This past week I went to the Claremont Pie Festival. Can I just say, Claremont really knows how to throw a festival. We really have to thank the owners of I Like Pie for putting this festival on every year though. Not only did I attend this all day, fun-filled event, I entered the pie contest. Not only did I enter, I won second place for my category. My Orange Delight was true to its name; it was a delight to make and to eat.
Recipe: Orange Delight Tart
One 10-inch pie crust from sweet pastry dough
- I always use homemade pie crust. It is simple, and tastes amazing.
- If you want to use a frozen crust, I advise one that is not already in a tin.
- Sweet pie crust is made with a bit of sugar. Savory crust is the same ingredients, just take the sugar out.
- 4 large naval oranges about 1 1/2 pounds
- 1/4 cup water
- 7 TBS sugar, divided
- 6 ounces almond paste (you can find this at Target)
- 1 large egg
- 6TBS or 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon the flour into a measuring cup so you don’t pack it in)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup apricot preserves, heated and strained before measuring (I just got store brand, nothing fancy necessary)
- 1/4 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds for finishing
1.Finely grate enough orange zest from the oranges to make 2 tsp, and set aside. Use a sharp paring knife to remove the skin and white pith completely from the oranges, and then halve them from stem to blossom end. Cut the oranges into 1/4-inch-thick slices and set aside.
- Make sure you get very ripe oranges, or the pie will taste tart.
- Also, make sure all the white is gone from the outside and the middle.
- A Paring knife is a small knife that you use when you need complete control.
2.Bring the water and 4 TBS sugar to a boil in a nonreactive saute pan large enough to hold the orange slices in a shallow layer; remove the pan from the heat, and add the slices.
- I never would think this small amount of water would be enough, but it is.
3. Bring the oranges to a boil over medium heat, then let them cool in the syrup. When you’re ready to assemble the pie, transfer the orange slices to a pan lined with paper towels and reserve the syrup.
- The first time I did this I used the paper towel, but once it got wet I didn’t feel like the oranges got all the liquid out of them.
- The second time I did it, I poured the oranges into a cheese cloth over a bowl to collect the liquid. This seemed to work much better.
4. Set rack at the lowest level in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
5. Beat the almond paste and remaining 3 TBS sugar on low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until reduced to fine crumbs. Add the whole egg and beat until the mixture is completely smooth, a minute or two. Beat in the butter until smooth, then stop and scrape down the bowl and beater. Beat in the reserved orange zest, egg yolk, and vanilla. Quickly mix in the flour and baking powder together and fold them into the filling using a rubber spatula.
- Almond paste is similar in consistency to marzipan. The first time I did this I didn’t have almond paste, so instead I used honey and a bit of flour to thicken it. This worked fine as well. It did make it a little thinner than it should be.
6. Spread the filling into the prepared crust and smooth top. Arrange the orange slices, overlapping, in concentric rows over the almond filling. Gently press the oranges into the filling.
- To make the pie look pretty you want the oranges in a row, not just dumped into the middle. Plus, then they get baked all the same around.
7. Bake the pie until the crust is baked through and golden and the almond filling is set, 30 to 40 minutes.
- I always start with the smallest amount of time. This is because every oven is different, so even if a recipe says 30 minutes your oven could take 40 minutes. Every time I made this pie (3 times in 2 different ovens) I did it for 30 minutes then added the extra 10 minutes.
8. While the pie is baking, bring the syrup to a boil and allow it to reduce until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes; don’t reduce too much, or it will solidify. Let it cool.
- You don’t want to over-cool this or it turns into a stringy, sticky mess. You want it to be syrup, like maple syrup. Remember you have to have 1/4 of a cup, so if you have less then you know you made it too thick.
9. For the apricot glaze, combine 1/4 cup of the reduced syrup with the apricot preserves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
10. Cool the baked pie on a rack, and if you have a removable bottom pan you can remove it. Slide the tart onto a nice platter. Lightly brush the oranges with the apricot glaze, reheating it if necessary. Immediately before serving, sprinkle the edges with the almond slices.
- When I roast the almond slices, I put some tin foil on a baking sheet and do a single layer. I never set a timer, because you can always smell the nutty aroma when roasting any type of nuts. If you are not sure or get worried, then I would set a 5 minute timer. Then every 5 minutes check the almonds until you get a light brown color. You don’t want to over-roast them or they burn.
This is one of the easiest and freshest pies I have ever made. As I mentioned, I did make a few over the weeks leading up to the contest. I did one in a pie tin and one in a tart pan. Either way you do it, it works amazing. I am happy to say not only did my taste testers love it, I can say it is a prize winning pie. I will tell you that if you have never had almond paste it has a very distinct flavor, so I would taste a little pinch before you use it. This would be perfect for any holiday or summer B.B.Q.