I loved the idea of a creamy, orange pie filling, reminiscent of a Good Humor Creamiscle bar, with a salty crust made from pretzels, but I wasn't sure what to expect when developing this recipe. I'm pleased to say it's all that and then some! Sweet, citrusy, creamy with a good dose of salty crunch from the crust — it's the best easy-peasy pie for summer. And because "extra" is my middle name, this pie must be served with whipped cream.
Technique tip: When blending pretzels for the crust, don't blitz into a powder. You want a little bit of texture to offset the silky pie filling. When pressing the pretzels into the pie pan, try using the bottom of a 1-cup dry measuring cup, this ensures even depth and uniform sides (though, if you don't want to dirty anything else, your hands work just as well). Make whipped cream in the food processor! There's no need to pull out additional equipment to make whipped cream, the blade of the food processor does the job and makes a slightly denser cream that is the perfect texture for a cream pie's filling.
Swap option: Make the pie with a saltine crust, a Ritz Cracker crust or a cookie crust — like vanilla wafers — or even chocolate (chocolate and orange can make for a great combo). If you can find lemonade concentrate, make a lemon "creamsicle" pie, rather than orange!
- nonstick cooking spray or softened unsalted butter, for greasing
- 1½ cups finely ground pretzel crumbs (from about 3 cups whole pretzels)
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup defrosted orange juice concentrate
- whipped cream, for serving
For the crust:1.
Grease a 9- inch pie plate with cooking spray or softened butter.2.
To make the crust, process the pretzels, brown sugar and salt together in the bowl of a food processor until the pretzels are finely ground. Some small pretzel bits are fine, as you don't want just pretzel dust. Pour in the melted butter and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed. Alternatively, you may place the dry ingredients in a resealable plastic bag, seal and cover it with a tea towel and crush the pretzels with a rolling pin, then transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and stir in the melted butter.3.
Scrape the crust mixture into the prepared pie plate, firmly press it into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers or the bottom of a 1-cup dry measuring cup and freeze while you make the filling.
For the filling:
Give the processor bowl and blade a quick rinse or wipe down and process the cream until thick — it won't exactly have peaks, the way it does when you whisk it in a stand mixer, but it will stand upright if encouraged to do so. Transfer the thickened cream to a large bowl. If your kitchen is warm, place it in the refrigerator.
Without cleaning the bowl, process the cream cheese, powdered sugar, zest, vanilla and lemon juice until thick and smooth. Add the concentrate and process until incorporated. Gently fold the orange mixture into the whipped cream in two installments with a flexible spatula. Don't over-mix.
Scrape the filling into the crust, smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. If the crust sticks to the pie plate, when you attempt to cut your first slice, rub the bottom and sides of the plate with a wet tea towel dampened with hot water. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream. Keep the pie, wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Excerpted from "Snackable Bakes" by Jesse Sheehan. Copyright © 2022. Used with permission of the publisher, Countryman Press. All rights reserved.