This Calamansi Pie has gone through a year in the making. You see, my (grandma) Tita Flory has a calamansi tree planted in her garden. We’ve always enjoyed the juice of those sweet mini lemons… but we never knew it was called Calamansi. Every year, roughly from August to November, the tree gets filled with these little calamansi oranges and we love to make drinks out of it – not juice, but adding a water and sugar syrup to take away the tanginess.
Last year, I prepared the first version of the recipe, but I added zest and quite a bit more ginger, both of which made the pie a bit bitter. And… I am improving my pie making skills. Last year I had a pie crust that shrink so horribly I refused to post it here on Foodies. The recipe for the lemon curd was divine, but I just couldn’t bring myself to post it. You guys deserve the best! So, fast forward about a year, and I get a huge bag full of calamansi oranges. I might be doing a second pie this weekend since I have so many. Or some bars.. YES… That would be good.
Now, what do you know about Calamansi? At first I just thought they were these tiny oranges from my grandma’s yard, but no. Turns out that they can grow throughout Southeast Asia, India, Hawaii, the West Indies, and Central and North America. When you grow them, the fruit is usually seen in its un-ripened green state. When left to ripen it turns a tangerine orange. The calamondín juice is extracted by crushing the whole fruit, and makes a flavorful drink similar to lemonade. And in Asian cuisines, the juice is used to season fish, poultry, and pork. Calamondin halves or quarters may be served with iced tea, seafood and meats, the acid juice is often employed like lime or lemon juice to make gelatin salads or desserts, custard pie or chiffon pie.
All around, this fruit is as versatile as a lemon or an orange, and you can do so much! I am inspired to cook some more with this fruit. If you happen to find some around where you shop, make sure you try this pie!
With information from Wikipedia
Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
½ recipe of Pate Brisé
¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 ⅓ cups plus ½ cup sugar
1 ¾ cups of water
¼ cup cornstarch
¾ cup fresh calamansi juice
½ teaspoon ginger
2 large egg yolks, plus 4 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
½ teaspoon of vanilla
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-by-1 ½-inch quiche pan or pie dish and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ⅛ inch thick. Cut into a 10 ½-inch round, and fit into ring, pressing up sides. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Trim sides of dough to 1 inch. Line with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake shell until dry and beginning to brown around edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove parchment and weights; continue baking until pale golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
- Put 1⅓ cups sugar, the cornstarch, flour, and ¼ teaspoon salt into a medium saucepan; whisk in 1¾ cups water.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Add calamansi juice and ginger; whisk to combine. Remove from heat, and add egg yolks.
- Return to heat, and cook, whisking, until bubbling in center, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour through a medium sieve into a medium bowl. Let stand 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into cooled shell. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Stir together remaining ½ cup sugar, the egg whites, and a pinch of salt in bowl of the electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved.
- Move the bowl to the mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on high-speed until medium glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and mix a few minutes more.
- Heap meringue on top of chilled filling, leaving a 1-inch border. Place under broiler or use a kitchen torch to brown. Serve immediately.
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