Vanilla Cream Pie with Marbled Meringue

Vanilla pie with marbled meringue One recurring daydream I have is to open a pie shop somewhere remote. Like in an Appalachian hiking town or something. A small business that relies heavily on foot traffic doesn't really make sense in a remote area…but hey, guys, I said it was a daydream not the best business idea I've ever had, OK!? Geez.

I think the real desire behind this daydream is to be left undisturbed to bake and eat pie all day, which is more of a weird vacation idea than a life aspiration. 

Vanilla pie with marbled meringueVanilla pie with marbled meringue  But you know what I say? Never stop daydreaming. Especially if it's snack related. 

So this pie is all about creamy vanilla. Since I realized the pie was going to turn out so monochromatic, I decided to jazz up the meringue. It's SO easy. I'll tell you how below.

Best pie crust recipeVanilla Cream Pie with Marbled Meringue, makes one.

For the filling:
4 egg yolks
14 oz. (one can) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup whole milk (2% is OK too, but don't break my heart and ask about using skim milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon corn starch

For the meringue:
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon corn starch
5 tablespoons sugar
2-3 drops food coloring (I used red and yellow)

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
3-4 tablespoons cold water

First make the crust. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and use a pastry blender or your clean hands to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture. It should look like small grains or pebbles. Then add in 3 tablespoons of cold water and try to press the dough into a ball. If the mixture seems too crumbly to stay in a ball, then add another tablespoon of cold water. Once a dough ball forms, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to three days. I usually make my pie crust a day or two ahead of time so it feels like less work on the day I make the pie. 🙂

Vanilla cream pieAllow the dough to soften a little before rolling it out. Spray or butter the bottom of your pie pan and add your rolled out crust. I like to have this ready before I start on the meringue or filling because you want to cook the crust almost fully before filling it. So preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook the crust for 6-8 minutes or until it just begins to brown. Then remove from the oven until you are ready for the filling.

Next make the meringue. Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, corn starch, and sugar until soft white, stiff peaks form. Divide into two or three bowls and add a drop or two of food coloring. Fold gently just to incorporate the color throughout. Meringue is all about the air that you incorporated into the eggs as you whipped them, so don't over mix them now, deflating your work. 

For the filling, in a pot combine the condensed milk, milk, vanilla and corn starch. Whisk over medium/low heat until warm. In another bowl add a few spoonfuls of the warm mixture to your egg yolks and stir. Then add a few more spoonfuls and repeat. The goal is to warm up the egg yolks so they won't cook too quickly once you add them to the pot. Once warmed, add the yolk mixture to the pot and continue to cook and whisk over medium/low heat until the mixture thickens into a custard. If your mixture thickens too quickly, it can form lumps. Try to whisk these back into a smooth custard, but if you have difficulty, simply strain through a fine mesh sieve before pouring into your pie crust.

Vanilla pie with marbled meringue    In a large pastry bag or ziplock bag with a corner cut off, spoon the meringue in alternating colors into the bag (yes, all into one bag). Pipe onto the hot filling. Then bake for 14-16 minutes until the meringue begins to brown on the peaks. Allow to cool before slicing and serving. Eat a slice of pie, daydream. You'll feel better. 🙂 xo. Didier

Credits // Author and Photography: Didier Li. Photos edited with .

  • If you ever made that dream a reality, check out the Black Hills in SD! Keystone is the small town just outside of Mount Rushmore that is almost shut down during the winter months, but get’s wonderful tourism foot traffic in the summer. I always loved making an early spring trip up when Turtle Town, a small chocolatier that makes to-die-for fudge! A pie shop would totally work there!

  • What a pretty pie! Something about lemon meringue reminds me of summer. 🙂 I’ve had daydreams about the same kind of thing except usually I’m an artist in a little tiny beach town. 🙂

  • Just so you know, you’re not the only one! I have that daydream too, and I’ve even considered approaching our local food trucks and asking if they’d buy pies to sell slices. Pie is happiness.

  • It looks like fairies made it, so beautiful

    Huge PRIMARK Haul May 2015 + Try on!

  • Yet another dessert which makes me go hmm…who can I convince to make this for a party that I will be at? Looks delicious!

    <3 Haley @

  • This looks amazing! I have to ask–where did you get that beautiful pie plate?

  • This looks absolutely delicious! I hate when pies are heavy but this looks so incredibly light! Definitely going to have to try it on a splurge day.

    xx, mel

  • Definitely trying this this week. You guys have been coming up with so many unique recipes lately I love it!

  • This vanilla cream pie recipe sounds so delicious! The meringue also adds such a nice touch. It almost looks too pretty to eat!

    -Helen

  • This looks delicious! I love meringues 🙂

    Sarah | sarahanne14.blogspot.com

  • This looks almost too pretty to eat. We said ALMOST. Lol! Owning a pie shop in a remote town sounds pretty great to us too- for the same reasons. Day dream on girl!

  • It looks so tasty! Geez now I’m hungry. It’s true what you said, we must never stop daydreaming even if it’s the most crazy dreams or aspirations, you never know what they might turn out. 🙂

    Thanks for the recipe.

    Lau,

  • This looks so beautiful!

    Can I ask a pie making technique question? When you make the dough, is there some benefit to using your hands or a pastry cutter to make it rather than using a food processor?

    Thanks!

  • “There’s only one thing I hate more than lying: skim milk. Which is water that’s lying about being milk.” – Ron Swanson

  • Ah! I have the same pie dream! This looks absolutely delicious!

    Didier, could you do a post on how you learned to cook? I’m 23 and living on my own for the first time and the kitchen is a little overwhelming. I’m wondering how you got started cooking/baking and built up your confidence in the kitchen.

    Laura

  • This looks seriously amazing and I must make it as soon as possible! And it’s pretty. I love that this recipe lets you use 4 whole eggs instead of having extra whites or yolks leftover, too! And Amen to your skim milk comment haha…seriously, we’re already eating pie…

  • this looks divine!!! pie is my favorite dessert, so this recipe is going in my folder!! thanks!

    ~~meg


    @waterlilyshop

  • Meringue is beautiful but I’ve never been a fan of the taste and texture. The vanilla cream pie itself looks amazinggggggg.

    Danika Maia
    BLOGLOVIN’

  • “I think the real desire behind this daydream is to be left undisturbed to bake and eat pie all day, which is more of a weird vacation idea than a life aspiration.”

    This. Is. Hilarious.
    Made me LOL at work. 🙂
    Pie dreams forever.

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