Ultimately though, it all works out, but I realized that the Chocolate Crusted Orange Chiffon Pie I've been waiting to share would be another perfect Fourth of July picnic addition, so here it is. Light yet rich, creamy and delicious, the flavor of this pie comes from real fruit, no jell-o mixes here, and you can taste the freshness in every bite.
Now if you've never made a true chiffon pie before, I'll tell you, it's not all that difficult, but it does require that you have your wits about you and that you be around to keep an eye on things for awhile. It's also not an exact science, but one that you'll come to perfect by instinct the more you do it.
2 cups chocolate crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp (1 1/4 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (~ 2 large oranges)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (~ 1 lemon)
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks (save the whites for an omelette!)
2 Tbsp grated orange zest
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
You can use just about any type of un-iced and un-filled cookie to make crumbs for your crust. Any flavor of graham crackers work well, as well as gingersnaps, vanilla wafers or even biscotti. You can use a food processor to crush the cookies into fine crumbs or alternatively you can place the cookies in a heavy duty large ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
To make the crust, mix the crumbs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until well blended and all crumbs are moist. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie pan, building up just slightly above the rim.
Bake the crust at 325° for 8 minutes and set aside to cool.
I used a larger zester on the oranges for this pie, as I wanted to see some of the zest throughout, but you can also use a microplane zester for a finer grate. Just be sure to zest your oranges before squeezing them.
To prepare the filling, in a medium saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the orange and lemon juice. Stir with a fork and let stand for a few minutes to soften the gelatin.
Add the sugar, egg yolks, orange zest and salt and whisk until blended. Then whisk in the milk.
Cook over medium heat, whisking almost constantly, for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture starts to become foamy around the edges. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until it has thickened slightly and you start to see wisps of steam rising, but be sure to not let the mixture boil.
Pour into a large bowl and place in the fridge.
Whisk the mixture every 10 minutes until it feels cool and thickens up significantly. When a lifted spoonful dropped onto the surface makes a small mound and does not sink back in, it's ready. Depending on your fridge and the size of your bowl, this will take 1 – 2 hours, which is longer than most chiffon mixtures.
About 10 minutes before you anticipate the mixture to be thickened, whip the cream with an electric or stand mixer in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form.
Spoon the cream over the orange mixture and gently fold the two together using a flexible spatula until well blended. Spoon the mixture into the prepared crust, mounding in the center, and chill in the fridge for several hours before serving.
If desired, garnish with additional orange zest, mini chocolate chips, shaved chocolate curls or additional whip creamed, serve and enjoy!
At my Memorial Day picnic, I thought the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes would be the temptress but this pie lasted about 3.5 minutes and there wasn't a crumb left. Im sure you can guess what everyone's asked me to make for the Fourth of July…