Today is King’s Day in the Netherlands! Last year queen Beatrix abdicated and her son Willem-Alexander took the throne, thus changing up the date on which we celebrate our monarch’s birthday. The king’s actual birthday is on the 27th but since that’s on a Sunday this year, the celebrations were moved up a day. The traditions on King’s Day (I still think it’s weird saying that instead of Queen’s Day) are manyfold, but the bottom line of it is that a bunch of Dutchies dress up in (preferably bright) orange and sell their stuff on the street or alternatively, roam the streets for bargains. As none of my friends were available today, I stayed in and baked myself a lovely orange pie! Oranje boven! ((I guess I should explain that..Oranje boven translates to “Orange above all” with Orange referring to the House of Orange, which is our Royal Family’s house. ))
So this is not just your regular, shortcrusted pie. It’s a Dutch pie. And those are made with a yeasted dough, ladies and gentlemen! The Dutch name for them is “vlaai” and they’re associated with the southern Dutch province of Limburg. I guess it’s our equivalent to a Key Lime Pie.
Dutch pies come in many varieties, fillings range from rice pudding to fresh fruit. They’re never completely closed, as “regular” pies can be, but they can be covered in crumble or with a lattice crust. For this pie I used orange flavored pastry cream and orange marmalade as the filling, which is a bit more unusual – I haven’t seen it before anyway. I have to say, it tastes pretty phenomenal. The pie is just bursting with orange flavor, which is what you’d expect from an orange pie I reckon.
So here’s to the King! Thank you for not being Joffrey, Willem-Alexander.
Orange-Above-All (Oranje Boven) Pie Recipe
Tools: Sieve, piping bag with star nozzle, 24cm/9.5inch pie tin (2.5cm/1 inch high)
125 grams plain flour
2 grams salt
6 grams caster sugar
30 grams unsalted butter, softened
50 ml water, lukewarm
1/2 egg, beaten (use the other half as eggwash)
3 grams instant yeast
Orange Pastry Cream:
500 ml full-fat milk
125 grams caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
2 medium eggs
40 grams cornflour
zest of 1 (organic) orange
1 (organic) orange
zest and juice of one (organic) lemon
250 grams caster sugar
Whipped cream topping:
200 ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1. Start by making the marmalade. Boil the orange in a pan with plenty of water for 2 hours. Drain, then slice thinly and chop the orange finely. Add the orange, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and a splash of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 7 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Leave to cool.
2. Then make the pastry cream. Add the eggs and 1/3 of the sugar to a bowl and whisk until light and frothy. Half the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds out of it. Bring the milk to a boil with the rest of the sugar and the vanilla seeds and pod. Take off the heat, remove the pod and pour some of the milk mixture into the egg mixture while stirring. Then slowly add it back to the milk mixture and bring to a boil while constantly stirring. Take it off the heat once it has thickened and immediately strain it into a bowl. Stir the orange zest into the cream until evenly dispersed. Cover the cream directly with clingfilm to stop a skin from forming. Set aside to cool.
3. Make the dough. Measure out flour into a bowl, add salt and sugar on one side of the bowl, yeast on the other. Mix so that everything is evenly dispersed, then add half a beaten egg, the water and the softened butter. Bring together with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured working surface and knead for 15 minutes by hand (5-6 minutes in a freestanding electric mixer with dough hook attachment). Add some flour if the dough is very sticky. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C/360F. Roll your dough out to a 3mm/0.1 inch thick circle shape on a floured working surface. Line the pie tin with the dough, don’t cut the overhang off just yet. Leave for 5 minutes, then cut the overhang off. Brush the borders with some of the remaining egg. Fill the crust with the pastry cream. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for a while before turning out onto a wire rack.
5. Once the pie is cool, spread the marmalade on top. Whip the cream with the sugar. Prepare a piping bag with a star nozzle, fill it with the whipped cream and pipe rosettes all around the border and one in the middle. If you want, you can decorate further with sprinkles or chocolates/chocolate shavings. Enjoy!