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KUMQUAT MERINGUE PIE

1 1/4 pounds (3 to 4 cups) kumquats
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
4 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 baked pastry shell for a single-crust 9-inch pie
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Rinse kumquats. Thinly slice 6 fruit, discarding seeds; set sliced
fruit aside. Cut the rest of the fruit in half and squeeze (pinch
between fingers) to extract juice. Pour juice through a fine
strainer to measure; you should have 1/2 cup (if not, squeeze more
kumquat halves). Discard seeds.

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, whisk 1 1/4 cups of the sugar with cornstarch
to mix. Gradually whisk in kumquat juice and water, blending until
smooth. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until mixture thickens
and comes to a full boil.

In a small bowl, beat egg yolks to blend, then whisk into yolks
about 1/2 cup of the hot filling. Pour yolk mixture back into pan.
Cook, stirring, over very low heat for 2 more minutes. Remove from
heat and stir in sliced kumquats and butter; let cool slightly;
then pour into pastry shell.

Beat whites at high speed in large bowl with electric mixer until
frothy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at
a time (1/4 cup is 4 tablespoons), beating until whites will hold
stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in vanilla.

Pile meringue onto filling. With a spatula, push meringue over
filling and up against edge of pastry shell; use spatula to make
decorative swirls in meringue. Bake at 375 degrees F until meringue
is tinged with gold, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool at least 3 or up to
12 hours. Makes 8 or 9 servings. (credited to Nathan C. Smith,
Pomona CA)

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