Happy Pi Day! Today is actually an epic Pi Day because it’s 3.14.15. and the first 5 numbers of pi are 3.1415. In celebration of this wonderfully nerdy day (yes, I think being nerd is a huge positive – yay for us nerds!) I’ve made these Blood Orange Pies.
I know that blood oranges are at the end of their season, so I had to post at least one dessert with these beauties. Blood oranges are nothing like regular oranges. Ripe blood oranges are often sweet, with a lingering bitterness that gives them a uniquely delightful flavor. While they taste fresh, bright, and pretty delicious, I’m a huge sucker for how gorgeous they are. I mean, naturally pink pie filling? Yes, please.
The blood orange juice and zest is cooked into a curd, giving the pies a not-too-sweet filling. And when you pair the curd with the buttery, flaky crust, it’s out of this world. These mini-pies are not very deep, so the ratio of filling to pie is perfect in every bite.
This recipe makes 8 4-inch mini pies or tarts, and 5 hours after they came out of the oven, 3/4 of the pies were gone – mainly into my husband’s stomach 🙂 These pies may be making an appearance at his next birthday or our anniversary because they’re quickly becoming a favorite.
The garnish on top of each pie is a candied blood orange slice. They look like delicate pieces of stained glass laying on top of the blood orange curd. The candied fruit gives the pies an air of sophistication. Making them special enough to gift to a friend or to serve at a dinner party. I have to admit that I love the candied blood orange so much that I’m eyeing everything in the fridge and pantry, trying to figure out how and when I can candy it.
My 6 year-old loves the idea of Pi Day (She thinks puns are hilarious). She also loves reading, writing, building simple machines with her Legos, and playing around with a circuit board. She seems to be following in her mom’s nerdy footsteps, and I couldn’t be more proud 🙂 So to all of my fellow nerds and non-nerds alike, here’s to Pi Day – wishing you a day full of pies to celebrate pi!
- For the Crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tbs unsalted butter, cold, cutting to ¼-inch pieces
- 3-5 tbs of ice water
- For the Blood Orange Curd:
- 2 tsp blood orange zest (I used 2½ blood oranges)
- ¾ cup blood orange juice (I used about 6 small blood oranges)
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- ¾ up granulated sugar
- 3 whole eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 egg yolk, at room temperature,lightly beaten
- ¼ cup butter cut into ¼-inch cubes
- For the Candied Blood Orange Slices:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 blood orange, sliced thin
- Start by making the pastry. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt.
- Add the cubes of butter, and using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture making sure that pea-sized pieces of butter still remain.
- Start off with 3 tbs of ice water. Drizzle it into the butter mixture, and lightly mix. Continue to add water until the dough just comes together.
- Pat the dough into a ball, and flatten into a disk.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- While the pastry chills, make the candied blood oranges. Place the water and sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan. Cook on medium until it boils and the sugar dissolves. Stir it occasionally, but don't walk away from the pan.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, carefully lay the blood orange slices in the sugar mixture.Turn the heat down to medium-low.
- Cook for about 40 minutes or until the edges of the blood orange slices become translucent. Using tongs, turn the slices over a few times to ensure both sides cook evenly.
- Once the blood oranges are candied, remove them from the pan. Place them on a sheet pan lined with a silicone mat.
- While the blood oranges cool, make the curd.
- Place the blood orange zest and juice, the sugar, lemon juice, eggs and egg yolk into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.
- Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes until it's thickened. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Strain the curd to get rid of any curdled bits of egg.
- Set the curd aside to cool.
- While the curd cools, roll out the pastry dough on a lightly flowered surface. I like to roll it out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper.
- The crust should be thin - about ⅛ inch thick.
- Using a circle cutter that's larger than your mini-pie/tart pans, cut out 8 circles.
- Place one circle of pastry into each mini-pie pan.
- Place the mini-pie shells on a baking sheet for easy transfer in and out of the oven.
- Place the pastry lined pans in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- While they chill, heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Once the pie shells are cold, line each one with foil and place dried beans or rice to weigh the crust down. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Then remove the pie weights and foil, and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes until the bottoms of the curst are just golden.
- Remove the pies from the oven.
- Fill each shell with the blood orange curd.
- Lower the heat on the oven to 375 degree F. Bake until the filling is set, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the pies from the oven. While still warm, place a candied blood orange slice on each mini-pie.
- Allow the pies to cool completely, then remove them from their pans.
If you’re inspired to try more pie recipes, a group of blogger friends and I got together to celebrate this epic Pi Day by sharing some of our most delicious pie recipes. Make sure to check out some other amazing bloggers and their pies for Pi Day!
Gluten Free Coconut Cream Pie – What the Fork Food Blog
Blood Orange Mini Pies – The Crafting Foodie
Banana Cream Pie Dip – Shaken Together
Frozen Chocolate Pie – Nessa Makes
Apricot Hand Pies – Rick•a•bam•boo
Coconut Cream Pie – Delightful E Made
Vegan Pecan Pie – The Viet Vegan
Chicken Pot Pie Soup – Bubbly Nature Creations
This post is linked to these awesome parties.