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Fresh Cranberry Custard Pie

6 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed, picked over
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
pinch salt
pinch ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cornstarch, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 cups milk
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
8 individual pastry shells, baked

In a non reactive, non-stick saucepan, over medium, combine the
cranberries, zest, 1/2 cup sugar, water, salt, and cinnamon. Bring
the mixture to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Dissolve 1 tablespoon
cornstarch in the orange juice. Add the mixture to the cranberries
and stir to blend. Simmer another 15 minutes until the mixture is
thick. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate
until chilled.

In a non-stick one quart saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar and 2 3/4
cup milk together. Bring the milk to boiling point and scald the
milk. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the remaining milk, egg yolks,
and remaining 1/4 cup cornstarch together. Whisk until smooth.
Temper the egg yolk mixture into the scalded milk. Bring the mixture
up to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is
thick, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir
in the vanilla and butter. Pour the filling into the individual
pastry shells.

Cover each pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
Chill the pie completely, about 2 hours. Using an electric mixer,
whip the egg whites until stiff with the remaining sugar. Spoon
the cranberry mixture over each of the pies. Top each pie with the
meringue. Place the pie in the oven and bake for about 4 to 6
minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool.

Yield: 8 servings


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