Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Desserts: Orange Blossom Pie

Serves 6 to 8

1 1/2 cups fine ginger snap crumbs (about 24 to 30 regular or gluten-free ginger snaps)
1/4 cup melted butter
7 to 10 navel oranges, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup juice from sweetened oranges
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 8-oz package Neufchatel cheese, softened
3 tbsp crystallized ginger, diced
whipped cream

To make crust, put ginger snaps in food processor and process until crumbs are fine.  Add melted butter.  Mix crumbs and butter until all crumbs are moistened.  Pat into bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.  Cool.


Cut the peel and pith (the white thread-like substance attached to the inside of the peel) from oranges. Slice the mid sections of the oranges in one-third inch cross sections to make 3 cups of fresh orange slices.  Squeeze all juice from end slices onto the oranges slices as you cut them.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over oranges and juice and let sit 30 minutes. 


To make the glaze, drain sweetened oranges and add 1 cup of the juice (supplementing with additional orange juice if necessary) to 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch.  Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture boils and thickens, turning clear.  Cool.


Combine Neufchatel cheese and diced ginger in food processor.


To assemble, spread softened cream cheese on the bottom of the cooled crust.  Arrange drained orange sliced on top of the cream cheese.  Spoon half of the glaze over the oranges.  Arrange another layer of orange slices and top with remaining glaze.  Refrigerate 1 hour.  Serve with whipped cream.