While winter here in Syracuse can be long and arduous, one of joys is citrus season in warmer climes, sending us their brightly colored gems to enjoy. Orbs of sunshine to get us through the cold, grey days. Lemon meringue, orange cream, key lime pies…all tangy bites of heaven. Recently, I’d become with ruby red blood oranges.
While I love citrus pies, they are often some of the more challenging ones for me, causing me to make them more than once to perfect them. This particular pie took me three tries, but I finally made it with success and I let out a “YEAH!” in the kitchen, followed by some celebratory dancing.
The result? A creamy and tart pie with gorgeous color.
Blood Orange Pie with Shortbread Crust*
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp blood orange zest
¾ cup fresh blood orange juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
3 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
¼ cup butter, cut into ½" cubes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine butter, flour, and sugar for the crust. Grease an 8 or 9 inch pie pan and press dough into it. Make sure to keep the edges below the lip of the pan. Set aside or put in the freezer while you make the filling.
In a double boiler, whisk together the orange zest, blood orange juice, lemon juice, sugar over medium heat. Slowly add in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, whisking the curd constantly. Continue to cook the curd, while whisking for anywhere from 5-15 minutes. The curd should steam, but not boil or else risk cooked egg bits in your mixture. If that should happen, try pouring your filling through a strainer.
As the curd starts to steam, whisk in the butter. The curd should start to thicken and once it is able to coat the back of a spoon, your curd is done! Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Pour the curd into the shortbread crust and put it in the pre-heated oven over a tray to catch any spills. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are slightly puffed and the middle has a slight wobble, not sloshy. Cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight before serving.
*This recipe was adapted from Crumb and Add A Pinch