I love winter when it first arrives, but enough is enough; by late February I’m not alone in wanting all that white stuff gone, the long underwear put away, the sun shining and the first green shoots popping up.

As it happens, winter is when Minneola tangelos are in season. This remarkable cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit is like an extra-fragrant sweet orange, and it’s wrapped in a rind that’s filled with flavor.

I was putting together a lemon-meringue pie to cheer us all up when I caught sight of some Minneolas and wondered what would happen….

  • 1 pie crust
    [Use your favorite or a ready-made crust, but consider trying Stephanie Jaworski’s amazing pâte brisée (at http://www.joyofbaking.com/PieCrust.html, complete with a video). You can whip it up in the food processor in minutes and it tastes wonderful. For this pie, I like to replace about half the white flour with whole wheat.]

    [This pie also goes well with a shortbread or graham-cracker crust, but be careful: with a sweet crust, the pie can be overpoweringly sweet. Adjust by reducing sugar in the crust first. Reducing the filling sugar too far can make the lemon flavor less intense.]

  • 3 egg yolks

  • ¾ cup sugar
    [Agave nectar also works fine and tastes the same.]

  • juice and zest of 1 lemon

  • juice and zest of 1 Minneola tangelo

  • ½ cup boiling water

  • 2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch

  • just enough cold water (ca. ¼ cup) to dissolve the cornstarch

[Meringue: Tradition notwithstanding, it’s not clear that a meringue topping does much to improve this pie. It’s just fine with no topping at all or with whipped cream (in which case you can turn off the oven after baking the crust). Since you have the three egg whites, make meringue shells instead, e.g., http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/swiss-meringue-shells/]
  • 3 egg whites

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (powdered or icing sugar)

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (400°F with convection).

  2. Pre-bake the crust a bit, say 10 minutes.

  3. Remove from oven, turn oven down to 375°F (350°F with convection).

  4. Combine egg yolks, sugar, fruit juice and zest and boiling water. Bring slowly to a rolling boil.

  5. In a coffee cup, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water.

  6. Add the cornstarch mixture to the filling. Boil until thickened
    [Don’t judge (or adjust) the taste of the filling while cooking; once cooled, it’s perfect.]
    . Pour in baked pie crust.

  7. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy. Add sugar one spoonful at a time while beating. Beat until stiff, spread over filling.

  8. Bake at 375°F until the peaks are golden brown, around 8 minutes.

  9. Cool, then chill.


I’ve adapted this from my wife’s grandmother’s original lemon pie recipe. The only difference besides some minor tinkering is the addition of the juice and zest of an entire Minneola and a slight reduction in the sugar.