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.
- 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