If You Love Key Lime Pie, You Need To Try This Regional Dessert

Not all desserts are created equally. For starters, you have your cookies, cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and brownies, all of which typically possess super-sweet flavors, like chocolate and vanilla, and have fluffy, bread-like textures. But another category of desserts — including key lime pie, lemon bars, peach cobbler, cherry tarts, and grapefruit cake —  boast a tart, acidic, mouth-puckering zing with a smooth consistency produced by mellow, tangy fruits.

One particular dessert calls for an ubiquitous, colorful, and delicious citrus fruit. Sour orange pie is a Southern classic and a once-mega-popular dessert that originated in Florida and has been making a sweet comeback, slowly but surely. If you are a fan of the refreshing pastry that is key lime pie, sour orange pie might quickly become a welcome addition to your "final course" go-to menu. Sour orange pie can be enjoyed on any occasion throughout the year. Prepare your tastebuds and get your forks ready for this amazing treat!

What is sour orange pie?

If you drink the occasional glass of orange juice, love treating yourself to orange-flavored sour candies, or enjoy the scent and flavor of oranges, sour orange pie is a delight you are sure to love. So, what exactly is a sour orange? According to Authentic Florida, a website dedicated to the Sunshine State and all of its beauty, sour oranges — also known as calamondins — were brought to the Americas by Spaniards in the 16th century. Sour oranges are, to this day, grown wild all over Florida. Sour oranges eventually became a widely used ingredient in jams, jellies, custards, and of course, pies.

Atlas Obscura offers an excellent recipe for sour orange pie. To make your very own homemade pie in the comfort of your kitchen, you will need sour orange juice, orange zest, condensed milk, egg yolks, heavy whipping cream, and powdered sugar for the creamy filling. If you cannot find sour oranges or their juice at your local grocery store or fresh market, an even mixture of orange and lemon juices works just as well. When combined, the acidity and brightness of the two fruits create an experience very similar to sour orange. You will also need a graham cracker crust, whether homemade or store-bought.

Once you try this traditional Floridian indulgence, you may have a hard time choosing between sour orange and key lime. They are both just that good!