Caramel Meringue Pie

Caramel pie with meringue topping.
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
442 Calories
22g Fat
55g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 442
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 11g 57%
Cholesterol 121mg 40%
Sodium 511mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 7g
Calcium 151mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Meringues are more often associated with lemons, but a beautiful meringue topping can adorn any type of pie, including one filled with creamy caramel. Making the meringue is easier when the eggs are at room temperature, but eggs are easier to separate when they're fresh from the fridge. Therefore, separate the eggs right as you begin the pie prep, letting them come to room temperature before you start to make the meringue, which is the final step.

Ingredients

  • For the Pie Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons, unsalted butter, chilled, cut in small pieces
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
  • For the Caramel Filling:
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the Meringue:
  • 3 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar (or granulated sugar)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, the pie instructions are broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Pie Crust

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Caramel meringue pie ingredients.
    Diana Rattray
  2. To make the crust, combine 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, the 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend thoroughly.

    Combine the dry ingredients in the food processor.
    Diana Rattray
  3. Scatter about half of the chilled butter pieces over the flour mixture. Pulse about six times, and then add the remaining chilled butter pieces, and pulse about 7 times. You should have a coarse mixture with some of the butter the size of peas. 

    Pulse the butter to make the pie crust.
    Diana Rattray
  4. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture and pulse twice. Add more ice water, a few teaspoons at a time, pulsing a few times after each addition. When the dough just begins clumping, remove it to a floured surface.

    Gather the pie pastry.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Lightly knead the dough just enough to shape it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about 45 minutes.

    Chill the pie pastry.
    Diana Rattray
  6. Heat the oven to 400 F. Roll the chilled dough out to a circle about 12 inches in diameter, keeping the surface and the dough lightly floured to keep it from sticking. Fit the dough into the pie plate and flute the edges as desired. Line the bottom and sides of the pastry with parchment paper or foil. Fill the pie about 2/3 to 3/4 full with dried beans or pie weights

    Fill the foil-lined pie crust with pie weights.
    Diana Rattray
  7. Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and remove the pie weights and foil or paper. Prick the crust around the inside, or any area where the crust has bubbled. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and return the crust to the oven. Continue to bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until dry and lightly browned.

Make the Filling

  1. While the crust is baking, make the filling. In a large, heavy saucepan or saucier, combine the brown sugar and 2/3 cup of flour; mix well. Add the milk, egg yolks, and 2 tablespoons of butter; whisk to blend thoroughly.

    Combine the caramel ingredients.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, constantly whisking, until the filling begins to bubble. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook, constantly whisking, for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until thick. Whisk in the vanilla.

    Whisk the caramel mixture.
    Diana Rattray
  3. Place the crust on a rack and then fill with the hot caramel filling.

    Fill the pie shell
    )Diana Rattray
  4. Increase the oven temperature to 400 F.

Prepare the Meringue

  1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until thick and glossy. Beat in the cream of tartar and the pinch of salt. Gradually add the superfine sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

    Meringue peaks.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Spoon the meringue evenly over the hot caramel filling and then spread it, making sure the meringue touches the crust all the way around the edge.

    Spread the meringue over the pie.
    Diana Rattray
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown. Cool the pie thoroughly and then refrigerate.

Recipe Variations

  • Add homemade caramel flavor to the filling. Make the filling as directed, but use only 3/4 cup of brown sugar. Meanwhile, in a deep, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in about 1/4 cup of water. Stir the sugar mixture as it cooks. When it has turned golden brown, pour it into the filling mixture and continue cooking until smooth. See caramel tips.
  • Skip the homemade crust and use a frozen pastry crust or graham cracker crust.