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The challenge ingredient used in this pie is Kumquat. I had heard of kumquats when buying citrus in the winter in Florida, but just assumed they were similar to tangerines. I was wrong.
Kumquats are a small citrus fruit, about the size of a tangerine, sometimes even smaller, however they most often are eaten peel and all. The peel is the sweet part, the pulp is a little tart. Unlike other citrus fruits, they have a short growing season and aren’t available year-round in the U.S. To use fresh, I would have to wait until late November or December, which is very close to the deadline for this year’s 52 project. Better to get moving now! I chose to use Kumquat Marmalade* from Kumquat Growers of Saint Joseph, Florida. As I mentioned earlier, the peel is sweet and I definitely wanted the sweetness. Marmalade was a better choice than jam for this reason. *If you want to try your hand at making Kumquat Marmalade, the lovely Gretchen at Kumquat-Blog has a recipe to share!
Just in case you were wondering what the kumquat tree looks like, here’s a photo. I saw them in the garden center at our local Lowe’s recently. I don’t know if the trees would produce fruit. Growing up, we had a cute little orange tree and it would occasionally produce a few fruits about the size of a cherry tomato.
But enough about the kumquat, let me tell you about this sour cream crust. It is a mock sour cream crust, completely dairy-free. I have been quite attached to my traditional pie crust recipe, but this one runs a very close second. It’s flaky, has a good buttery flavor and is slightly creamy. I think you’ll like it!
1 egg for egg wash
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (I used Baker’s brand), melted
In bowl of stand mixer, mix Better Than Sour Cream and Earth Balance until well combined. Mix in the flour, stopping when all is combined. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on countertop, put pie crust dough on top of plastic wrap and flatten into a disc, about 6″ round or so. Top with another piece of plastic wrap, fold in sides and cool in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
After dough has cooled, roll out between the sheets of plastic wrap. No need to add extra flour to the rolling surface when your dough is already perfect! Roll out large enough for a 9″ pie crust. The crust will be of medium thickness as pie crusts go.
Remove top sheet of plastic wrap and place inverted 9″ pie pan over the top, centered on the dough. Gently pull up on bottom plastic wrap and turn it over along with the pan. This results in your crust easily flipping right into the pie pan. Remove the bottom (now top) sheet of plastic wrap and press crust into the pan. Trim the edge, crimp it with a fork, pleat it with your fingers, do whatever you would like. This is your pie! I trimmed mine off along the edge of the pie pan and re-rolled the crust. I then cut out mini stars and placed them around the rim of the pie pan.
Brush your crust with egg wash. Using a fork, pierce the bottom of the crust a few times. Bake at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes until it just starts to brown. Remove from oven.
With a pastry brush, brush the bottom of the pie crust with melted chocolate. Let cool in refrigerator while you make the filling.
Chocolate Kumquat Icebox Pie Filling
1-12 oz. package Mori-Nu Extra Firm Silken Tofu
1/2 cup coconut crystals
1/2 cup kumquat marmalade
8 oz. Better Than Cream Cheese
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
Mix all ingredients together in food processor. Process until smooth then pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Pie keeps best in the refrigerator, remove right before serving.
My husband said this pie reminds him of the Terry’s Chocolate Orange, the segmented ball of chocolate flavored with orange oil. We see these in our area around the holidays. He likes the dark chocolate variety best, which tells you this pie has a deep, rich chocolate flavor with a hint of citrus. And just like the Terry’s Chocolate Orange, it wasn’t around for long here. Delicious!