Many of my Florida recipes which I have collected over the years include the delicious Florida orange. I will never forget those first years after moving to Florida. The beauty of the acres and acres of citrus trees was simply mystical and the wonderful fragrance when they were in blossom was overwhelming. Unfortunately today many of these trees have been destroyed for one reason or another and we miss the splendid landscape which once was.
A lot of my Florida recipes are for pies utilizing the wonderful tasting juice coming from the Florida oranges. In recent years it has been easier to purchase California oranges in the supermarkets than the Florida ones, amazing as that might seem. When my sister was visiting, she was so disappointed that the local grocery did not have any Florida oranges. This is not to say that California oranges are not delicious also but it is like comparing two different fruits.
California oranges are beautiful; nice thick bright orange skins that are pretty much blemish free. This is due to the arid climate of California. These oranges make beautiful fruit baskets or in a fruit bowl for your table. They are tasty but the California orange is firmer, less sweet and less juicy than the Florida orange.
All Florida recipes made with locally grown oranges have a sweet full orange flavor. There is nothing like a large freshly squeezed glass of Florida orange juice. Florida oranges have a lot of blemishes; the few which do not are saved for things like shipping and you pay a lot more money for these. Although most are blemished, the inside taste and juice cannot be beat. All these qualities are due to the warm humid climate of Florida.
Some of my tastiest Florida recipes for pies utilize both the juice and grated orange peel making a real distinct flavor. Often these recipes are combined with other southern traditional pies like the pecan pie. Sometimes the orange is blended with recipes which have made their way into the Florida cuisine like cheesecake and apples.
Combine orange juice, orange sections, sugar and cornstarch in large saucepan.
Cook over low heat until clear; beat in a little hot mixture to beaten yolks.
Return yolks to remaining hot mixture; cook about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and butter; cool to warm and pour into baked pie shell.
Top with meringue and bake until meringue is lightly browned.
This Florida recipe is a constant reminder of Florida’s sunshine; it is the “sunshine state”.
Set aside and reserve ¼ cup of the orange sections.
Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan and mix well.
Gradually stir in the orange juice and lemon juice.
Add pineapple and remaining orange sections; mix well.
Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils; 5 to 8 minutes while stirring constantly.
Cool slightly and pour into cooled pie shell; refrigerate until filling is partially set about 1 hour.
To make TOPPING beat cream cheese and powdered sugar in a small mixing bowl until fluffy.
Fold in the whipped topping; add milk until reaching spreading consistency.
Spread mixture carefully over cooled filling; refrigerate for about 3 hours.
Drain reserved orange sections and arrange on top of pie; sprinkle pecans on top.
Store in refrigerator; 8 servings.
This Florida recipe combines the traditional pecan pie with the Florida orange and other Florida favorites like chocolate.
Combine flour, orange peel and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly.
Sprinkle in ice water 1 tablespoon at a time mixing with a fork until moistened.
Gather dough into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface.
Line pie pan, trim excess dough and flute around the edges.
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
Beat with a HAND BEATER sugar, melted butter, corn syrup, Grand Marnier, salt and eggs until smooth.
Stir in the pecans and pour into pastry lined pie pan.
Cover edges with strips of foil to prevent over browning.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until set; remove foil last 15 minutes of baking.
Cool 15 minutes; heat chocolate chips and shortening until melted and drizzle over pie.
Serve with orange sauce.
Mix sugar and cornstarch in saucepan.
Stir in orange juice and liqueur.
Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and boils; boil and stir 1 minute.
Stir in orange peel; serve on plate under a piece of pie.
Combine butter and ½ cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan; heat until the butter is melted.
Stir in apple juice and orange juice; add apples and heat on medium high until hot.
Combine remaining ½ cup sugar, flour and cinnamon; stir in apple mixture and remove from heat.
Cool to warm and pour into unbaked pie shell; moisten edges of crust with water.
Cover top with woven lattice made from dough.
Bake at 350F degrees for 1 hour or until the filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
Cool before cutting.