Chocolate Orange Pie (Basics IV: Orange Curd + Graham Cracker Crust)

Aside from the word “curd” grating my senses on every level, I find the topic one of importance for my basics series. Yes, that’s right I said curd.  Curd is the word that sounds gross, but is not.  It’s actually quite awesome and tasty when you think about it, and though it might need a new name, it is in fact delicious on many levels:  It’s creamy, it is perfectly sweet, it’s tart, and it is rich yet light in taste and decadent in texture which is what makes it worth knowing and tasting.

A basic curd in a graham cracker crust is one of the easiest yet more impressive things you can learn to make as far as desserts go, in my opinion.  It’s a simple means of creating something delicious that occasionally confounds even the most experienced home cooks (they all use jello, usually, instead for whatever reason).  It works as a filling for pastry shells, cakes, cookies and so many other things. Curd is generally seen as lemon, but, since lemons are more of a spring flavor, I wanted to use orange.  Once I decided on orange, I remembered that a good part of my family has a mild obsession with all things chocolate-orange.  This pie is what I brought to Thanksgiving dinner, along with some other desserts, as well.  It’s just a chocolate graham cracker crust with an orange curd poured into it, topped with mini chocolate chips around the edges and left to chill just enough, so it sets well.  Sounds easy because it is easy.

Today, I am very thankful I am home, spending time with my family, decorating for the holidays.  Happy belated Thanksgiving, everyone.  Enjoy the leftovers and enjoy what’s left of the long weekend.

Chocolate Orange Pie

  • Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust (recipe below)
  • Orange Curd (recipe below)
  • Mini Chocolate Chips

Pour orange curd into graham cracker crust.  Top edges with mini chocolate chips.  Cover and chill to set before eating.

Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust

  • 9 whole chocolate graham crackers, crumbled
  • 1  stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Preheat oven to three hundred fifty degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in a large food processor.  Pulse until uniform in texture.

Pour into nine inch baking dish and push down onto the bottom of the dish and work onto sides of the dish, creating a one inch tall layer about a quarter of an inch thick all around the sides of the dish.  Bake in preheated oven for eight to ten minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.


Orange Curd

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, room temperature

In a medium metal bowl, whisk together: sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, eggs, egg yolks, and orange peel.  Add butter; set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until curd thickens and instant-read thermometer inserted into curd registers 175°F, about 12 minutes (Don’t boil it).  Remove bowl from over water. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd; chill at least 1 day and up to 3 days.


Orange curd adapted from Bon Appetit, 2002


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16 Responses to Chocolate Orange Pie (Basics IV: Orange Curd + Graham Cracker Crust)

  1. Chocolate and orange ALWAYS go well together, and your pie looks absolutely perfect. I need a homemade pie like this for my holiday dessert! :)

  2. Parsley Sage says:

    Bwa haha! I guess I never thought about the word ‘curd’ much…I’m not sure I’ve said it outloud more than 5 times. It is awful, isn’t it! Your pie makes up for the icky word, that looks fabulous!

  3. Dara says:

    Gorgeous pie and so festive! I’ve never made orange curd before, you make it sound so simple!

  4. Heide M. says:

    Wish I had a slice of this. The pie must taste divine.

  5. Marilyn says:

    I never thought to make orange curd. So going to try it. Yum!

  6. Nancy says:

    This looks delicious!

  7. Kimby says:

    P.S. What are those delicious looking lil’ empanada-type things in the background?

    • Ah, yes, those are just some mini pear pies I made (very similar to a sweet empanada, I assume). I cooked some pears down with a little cinnamon, the same way you make applesauce, then made cutouts using cookie cutters on pie crust. Then I just filled themand sealed the edges using a little eggwash (egg white with a splash of cream and a sprinkle of sugar). I then placed them on some parchment and cooked them at 325 on the middle rack until they were golden. They’re great when you don’t have any more pie plates and/or want something that people can eat while walking around, like a cookie.

  8. Kimby says:

    Kate, it was so nice to hear you’re home enjoying family, decorating, etc. with a thankful heart — that’s the stuff memories are made of. (So is your pie — it’s a “beaut!”) Smiling over your reticence re: the term “curd” — for me, it’s head cheese. (!) Happy Holidays and thanks for your “basics” series, too — stellar!

  9. Mackenzie21 says:

    Sounds delicious. This is one of my favorite flavor combinations. I look forward to it every Christmas; going to make this for sure.

  10. This is a stunning recipe which is going straight in my folder :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. Anne says:

    How long do you bake the crust for? I see you tell us to preheat the oven, so I’m assuming you bake it. The recipe looks very yummy.

  12. Marie says:

    I’ve made lemon curd, but I never thought to make orange curd. This sounds fantastic, Kate. Bookmarked.

  13. George the Baker says:

    I haven’t made a curd in years. Very inspiring. Looks delicious.

  14. Heather says:

    Chocolate orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations too, this is a must try on my holiday baking list. Sounds awesome.

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