I love everything sweet. I’ve often laughed about it and said that my vocabulary does not contain a phrase “too sweet”. I could eat dulce de leche straight from the jar with just a spoon (let’s just be honest and remove the word “could”, as I have done it many times) but my husband is more into salty treats. So when I first made salted caramel we finally found something the both of us love equally much.
We had some friends visiting on Saturday night so I decided to bake something. I love baking and I usually make something every weekend. I often ask my friends to come over for a coffee to have an excuse to bake, because making a cake or a batch of cookies for just the two of us would be catastrophic in the long run: we would just end up eating it all in a day or two and the resulting weight gain would be inevitable.
I decided to make something with salted caramel and came up with this recipe for a salted caramel pie with meringue on top. The meringue was actually more of an after-thought because the pie crust looked quite lonely with just caramel on it, the whole thing was boringly brown and flat and quite unappealing. I’m sure it would have tasted wonderful like that with maybe some whipped cream, but as I had time and inspiration I added the meringue and it was perfection.
As I’ve written before, (look here) I can’t eat wheat so the pie crust is made wheat-free, but if you don’t have this problem you can substitute the crust recipe with your favorite or maybe just mash up some butter and digestive biscuits to make the bottom.
One more note on the recipe: about cooking the condensed milk to make the caramel. There are plenty of instructions for this all over the internet. Just go to google. I don’t find it necessary to start to recite the instructions here. I decided to make mine in the microwave oven because I felt scared and quite uneasy about cooking a can for an hour or two. The instructions I followed can be found HERE.
Salted caramel pie with meringue
100 g melted butter (about 7 tablespoons)
3 dl (1.2 cups) flour of your choice (I used organic corn meal)
2 dl (0.8 cups) almond flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla (I like using organic powdered bourbon vanilla by Urtekram)
2 cans of condensed milk (á 375 ml, or 12.5 oz, but doesn’t matter if your cans are a bit bigger, that just means you get more caramel)
1 tsp fleur de sel (or sea salt if you don’t have it)
3 egg whites
1.5 dl (0.6 cups) confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla (see above)
(1 tsp cream of tartar)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (390 F). Start by preparing the pie crust. Combine all the dry ingredients needed for the crust. Add melted butter and stir until well combined and you can make it into a ball. Press it evenly into a 10 inch pie form (I used a spring-form cake pan). Try to make the edges about 2.5 cm high (1 inch). Bake for about 10 minutes, just until lightly browned. Let it cool for a while, but leave the oven on.
While the crust is in the oven, make the caramel. I poured the condensed milk from the two cans into a microwave safe glass bowl and added the fleur de sel. I followed the instructions for making dulche de leche in microwave oven; see the note and link provided above. This took me about 15 min altogether. The consistency should be quite thick, like dulce de leche. (The caramel was a bit lumpy even though I tried to whisk it well but it doesn’t matter as it will even out and smooth when it chills.) Pour the caramel on top of the pie crust and even it out from edge to edge.
Make the meringue by whisking the egg whites until they are hard. Gradually add the sugar, vanilla and cream of tartar (optional) and whisk until the mixture is smooth and hard. Pour the meringue on top of the pie and put it back to the oven for about 10 minutes or until the top of the meringue is golden brown.
Let the pie cool a bit before serving.
I served this with vanilla ice cream and it was amazing! The pie is best served the same day it was baked as the meringue gets a bit soft when refrigerated. It doesn’t affect the taste though, as we thought the leftovers were as delicious on the next day as well.