Orange cream pie is sweet-tart orange curd nestled on a Nilla wafer cookie crust, then topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream. A dessert to celebrate with!
Hey, Friends! Today is a very exciting day because my Sister-from-another-Mister, Jeanne of Inside Nanabread’s Head fame, is turning FIFTY today! Birthdays are kind of a big deal around here, but the Big 5-0? HUGE deal!
The Theme Week crew has gotten together to throw Jeanne a Virtual 50th Birthday Party over the interwebs. Join us in the celebration, Friends! Here’s how we’re celebrating today:
Beka/Kvetchin’ Kitchenstarts us off with cocktail hour the classic Aged Manhattan.
As our resident Texan, Jeanne is a fan of all things Tex Mex so the appetizer round begins with Kat’s/Tenaciously Yours famous Guacamole.
Followed by Mads’/La Petite Pancake Cheesy Chorizo Dip.
Chase it down with Madeline’s/Munching in the Mitten Fig, Fontina, and Pecan Flatbread.
Since all great birthday parties require a Sweets Table, I’m sharing a fantastic Orange Cream Pie.
Think of the Creamsicles of your childhood, but better! Better because it’s extra creamy, a little more tart, and sits atop a ‘Nilla wafer crust. Oh, yeah…and it’s a pie!
Jeanne’s fellow Texan Katie/The Hill Country Cook made a fat Chocolate Cake with Cooked Flour Frosting.
Carrie/Bakeaholic Mama combines chocolate with a tropical flair in her Coconut Banana Brownie Pie.
Lauren/Climbing Grier Mountain used another childhood favorite–animal crackers–in her Mini Key Lime Pies with Animal Cracker Crusts.
Allison/Decadent Philistine’s pays homage to Jeanne’s southern roots with a Coca Cola Cake, and then Megan….Oh, Megan!
Megan/County Cleaver brings it bigtime with her Nutella Cream Cheese Turnovers. Oh, yes. she. did!
And because no birthday party is complete without ice cream, Monica/The GromMom is scooping up a Tropical Ice Cream from her garden in Hawaii, and Anne/From My Sweet Heart brought the Mexican Vanilla Ice Cream Cones–a recipe that she adapted from a Texas-themed cookbook.
We may or may not have a few other shenanigans up our collective sleeves in honor of Jeanne’s Big Birthday, but more on that Monday. Until then…
Happy Half-Hundred, Jeanne!
I love ya more than cake…which is why I made you orange cream pie!
Jeanne is Pie Girl if ever there was one, so I knew that whatever I made for her birthday, it would be in pie form. She’s been such a good sport about it, too–what will all my cryptic texts demanding answers to random questions–just to help me decide what to concoct for her birthday.
Quick! What color are your eyes?
Lemon and coconut together…good or gross?
Do you like creamsicles?
Toilet paper roll facing front or back?
I had to throw a few ruses in there just to throw her off track, but you get the idea. I’ve been terrorizing her with randomness for weeks now, and she answers back every time without batting an eye. Bless her!
So when Jeanne responded that she loved creamsicles as a kid, I knew that an orange cream pie needed to happen. I mean, come on! We have lemon cream pie and every other cream pie under the sun, so why not orange? The combination of a sweet-tart orange curd nestled on a Nilla wafer cookie crust, and then topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream is a force to be reckoned with. It’s like a Pie Valhalla! To quote my dad after he ate a slice:
Nothing about this pie is bad.
There ya have it. This pie’s some seriously good stuff. So let’s make another!
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
The crust is like a simple graham cracker crust, with Nilla Wafers standing in for the grahams, along with brown sugar, melted unsalted butter, salt and a little flour.
Comfortably Domestic Tip: When substituting cookies for graham crackers in a crust, adding a little flour will help bind it all together without getting soggy.
Place approximately 65 Nilla Wafers in a large zippered bag with the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Seal the bag and then roll the bejeezes out of it with a rolling pin, until all that remains are coarse crumbs. Sons #1 through #3 did the honors.
Stir in the little melted butter with a touch of water before pressing the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate the crust for 15 minutes before baking it for 8 minutes. Allow crust to partially cool while preparing the orange curd filling.
The orange curd is made up of eggs, unsalted butter, cornstarch, salt, navel oranges, and granulated sugar.
Zest an orange before squeezing the juice from the fruit. More than one orange may need to be juiced to collect enough fresh juice for the recipe. Stir the zest into the sugar, pressing with the back of a spoon, to release the orange oils into the sugar.
Cream the butter, orange sugar, and cornstarch together in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, until blended. Slowly incorporate the freshly squeezed orange juice–the mixture will appear curdled, however that’s just the butter firming up with the addition of the cooler ingredients. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until thickened. (About 15 minutes.)
The orange curd is ready when it comes 175°F, and a spoon dipped in the curd leaves a momentary streak when swiped with a finger.
Pour the orange curd into the crust, cover it with a sheet of waxed paper, and chill for several hours to cool.
Once the orange curd has cooled in the pie shell, it’s time to whip the cream with a touch of powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste. I am obsessed with vanilla bean paste! The intensity of the vanilla flavor is nothing short of amazing. However, I understand that it may not be a pantry staple for everyone. In lieu of vanilla bean paste, the caviar from inside a vanilla bean or a good quality vanilla extract may be used.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator and spread the whipped cream over top.
Sprinkle with additional orange zest, if desired.
Dig into this orange cream pie with a friend and reminisce about the flavors of childhood.