Monday, April 6, 2015


My attempt two weeks ago to make a buttermilk orange chess pie turned into a big goopy mess but the idea of it was still irresistible. Who could resist a creamsicle-flavored Orange Julius inspired pie?  I was determined for a do-over but this time with a different recipe. But all I really needed was a tweak of that and a pinch of this. Devilishly Delicious! 

Growing up, I distinctly remember hanging out at the local mall and lining up for an icy cold, frothy Orange Julius. I'd be surprised if most people haven't tried this beverage - a mixture of orange juice, sweetener, milk, powered egg whites and vanilla flavoring - at least once. Did you know that the drink grew out of an orange juice stand in Los Angles in 1926 by Julius Freed? His real estate broker, Bill Hamlin, couldn't handle the acidity of plain OJ and developed a mixture that gave him less of a bellyache. Freed started serving this frothier, creamier textured drink at his stands. Folks lined up at the stand shouting, "Give me an Orange, Julius!" The new drink would eventually be known as Orange Julius. It was named as the official drink of the 1964 New York World's Fair. In 1987, the chain was bought by Dairy Queen. 

Buttermilk Orange Chess Pie
9-inch par-baked all-butter single pie crust *see below

1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cornmeal
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
5 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup buttermilk
7 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
5 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine orange and lemon zest, and both sugars using your fingers. Add cornmeal, flour, and salt.
  3. Stir in melted butter. Add eggs, mixing well between each addition. When all the eggs are added, stir filling briskly until thickened and light in color.
  4. Stir in buttermilk, lemon juice, orange juice, and vanilla extract. 
  5. Strain mixture into partial pre baked pie crust and place in preheated oven. Bake until the  edges are puffed up and set and the center jiggles just a tad when nudged. The top will be golden brown. About 40 to 50 minutes. Don't over-bake.

All Butter Pie Crust (one single)
1 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tablespoons, cold unsalted butter
2 1/2 to 3 tbsp ice water, more or less
  1. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. 
  2. Dice one stick of very cold butter into 1/2-inch pieces. 
  3. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour, and using the pastry blender, cut butter into the flour. Make sure to work the pastry blender evenly over the mixture until the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas.
  4. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of ice water (not the ice) over the flour mixture. I find 3 tablespoons of ice water usually is enough but sometimes 1 or 2 additional tablespoons may be necessary BUT add 1 tablespoon at a time. It's always easier to add more water, then to try and repair a too wet dough. Using a rubber spatula, gather the dough together. Remember, you want just enough water for the dough to come together. Once you start to get large clumps with the spatula, use your hands to gather the rest of the clumps together into a single mound. 
  5. Place mound on a large sheet of saran wrap. Shape into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for one to two hours, before rolling out.
Prepare Crust:
  1. I find rolling out dough between two sheets of plastic makes the cleanup easier. Roll out dough into an 11-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge but leave a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and flute the edges. 
  2. Prick bottom of pie shell, then chill shell in freezer for 30 minutes. This will prevent shrinkage. 
  3. While shell is chilling, preheat oven to 350º F with a baking sheet in the middle rack. 
  4. Butter the shiny side of a sheet of an aluminum foil. Firmly line the frozen pie shell with the foil (buttered side down.) No pie weights necessary.
  5. Bake on baking sheet until pastry is set and edge is pale golden, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil, then bake shell another 5 minutes, just until crust is dry but not browned. Cool shell completely.

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