Saturday, March 19, 2011

Violet Pie

Ummm, not really. I only wish the delicate scent could be ingested. I think people do candy violets...maybe one day I will try. This time I settled for their place as intoxicating scent/visual. Taking note from Barbara Kingsolver in her pursuits to eat locally I made an orange chiffon pie for our local fundraising event: The Hyampom Pie Auction. Oranges grow about two hours from here. This is outside of the range the Kingsolvers set for themselves in Animal Vegetable Miracle , but I forgive myself given that there is fairly extreme undeveloped mountainous terrain between here and there.

Orange Chiffon Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 (1/4 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon Cointreau or other orange flavoring
4 large fresh eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 (9-inch) crumb crust

Prepare the crust first

1 package chocolate cookies wafers
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter

Grind cookies in a food processor with sugar. Place into pie tin. add butter. mix to coat all crumbs. Press crust firmly into place to fill bottom and edges of pie tin. Set aside.

To make the pie:

In a medium saucepan, stir together first addition of sugar (1/2 cup), gelatin, lemon juice and orange peel. Stir in orange juice, Cointreau and egg yolks until blended. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes. remove from heat. Chill, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from spoon, 30-45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar at high speed until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are glassy and stand in soft peaks. Gently fold whipped cream along with chilled egg yolk mixture into egg whites. Pile mixture into prepared pie shell. Chill until firm, at least three hours. Garnish with violets and candied orange peel.

Candied Orange Peel

6 lemon peels, cut into 1/4 inch strips
4 orange peels, cut into 1/4 inch strips
2 cups white sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup white sugar for decoration

Place peels in a large sauce pan and cover with water. bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, combine 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water. bring to a boil and cook until mixture reaches thread stage, 230 degrees F (108 C) on candy thermometer, or small amount dropped in cold water forms a soft thread. Stir in peel, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Drain. Roll pieces, a few at a time, in remaining sugar. let dry on a wire rack for several hours and then store air tight. Or place them onto a pie!

1 comment:

  1. I found your lovely blog via Leigh. The pie looks gorgeous...maybe too beautiful to eat!

    Kingslover's AVM book was an inspiration to me, not that I could ever come close to her family's experience, but I am eternally grateful that she lived it and wrote about it. If I had to 'harvest' a turkey or a rabbit myself, I would have to go vegetarian!