It’s another Milk Bar Monday! And time for some more kitchen alchemy. Plus you’re going to get to use up some of that summer citrus fruit you’ve got hanging around. And the bonus: there’ll be pie at the end.
I’m pretty sure we should get started.
If you have any experience with this glorious cookbook, or if you’ve been reading along on Milk Bar Mondays, you may have observed that some of the recipes can require tweaking. In the case of this lovely summertime pie, it’s the not-so-inconspicuous requirement of a not-so-readily-available ingredient that precipitates the aforementioned tweaking. Not-often-found-in-my-pantry: citric acid.
Let the tweaking commence.
The concept of this pie is a worthy one:
(Buttery, baked, Ritz cracker crust + Passion fruit curd insides)(Sweetened, condensed, grapefruit-thickened filling) = Yes, please.
That’s my kind of math.
The issue is that the filling is basically a layer of sweetened, condensed milk thickened with grapefruit juice and citric acid. And when you’re plum out of citric acid, your condensed milk won’t thicken. What’s a baker girl to do?
I basically converted this into a yogurt pie and served it frozen to keep it as aesthetically pleasing as it is ridiculously delicious.
See that? Very buttery! Very fruity! Very sweet and tweak-worthy! Here are the adjustments that I made to this pie that, if you don’t have citric acid in your pantry, you may want to consider making as well:
1. I added one cup of Greek yogurt to the sweetened condensed grapefruit filling.
2. I increased the food coloring from one drop to two.
3. I baked this pie in a 9″ pie plate instead of in the 10″ pie plate called for in the recipe. The curd and filling recipes just didn’t seem to produce enough to adequately fill a 10″ plate – I like my pies thick! The 9″ plate worked out just fine.
That’s it! The Ritz Crunch that forms the crust and the Grapefruit Passion Curd that is the pie’s innards are just perfect – no tweaking required!
So gather ye grapefruits while ye may and get your tweak on. This pie is a most excellent way to finish your next summertime meal.
And, of course, you should also check out my friends’ Milk Bar Monday creations!:
recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar
1 recipe unbaked Ritz Crunch (recipe follows)
1 recipe Grapefruit Passion Curd (recipe follows)
1 recipe Sweetened Condensed Grapefruit (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 275°.
Press the Ritz crunch into a 10″ pie plate. Using your fingers and the palms of your hands, press the crunch in firmly, making sure to cover the bottom and sides evenly and completely. Put the tin on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. The Ritz crust should be slightly more golden brown and slightly deeper in buttery goodness than the crunch you started with. Cool the crust completely; wrapped in plastic, the crust can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
Using a spoon or an offset spatula, spread the grapefruit passion curd evenly over the bottom of the Ritz crust. Put the pie in the freezer to set the curd until firm, about 30 minutes.
Using a spoon or an offset spatula, spread the sweetened condensed grapefruit on top of the curd, being careful not to mix the two layers and making sure the curd is entirely covered. Return to the freezer until ready to slice and serve. Wrapped (gently) in plastic, the pie can be frozen for up to 1 month.
For the Ritz Crunch:
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1/2 c. white sugar, granulated
1/4 c. milk powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
7 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Pour the crackers in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, sugar and salt, and toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cracker pieces and creating small clusters.
Refer to the pie instructions at this point to proceed with the crust.
For the Grapefruit Passion Curd:
1/4 c. passion fruit puree
3 tbsp. white sugar, granulated
1 large egg
1/2 gelatin sheet or 1/4 tsp. powdered gelatin
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 large grapefruit
1 tsp. grapeseed oil
Put the passion fruit puree and sugar into a blender and blend until the sugar has dissolved. Add the egg and blend on low until the mixture is smooth and bright orange-yellow. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and clean the blender canister.
Bloom the gelatin.
Heat the passion fruit mixture over low heat, whisking regularly as it thickens. Once it starts to boil, transfer back to the blender. Add the bloomed gelatin, butter and salt, and beat until the mixture is super-smooth. Transfer to a container and chill in the fridge until completely cool.
While it’s cooling, remove the rind of the grapefruit completely, leaving no white pith behind. Then carefully remove each segment of grapefruit from its membrane by slicing down both sides of each segment along the membrane to the center of the fruit; the segments should come right out. In a small saucepan heat the oil and grapefruit on low heat, stirring occasionally. After about 2 minutes, the warm oil will help separate and encapsulate the individual grapefruit ‘threads’. Remove from heat and let the threads cool slightly before proceeding.
Using a spoon or rubber spatula, gently stir the grapefruit threads into the cooled passion fruit curd. Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
For the Sweetened Condensed Grapefruit:
3/4 c. sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. Tropicana Ruby Red grapefruit juice
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. citric acid
1 drop food coloring
Combine the sweetened condensed milk, grapefruit juice, salt, citric acid and food coloring in a medium bowl and mix with a rubber spatula by stirring and folding over the mixture until it is homogeneous. Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
YIELD: 1- 9″ pie, approximately 8-10 servings