The City Magazine Since 1975

Pumpkin Ginger Meringue Pie

November 2022
Sugar Bakeshop owner Mia Maness’s added spike of ginger and swirls of sweet meringue deliver the kind of drama a pie enthusiast dreams of
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For the crust:
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 cup shortening 
6 oz. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and kept cold
5 Tbs. ice-cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the filling:
1¼ -1½ lbs. baking pumpkin or squash (sugar or pie pumpkin or kabocha, acorn, or butternut squash), washed and cut in half lengthwise
6 Tbs. light brown sugar 
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Small pinch ground cloves  
1/8 tsp. table salt 
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1 egg

For the meringue:
2 egg whites, cold
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar 
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 pinch table salt 
1/4 cup sugar


For the crust:
Mix the flour and salt in a food processor. (If you don’t have a food processor, this can all be done by hand.) Add the shortening and pulse until it’s in small pieces. Add the butter and pulse until the cubes are pea-sized. Transfer to a bowl. Add all of the water to the bowl of dough and mix with your hands just until combined. You don’t want to knead the dough, which will make it tough.

Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a disk. You will use only one. Wrap one in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least two hours or overnight to chill. Wrap the other in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days or place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator.

When the dough is chilled, sprinkle some flour on the work surface. Roll the disk into a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Sprinkle flour over or under it as needed to help prevent sticking.

Gently roll the dough over a floured rolling pin and unroll it gently into a nine-inch, medium deep (not deep-dish) pie tin. Use your fingers to pinch the edges decoratively or press them with the tines of a fork. Use a small paring knife to trim away excess dough. Wrap the pie shell in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. 

For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the pumpkin or squash halves on the baking sheet, cut side down. Bake them for about 30 minutes, or until very soft. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin, scoop out the seeds and stringy material, and discard. Puree the flesh in a blender or food processor until smooth. You’ll need one cup of puree. (Any extra can be refrigerated for up to five days and used in smoothies, swirled into Greek yogurt, or added to soup.) Let cool to around room temperature. This can be done up to three days ahead of time, tightly covered, and refrigerated. If refrigerated, it doesn’t need to come back to room temperature before using.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Whisk the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt together in a small bowl.

Whisk the pumpkin puree, cream, milk, and egg together in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk to combine.

Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the beaten egg all over the frozen pie shell. Pour the pie filling into the frozen shell and bake it for 45 to 55 minutes, rotating it every 15 minutes, until the center of pie is set (and not jiggly). Remove from the oven and let cool completely. You can refrigerate it if you need to speed up the cooling.

For the meringue:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Use a large, completely clean and dry bowl and an electric hand mixer fitted with a whip attachment. (A stand mixer will work here, too.) Combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and ginger in the bowl and whip them on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the salt and sugar over the span of about 15 seconds while still whipping.

Scoop the meringue onto the pie filling, going all the way to the edge, and swirl it decoratively. Place the pie on the prepared baking sheet and bake it in the oven for six to eight minutes, rotating it halfway through, or until the meringue is golden brown in color. Let cool.

Chef’s Notes: “The pie can be served after resting for about two hours at room temperature. It can be made up to 24 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, but it is best the day it’s made. Refrigerate leftovers for up to three days. The meringue might get a little weepy after two days, but it will still be perfectly fine to eat.”

Sugar Bakeshop
59 ½ Cannon St.
(843) 579-2891