To me, peaches are the absolute essence of summer. That sweet, slightly tart, woozy scent when you bite into it, the juice that slides down your chin, into your hand (sometimes even your arm and your clothes if you’re not careful!) and the luscious taste that echoes all the same notes that hit your nose all meld into one thing…hot, sultry, carefree summertime.
Nana used to make this peach pie every summer…I think she first served it in the late 60’s. Nope, not a typical double crust peach pie or even a pretty latticed peach pie. It was a stunningly beautiful peach MERINGUE pie! It's Mark’s favorite pie to this very day.
Semi-freestone peaches were piled high at Soergel's farm market the other day – Red Havens – so I picked a peck up to make THE pie! There are a few leftover for eating, too....and maybe for my Grilled Peach Vodka Basil Sweet Tea cocktail, too????
This is a little different version of Nana's Peach Meringue pie - that old gluten issue precludes a regular Crisco crust (I don’t think there’s a better crust out there than the Crisco one!). I made a (gluten-free) gingersnap cookie crumb and pecan crust instead. To emphasize the ginger from the crust, I added a touch of crystallized ginger to the filling, too. Ginger and peach are such natural partners!
Treat your family to one of these soon. It might just become your favorite pie, too!
Peach & Ginger Meringue Pie
- 7 ounces gingersnap cookies, Pamela's gluten-free Ginger Mini Snaps or regular gingersnaps if you don't have a gluten issue
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons tapioca
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon butter, cubed
- 4 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 6 egg whites
- 12 tablespoons sugar
Put the gingersnaps, pecan halves and melted butter into a food processor; pulse until the cookies are ground, the nuts are fine and it all comes together. Dump into a 9" pie plate and press down firmly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove.
Mix the peaches, tapioca, sugar, salt, chopped crystallized ginger, butter and lemon juice well. Pour into crust. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 and bake the pie for another 20 minutes.
Just before the pie is done, make the meringue. Beat the whites until foamy, then gradually add sugar and beat until it holds stiff peaks. Don't overbeat until it's dry, though.
When the timer goes off for the pie, take it out, mound the meringue on top and spread, being SURE the meringue touches the crust all the way around. (This keeps the meringue from shrinking back and exposing the filling.) Create pretty peaks with the back of a spoon.
Bake the meringue covered pie at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes until the meringue is browned and beautiful!