Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pie Eyed

Once the Christmas cookies are all gone, it takes me a while to feel any inclination toward dessert. But when I still have several deliciously juicy Florida oranges in the refrigerator, I feel a compelling urge to make one particular dessert in the depths of winter.

Yes, Dear Readers, it’s time once again for Pie in the Sky, that lusciously light but rich concoction of orange and cinnamon custardy goodness.

I confess to needing a little change of pace with this recipe, though. For some reason, I just didn’t feel like buying graham crackers and making my orange-cinnamon graham cracker crust.

Instead, I decided to try using a shortbread cookie crust, based on my pecan shortbread recipe but with orange peel and cinnamon added.

Not that it was a perfect substitution: the cookie base puffed up a good deal during baking, leaving me concerned that I’d fit all the filling inside it.

I cut back the filling recipe (2 eggs instead of 3, less orange juice, and so on), and I’m happy to report that the filling did not overflow the confines of the crust, and the final product ended up with the most beautiful layering I’ve seen since the first time I made the pie:

Of course, it wouldn’t be classic Pie in the Sky without a generous dollop of orange peel-infused whipped cream, made from scratch.

As always, it’s a delectable dessert for a cold winter’s night, and though I didn’t have a cup of coffee with it, I did enjoy that orange-spice sweetness warming my throat and stomach. And yes, I had a contented gleam in my eye afterward.

Because, well, you know, there’s still the rest of the pie in my fridge.


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