Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Live and Let Pie

I wanted to do something a little different for our Christmas feast this year.  It's been hard for me to get motivated to make much of anything sweet -- I burned out on baklava by mid-December, and I only made one batch of biscotti (and gave it all away to the Absent-Minded Professor who was, as always, hungry and grateful).

But I splurged on some delicious Page oranges from Florida this year, knowing that I wanted to make some candied orange peel for an upcoming TKS class.  And with that many oranges in the place, it naturally followed that my special Christmas dessert would be... Pie in the Sky.

I haven't made this pie in a while, and I decided to update it a little this time around.  Instead of using store-bought graham crackers to make the crust, I borrowed an oat-pecan pie crust recipe from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.  It made for a thicker crust, but the contrast in textures was wonderful.

The delineation of layers turned out to be a little more dramatic this time around, too, with the meringue-like top being very light and spongy and the custard filling being very creamy.  The orange flavor working through every part of the pie (including the orange-peel-infused whipped cream, not shown) was extraordinarily intense this time around; what a treat!

It took four oranges (juice and pulp) to make the pie, so I had plenty of peel left over to candy.  This year's candied peel is better than I remember: each strip tastes almost like gum drops, only way better.

The pie got rave reviews at dinner, and I got the leftovers (which is not a wholly good thing).  It will be a few years before I make it again, probably, so I will enjoy this year's pie for as long as I can.

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