- Date: Monday, June 22, 2009 -- 8pm
- Location: Bloomington, IN
- Kitchen: My Apartment
- Fellow Chef: Matty
- Dining Companions: Mike M and Teresa
- Recipe Rating: B
This recipe came off the list generated by the random number generator. I started by beating egg whites and salt, then adding cream of tartar and sugar and beating until it held stiff peaks. I folded in some shredded coconut, then spread the meringue in a buttered pie plate. I baked the shell in a low oven for several hours, then let it dry out in the oven with the heat off for several more hours. I made the filling by peeling some grapefruit and cutting out the segments. I drained the segments, reserving the juice. I softened gelatin in some grapefruit juice. I whisked together egg yolks, sugar, the gelatin mixture, salt, and the rest of the grapefruit juice. I cooked the mixture on the stove, then put it in a bowl of ice water. When it had thickened slightly, I beat in cream cheese (which had already been beaten separately), then I beat the mixture in a bowl that was set in a bowl of ice water. In a separate bowl I beat heavy cream to stiff peaks, then folded it into the cream cheese mixture. I folded in the grapefruit segments, then put the filling in the shell.
You know how there are some recipes that are marketed as "One bowl cookies!" or "One bowl chocolate cake!"? This recipe was the "Twelve bowl pie!" Ok, maybe not twelve. Let's see... One to make the meringue, one for the grapefruit juice, one for the portion of grapefruit juice that the gelatin was added to, one for the custard, one for the ice bath to cool the custard, one to beat the cream cheese before it was added to the custard, and one to beat the heavy cream. I guess that's a mere 7 mixing bowls! At some point while making this I looked over at the dirty dishes in the sink and thought, "You have got to be kidding me!" I actually thought that several times while making this recipe, and not just on account of the bowls. Seriously, who's crazy ass idea was this recipe anyway? I have eaten/made so many different things that very few things seem weird to me any more. But coconut meringue filled with gelatin-stabilized grapefruit custard with big chunks of grapefruit in it? Yeah, that seemed odd. I am pretty sure I had never in my life eaten grapefruit custard, more or less grapefruit custard sitting on top of a huge bed of meringue.
I made this to serve to Mike and Teresa when they came over for dinner, and at some point I thought, "Maybe I should call Teresa and suggest that she bring some ice cream just in case this is foul!" I didn't call, but Teresa must have read my mind because they showed up with not one, but two flavors of ice cream and a whole bunch of white chocolate covered strawberries. Mike took one look at this pie and said, "I think I'll just have some ice cream." Haha. Even my special gentleman had only cautious enthusiasm about this one. After the first bite he said, "Well... it's not terrible, but I wouldn't have seconds." Turns out it grew on him -- ten minutes later he was cutting himself another piece. That was thing about this dessert: it was odd, but kind of in a good way. The meringue "crust" was lovely -- crunchy on the outside, a little chewy on the inside, and nice and sweet. That sweetness was important because the grapefruit custard had a serious tart kick to it. But the texture was nice and graprefruit flavored custard was an interesting change of pace. I think I would have liked this pie a lot actually had it not been for the chunks of grapefruit. The custard was already made with grapefruit juice, so there would have been plenty of grapefruit flavor without the chunks. And the chunks were just so intense that they detracted from my enjoyment.
All that said, it was an interesting experience, and if you have a lot of bowls and are looking for something really different, you might give it a try!
The recipe is here.
This post is coming to you from lovely Cambridge, England! My special gentleman and I have had a nice week here so far -- working during the day and eating fish and chips and drinking beer at the pubs in the evenings. In a few more days we are headed to Norway for part two of our European adventure! What a crazy summer!