1One 9 inch deep dish pie shell, baked. I use enough toasted pecans (halves or pieces) to cover bottom of shell. It keeps your crust from getting soggy. If you would rather not use the pecans, brush your crust with oil before baking. It has about the same results. Whisk in medium size heavy saucepan, flour, sugar, and cornstarch. Over med heat, stirring constantly, add skim milk and whisk till combined, then add cream and egg yolks, cook until very thick, stirring constantly, it scorches easily. Remove from heat and add butter and flavorings, stir well. Cover with plastic or lid, but don't let condensation run back into mixture. Stir every few minutes until completely cool before pouring or spooning into shell.
2With the 3 remaining egg whites, make sure they are at room temp for full volume, and bowl and beaters are completely clean, add pinch of salt, beat on med-hi speed until foamy, then add 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar, then on high speed, add 4 TBSP sugar, 1 TBSP at a time. Here is where my recipe differs from all others I've seen: I only wait until the 1 TBSP of sugar is combined well before adding the next. If you wait until each spoonful is dissolved, you tend to have to overbeat the meringue and it will weep and crack. If you add it fairly quickly as I described above, by the time it becomes glossy and holds firm, but not stiff peaks, the sugar will be dissolved. spread over pie, sealing completely to the crust all the way around or it will shrink.
3I never brown my meringue in a hot oven. It defeats the purpose of completely cooling the pie filling before adding to the crust. I just brown the meringue on the lower middle rack, under the broiler. Never close your oven door when broiling. If nothing else it lets you keep a close eye on it to keep it from burning. You may need to rotate the pie for more even browning. Also, there is relatively no cooling time. After app 5-10 minutes, spray a very sharp knife with cooking spray, or dip in warm water and shake off excess to slice your pie. you must clean off any residue and repeat the spray or water for every slice. Hope you enjoy!