As much as I write about it, talk about it, and eat it, I never have written down my recipe for Sour Orange Pie.
Some recipes out there suggest using saltines in the crust. Don’t use a saltine crust. That’s an abomination! Also, you need something a little more sugary to cut the tart in this sour orange pie recipe.
I’m not a food blogger, so I’ll give you my recipe first and then if you want to keep reading, you can. But if you’re here for the Sour Orange Pie recipe, fear not: I won’t make you scroll!
Graham Cracker Crust
This is not negotiable. I make mine with two-ingredients: butter and graham cracker crumbs.
- 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (I have celiac so I get gluten-free ones, but don’t do that to yourself if you don’t have to)
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4-1/2 c. sugar (honestly, I don’t always add sugar and think it tastes just fine, but apparently most people like the sugar. Go figure.)
- If baking the crust* (I do): Preheat oven to 375º
- Mix everything together and press into a pie plate.
- Bake for 5-6 minutes.
- Allow to cool.
- Fill with, well, filling.
Sour Orange Pie Filling
- 4 Seville** oranges (sour oranges)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- Zest the oranges and set aside about 1 tsp. zest
- Juice the oranges, taking care to remove seeds
- Mix the juice, yolks, sugar, milk, and all but that 1 tsp. zest together until completely blended
- Pour in pie crust
- Garnish with zest
- Freeze until firm
Notes on the Sour Orange Pie Recipe
*Because this is a freezer pie, you can simply freeze the crust when you freeze the pie. I bake my crust because I think it holds together better, but remember, I have to use gluten-free graham cracker crumbs. Graham crackers with actual gluten in them will hold together much better, so freezing may work for you!
**True sour oranges, called Seville oranges, are truly hard to find anymore. For the first 500 years Europe had any oranges at all, though, it only had Sevilles. Seville oranges were also the first oranges to make it to the North American continent. Today, your best bet for finding them is a tree in someone’s yard or stumbling across one on a hike (that’s how I first tasted them.) If you have a tree in your yard that produces crappy oranges, do not think you have a Seville orange tree. This state park used to have one growing wild near the cabins, but I’m not sure it’s still there.
In its truest form, the Seville orange looks like a giant, bumpy, orange, lemon. If you hold it to your nose for a sniff, you might think it’s a lemon. People will actually insist it is a lemon; it is not. If you find one of these trees, please tell me where you found it and send me the seeds!
Some people like to top this pie with meringue; I’m not one of those people. But please, feel free to do that if that’s your thing, but before you pop it in the oven to brown the meringue, make sure that filling’s really frozen hard. Another option? Whipped cream. I don’t do that, either, but I’m a purist. No judgment if you want to add whipped cream!
Sour Orange Substitutions
If you can’t find sour oranges, you have two choices: use the Authentic Florida recipe I mentioned above, or buy the Badia “Naranja Agria” juice. You can usually find it in the Spanish section of what most grocers call the “ethnic foods” aisle. Be careful you don’t accidentally grab the mojo bottle. They both have orange in them, they look almost identical, and they usually get stocked next to one another. The mojo, however, has garlic and onion and other things that taste great with pork, but not in a pie!
Sour Orange Juice: Other Uses
Oh, and if you find yourself with leftover sour oranges, you can always try my sour orange margarita. Because when life gives you sour oranges, make margaritas!