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Sour Orange Pie

Florida’s original pie.

When you think of pie and Florida, you probably immediately think of Key Lime, but that’s not the only pie they lay claim to. The state is also the largest producer of sour oranges and has used the unique citrus to make a cool and creamy pie with a signature tang that’s darn near irresistible. While sour oranges are hard to find outside of Florida (and other tropical locales), you can recreate it yourself by combining a couple of other citrus fruits. (And you’ll be so glad you did!

Sour oranges are way too sour to be consumed on their own, so eventually they found their way into jams and jellies and sweet treats like this pie. It’s tempered with enough sugar that the tang is still noticeable but totally enjoyable. While the key lime pie usually uses a graham cracker crust, we’ve gone with an animal cracker crumb crust here. They have a simpler flavor and are more of a blank canvas for the tart filling.

To get the flavor of sour oranges, you use equal parts of lemon zest and juice and orange zest and juice in this pie. It gets you in the same arena of the sour orange. Those are mixed with egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk for a filling that sets into a beautiful cool and creamy custard.

Unless you hail from the Sunshine State, it’s a pie you likely haven’t seen too much of before. Lucky for all of us, it’s easy to recreate the flavor anywhere in the world. Even if you don’t happen to have tropical weather, a bite or two will brighten any day.

Sour Orange Pie

Serves 9; 30 minutes

Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 5 oz plain animal crackers
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • For the filling:
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 medium oranges
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the animal crackers, granulated sugar and salt into fine crumbs. Add butter and pulse until well combined.
  3. Press mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup.
  4. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling:
  5. Zest the orange and the lemon and set aside, keeping zests separate.
  6. Juice both the lemon and the orange, again keeping juice separate. Set aside.
  7. To a large bowl, add egg yolks, sugar, and 1 heaping teaspoon each of the lemon and orange zest. Beat with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add condensed milk and cream and beat until thick, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/4 cup lemon juice and mix until combined.
  9. Pour filling into crust and bake until jiggly but set, 14-16 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes before chilling in refrigerator until firm, at least 4 hours.
  10. Top with whipped cream and serve. Enjoy!