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Clementine Chess Pie


Light and citrusy clementine chess pie is a perfect dessert when the clementines are fresh in the market. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons fine cornmeal
  • 2 drops orange food coloring (optional)
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup creme fraiche
  • Finely shredded peel of 1 clementine (or 1 teaspoon orange peel) and 1 lemon (2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons clementine juice or orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 clementines
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade, melted


Servings 8
Preparation time 90mins
Cooking time 140mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Make the shortbread crust:
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, combine all-purpose flour, unsalted butter (cold and cut into small pieces), cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. In a small bowl whisk together egg yolk, cold water, and vanilla extract until well combined. While pulsing, slowly pour egg mixture into flour mixture. Pulse until just moistened; turn onto plastic wrap. Gently knead until any dry patches are incorporated. Wrap and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Crumble 2/3 of the shortbread dough over the surface of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Gently press dough evenly onto bottom and sides; trim excess. Prick bottom and sides of pastry with a fork. Chill 45 minutes. Line pan with parchment; fill to the top with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 15 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and weights; loosely cover with foil. Bake 5 to 8 minutes more or until dough begins to brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Make the filling:
In a large mixing bowl beat together sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt until light and fluffy. Add flour and cornmeal; mix until just incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl between additions. Add 2 drops orange food coloring, if desired.

In a small bowl whisk together creme fraiche, clementine and lemon juices and peels, and vanilla; beat into butter and sugar mixture. Scrape down sides; mix until incorporated. (It may look curdled. This is OK.) Pour into prepared crust.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until pie is just set but still has a very slight wiggle in center. Cool on a wire rack.

While the pie is baking prepare the candied clementines. Cut clementines into paper-thin slices; brush generously with melted orange marmalade; let dry completely.

Place the candied clementines decoratively on the top of the pie.

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