Charlotte uses a Crisco-based crust. When making the recipe on the Crisco can, never add extra flour! It’ll be tough.
- Yield: 8 Servings
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 0.33 cup shortening
- 4 Tbsp ice water
- 1¼ cups sugar, divided
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1½ Tbsp cornstarch
- 0.12 tsp salt
- ½ cup milk
- 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
- 4 extra-large egg yolks, beaten
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 extra-large egg whites
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ cup sugar
How to Make It
- Preheat oven to 450°. Stir together flour and ½ tsp. salt in a large bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas. Mound mixture on 1 side of bowl.
- Drizzle 1 Tbsp ice water along edge of mixture in bowl. Using a fork, gently toss a small amount of flour mixture into water just until dry ingredients are moistened; move mixture to other side of bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining ice water and flour mixture.
- Gently gather dough into a flat disk on a floured work surface. Roll out pastry to ⅛-inch thickness. Fit pastry into a 9-inch pie plate; trim off excess pastry along edges. Fold edges under, and crimp. Prick bottom and sides of pastry with a fork. Bake at 450° for 9 minutes or until golden brown. Set pastry aside on a wire rack while preparing filling. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Prepare Caramel Filling
- Combine 1 cup sugar and next 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in milks. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil; boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot milk mixture into yolks; add yolk mixture to remaining hot milk mixture, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat 3 minutes. Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla, stirring until butter melts. Cover and keep warm.
- Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup sugar in a 1-qt. heavy saucepan; place over medium heat and cook, shaking pan constantly, until sugar melts and turns a light golden brown. Remove from heat. Carefully stir custard mixture into caramelized sugar until blended. Cover and keep warm. Prepare Meringue
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves. Pour hot filling into pastry. Spread meringue over hot filling, sealing edges.
- Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.