of a pound coin.
  • Lift the pastry into a loose-bottomed 9-inch flan tin and press gently into the sides. Use a sharp knife to trim off the excess, and dock the pastry with a fork. Rest and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan.
  • Remove the lined flan tin from the fridge, and line with a sheet of baking parchment, filling the middle with baking beans, or uncooked rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the weights and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Leave to cool.
To make the orange curd and filling
  • In a large heatproof bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest. Stir well.
  • Add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Juice the oranges, and add to the bowl.
  • Lastly, add the egg yolks and whole eggs, then mix everything together well.
  • Sit the bowl on a saucepan of simmering water, and stir the mixture continuously, until it thickens and reaches 82°C. This could take up for 15 minutes or even longer.
  • Sieve the orange mixture into a blender, removing all the zest and any pieces of cooked egg. Turn the blender on, and then add the cold butter, only a little at a time.
  • Pour the spiced orange curd into your prepared tart shell, then transfer to the fridge to set completely.
To make the meringue top
  • Whisk the egg whites in stand mixer until they reach a soft peak.
  • Meanwhile, weigh the sugar into a small saucepan and add just enough water to make the sugar wet. Place the lid on the pan and set over a medium heat.
  • When you can hear bubbling, remove the lid to check all the sugar has dissolved. You may swirl the pan, but do not stir!
  • When the syrup reaches 118°C, remove from the heat and turn the stand mixer on to a medium/high speed. In a slow and steady stream, pour the hot syrup down the inside of the bowl. Keep whisking the meringue until it is completely cool.
  • Take about two thirds of the meringue and spread it on top of the tart in an even layer.
  • Colour the reserved meringue green with gel food colouring, then place in a piping bag fitted with a medium French star tip. Pipe 12 blobs around the edge of the tart, then stack an additional 2 blobs in each to create a Christmas tree shape.
  • Adorn with red and gold dragées to create the look of a decorated Christmas tree!
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