Orange Pie of the Cretan White Mountains

Orange Pie of the Cretan White  Mountains

It’s spring now in Crete. The White Mountains (Lefka Ori) are still covered with snow while down near the sea in the green valley we enjoy the very mild weather and fields plenty of flowers. Citrus fruits are just ripe and we can find here the absolutely best oranges I know. At the same time the flowers of these trees are perfuming the air.

Travelling and walking around in the villages, we met very friendly people. “Ela” (“come” in Greek) asked us two farmer sitting under the trees.  They offered us some wine and we spend some time chatting with them and listening their stories about the village and the destruction during the Second World War and the current situation.

They told us they are really lucky, they have their fields, a place to sleep and don’t need much more; for the people living in towns it’s really not so easy! Finally, before leaving, they offered us fresh oranges from the trees and asked us to come back in 10-20 year, perhaps they will be still there.

With the zest of only one Cretan super tasty orange I prepared this light pie, may be you will need more zest or just to use more depending on their quality.

You need:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • About 2 tablespoon water

Orange custard:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 orange zest (or more depending on the quality)
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup water

Topping (White Mountains):

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 inch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Procedure:

  1. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, margarine and salt. Work it with the fork until crumble are formed.
  2. Add just enough water to assemble the dough.
  3. Press the dough on the bottom of grease and walls of a 9 inch pie mold or of another suitable mold
  4. Pinch the bottom or better place some baking beans on it and bake it about 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F.
  5. In the meantime combine in a bowl all the ingredients except of juice and water.
  6. In a pot bring water and juice to boil.
  7. Pour egg mixture in the pot stirring constantly and cook at moderate heat until it thickens-
  8. Pour the custard into the half baked crust and bake at the same temperature for other 20 minutes.
  9. For the topping beat to stiff peaks the egg whites with salt, add sugar and beat again until very thick. Now add lemon juice and cornstarch. Beat again.
  10. Place the topping in a plastic bag, cut a small corner of the bag, and top the pie cook for other 10-15 minutes until golden.
  11. Cool down and serve if possible chilled.

Here all my Greek inspired recipes

Orange trees in front of the white mountains on Crete

 

 

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