Lemon and Orange Custard Pie
Zesty, vibrant and airy custard wrapped in shortbread cookie-like crust.
Custard is spiced with cardamom, nutmeg and flavoured with vanilla. We reduced the amount of cream by almost 2/3rd and replaced it with tangy sour cream and orange and lemon juice. This gives a real vibrant and refreshing kick to this custard pie.
For a good bake:
Base for this pie needs to be blind baked. Use pie weights or dried bins, or other diy set up to keep crust in shape. You can use our shortbread crust recipe or this recipe for flaky, all-butter crust. If you decide to go with flaky crust - before refrigerating pie dish with the shell, brush it with an egg white. This base will also need to be blind baked (25-30min, at 190C, bake until golden). Alternatively, if you don’t have pie weights and you want to bake without ‘walls’ (shell) you may opt to blind bake the base only (in a round tin with removable base). The custard sets nicely after few hours so it will be as easy to cut as cheesecake.
Zesty sugar - using palms of your hands and finger tips rub lemon zest, vanilla seeds, cardamom and nutmeg into sugar to release more flavour. You may opt to use orange zest here - we are skipping this intentionally as the custard has more of a kick if you use lemon zest only (and orange and lemon juice).
Bubbles - you want to mix as little as possible and add as little volume through mixing or whisking as possible.
Clear lemon and orange juice - sift freshly squeezed juice to make sure the residues are removed.
Mix sour cream with lemon and orange juice until fully mixed in and smooth - use fork or a whisk.
Mix eggs with sugar as little as possible. Blender would be ideal. You don’t want to introduce too much air.
Pour hot double cream (whipping cream) over the mixture as a last step - this will help to lock some of the bubbles. Pour hot cream slowly, in a steady stream.
Bake at high temperature first, then lower the temperature to bake fully. This will create nice and light texture. The middle should be slightly jiggly when baked.
Lemon and Orange Custard Pie Recipe
Yield: 12 portions
Time: 1 hr prep + 45-50 min baking
Tin: 18cm pie dish (4cm deep), or 21cm tart tin or round tin/spring form (with removable base)
300g all-purpose flour
50g icing/confectioners’ sugar
1/5 tsp salt
200g unsalted butter, cold or frozen
1 egg yolk
* This portion will give you enough crust to bake full shell in a spring form.
If baking in a pie dish - you will have some 30% leftover (you can bake delicious cookies from it).
** Or use this recipe (flaky, all-butter crust; half of the portion).
Lemon and Orange Custard:
zest from 2 lemons
1/3 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod (optional)
200g sour cream
80ml clear lemon juice (juice from 2 lemons)
80ml clear orange juice (juice from 1 orange)
8 large eggs (460g), straight from the fridge
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/3 tsp coarse salt (use half if using table salt)
230g double cream (48% fat)
+ freshly grated nutmeg and icing/confectioners’ sugar to decorate
Prepare crust: Mix flour with icing sugar and salt. Grate cold butter into the mix and working with palms of your hands and finger tips incorporate butter into flour until crumbly texture forms. Add egg yolk and with few swift moves bring the dough together (don’t add water; 30 sec job). Refrigerate the dough for 30 min. When ready, take out from the fridge (let sit on the counter for 5 min). Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Roll out the crust (0.2-0.3cm thin) and line your baking tin/pie dish with the crust, delicately place parchment paper on top and fill in with pie weights (all the way up). Bake the base for 15-18 minutes at 180C (160C fan forced), then delicately remove pie weights and bake for another 10-15 minutes until light golden and fully baked. Cool the pie shell completely before filling with custard.
Prepare zesty sugar and orange/lemon sour cream: Mix sugar with lemon zest, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla seeds and using palms of your hands and finger tips rub into sugar to release flavour. In a separate bowl mix sour cream with orange juice and lemon juice until fully combined (no white bits).
Preheat oven to 230C (210C fan forced oven).
Prepare egg mixture: Using blender or whisk - blend eggs with zesty sugar, vanilla bean paste, coarse salt. Add sour cream mixed with juices and whisk/blend until just combined. Bring double cream close to boil (90C) and in a steady, thin stream add to the rest of the mixture gently mixing until combined. If there are any air bubbles or frothy mixture on top of the custard - discard it. Pour mixture into cooled pie shell. If you are a fan of nutmeg you can grate fresh nutmeg and sprinkle the top just before placing your pie in the oven.
Bake at 230C (210C fan forced) for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 150C (130C fan forced) and bake for another 30-35 minutes. The middle should be slightly wobbly when baked. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for 2 hours then refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours before serving. Refrigerate your pie in-between servings (covered).