Easy Orange Cream Pie

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I LOVE me some fruit desserts, especially if they are tart.  That's why my favorite apple pie is made with cranberries and why I can't keep Lemon Heaven in the house if I want to be ready for swim suit season. Now I have another recipe to add to the mix which has both a lemon AND orange flavor.  My son found this for me in an old Williams-Sonoma cookbook. (And I've made a few changes!)

Here's the full ingredient list:

For the crust:

  • 1 package graham crackers, crumbled into small pieces (roughly 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar

For the pie:

  • 1-2 large cans Mandarin oranges
  • 1 block (1/2 lb) cream cheese @ room temperature (don't use non-fat in this recipe)
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (strained)
  • 1 orange for zesting - you will need 1 tsp of zest

Begin by making the crust.  Put the rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat to 350 degrees.  Combine the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar. (Note - the sugar missed the photo below, but DID make it into the bowl!!)

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Press the crumb mixture into a 9 inch pie pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.Next, make the pie filling.  Zest orange and juice the lemons so they are ready for use when putting the mix together.  Begin by mixing the cream cheese until smooth.  Next add the condensed milk.Then add the vanilla.  If you have the option, use Mexican vanilla.  I SWEAR it's more flavorful! And if you happen to be traveling to Mexico, always pick up a bottle (or two - you know, so you can give one to your favorite blogger!).Then add the grated orange rind.Stir in the lemon juice.When everything is blended together, pour into the prepared shell.Smooth out the top and decorate with the oranges.  If you have two cans, you can cover the entire pie surface but alas, on baking day I was a can short and made the best out of it!Chill for at least 2 hours to set and remove from the fridge about 20 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!!

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