Blood Orange Chess Pie
Far out. I am SO ready for spring. So, so done with this winter business. AND I'm totally being an ungrateful bastard, because we bailed back to NZ for the month of February, so we don't really have anything to complain about seeing as we weren't even here for a month of winter. But STILL. I can't wait for our CSA to start, and for there to be more fruit than just last year's apples, (Rhubarb!?!), and the start of fresh berry season, and just for my eyeballs to stop feeling like they are going to freeze.
The only good thing about this winter sticking around situation (apart from not having a sweat moustache on the subway), is the citrus! I was kind of worried that I had missed blood orange season while we were away, but I was so stoked to come back and see that they were still here! I love the colour of them, and the amazing flavour that they lend to whatever you put them in.
Single Crust Pie - Blood Orange Chess Pie
I had been eyeing up the lemon chess pie in the Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie book for a while (best book ever BTW), especially after the lovely Tessa made such a pretty version! I had some blood oranges that needed using, so I subbed the lemon juice in the custard for blood orange. It came out the most amazing pink colour! I was a little nervous baking it, as it was my first chess pie, but I made sure to watch it super carefully in the oven to make sure that it didn't overcook and cause the custard to split. The top of the pie went a nice golden brown colour, and underneath there was the pretty pink custard, which was lightly flavoured with the orange. So so good, and such a nice change from the double lattice pies I am used to falling back on.
The crust for this pie is par-baked before the filling is added in. I followed Tessa's tip and added a braid after the par-bake, but before the filling. I went for my usual trick and ran the dough through the pasta attachment on my kitchen aid, before doing a five-strand fishtail braid. I managed to get long enough pieces that I could do the braid all in one go, but I had to enlist the help of Rich to give me a bit of a hand! We made sure to calculate the circumference of the pie tin before we began, to make sure that we had enough braid to go the whole way around.
If you want to keep this as a lemon pie, just sub the blood orange juice for lemon! Easy as.
For more recipes with Blood Orange, check out:
- Carrot Cake Tea Cakes with Blood Orange Glaze and Swiss Meringue Kisses
- Blood Orange Meringue Tarts
- Chocolate Orange Sandwich Cookies with Blood Orange Marshmallow
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A note on salt and oven temperature
It is important to note the type of salt that is called for in a recipe. I use Diamond Crystal salt throughout my recipes - if you use a different sort of kosher salt or regular table salt you will need to adjust accordingly as some salt is 'saltier' than others. Morton's salt is twice as salty, so you will need half the quantity. Same goes for a regular table salt. I am working to get gram measurements throughout my recipes for salt but still getting there.
All oven temperatures are conventional unless otherwise stated. If you are baking on fan / convection, you will need to adjust the temperature. An oven thermometer is a great investment to ensure that your oven is the correct temperature.
Using the double / triple function in the recipe card
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Tools and equipment
For a list of my go-to tools and equipment, I have a post you can refer to here.
Why is this recipe in grams?
I post my recipes in grams as it is the most accurate way to bake. Cups are not only inaccurate but they vary in volume worldwide. There is no way for me to provide one cup measure that works for everyone. However, posting in weight fixes this issue. If you would like the recipe in cups you are welcome to convert it yourself via google, but please do not ask me to do it for you as I am not comfortable providing a recipe using a method that I have not tested. Baking with a scale is easy, accurate, and also makes cleanup super simple. Here is the scale that I use if you would like a recommendation! Here's to accurate baking!Print
Blood Orange Chess Pie. A baked custard pie made with Blood Orange juice, eggs, and set with cornmeal. This blood orange variation is super delicious and a perfect twist on the traditional chess pie.
- 180g All-Purpose Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 113g cold butter, cut into cubes
- 240g cold water
- 1 cup ice
- 30g Apple cider vinegar
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp water
Blood Orange Filling
- Zest of 2 Blood oranges
- 320g sugar
- 1 Tbsp finely ground cornmeal
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 75g melted unsalted butter
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 160ml cream
- 150ml freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- Place flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.
- Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 4-5 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll disc into a circle a few inches larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately ⅛ inch (3mm) in thickness. Line the pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so the dough is flush with the edge of your dish. Wrap the remaining pastry tightly in plastic wrap and place into the fridge for the braid. Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes, until the crust has set firm. Prick all over the surface of the crust, and then place the pie dish in the freezer for 20 minutes to allow the crust to freeze.
- Preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Prepare a wash for the dough by whisking an egg white with 1 tsp of water.
- Line the crust with tin foil, ensuring that it overlaps the sides, and is tightly folded down to ensure no gaps. Fill the lined crust with either ceramic pie weights or dried beans. These will help prevent the crust from shrinking. Place on the preheated baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it is starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven, remove the foil and pie weights, and, using a pastry brush, brush the surface of the crust with the prepared egg white mixture. Place back in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
FILLING AND BAKING
- Preheat the oven to 325˚f / 160˚c.
- Use the remaining pie dough to form a five-strand fishtail braid. Roll out your pie dough into a long skinny rectangle, and using a ruler or sharp pastry wheel, cut into strips of even thickness. Braid together. You may need to do two braids to reach the entire way around the pie dish. Stick the braid to the edge of the pie crust using the remaining egg white wash. Brush the surface of the braid with more of the egg white.
- Sift together the flour, cornmeal, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest and stir with a whisk to combine. Add the melted butter and the eggs, and mix well to combine until thick. Add the cream, and mix well. Pour in the orange juice, and whisk well until homogenous.
- Set a sieve over another large bowl or pyrex jug. Strain the filling mixture through the sieve.
- Place the par-baked pie crust onto a baking sheet, and pour the strained filling into the pie crust. Very carefully transfer the baking sheet with the pie on it into the oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes, checking frequently, and turning 180˚ once the custard is beginning to set on the outside edges (approx 30 minutes through). Once the pie is cooked, the surface will be lightly golden, the edges of the pie set, and the centre still a little wobbly, but not runny liquid. It will continue to firm up as it cools.
- Remove from the oven, and place on a wire rack to cool. Cool for at least 4 hours before serving.
Adapted from "Four and Twenty Blackbirds"
Keywords: Blood Orange Pie, Chess Pie, Single crust pie, custard pie