Grapefruit Gingersnap Pie




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This tangy Grapefruit Gingersnap Pie is a riff on my popular CRANBERRY GINGERSNAP PIE, which was just too good to let alone ~ this sunny mid-winter dessert wows everybody!

I had my first perfect tangerine of the season the other day, and that kick started my annual love affair with citrus.  Citrus fruit is endlessly inspiring to me as an eater and as a cook.  I love those juicy flavors and cheery colors, I love all the new varieties that have come out lately, and I love that it bursts into season in the dead of winter.  Who cares that we can’t have ripe tomatoes or masses of backyard basil right now ~ we’ve got bright juicy citrus!

This pie starts with an unusual gingersnap walnut crumb crust ~ it’s sweet and spicy at the same time, and so good that I’m always on the lookout for an excuse to make one.  It’s just as easy to make as a regular crumb crust, but the flavor is so much better.   You can crush any crisp gingersnap cookie you like, but I’m partial to the super thin ones from Sweden.   If you can’t find them, most stores carry some type of gingersnap year round.

I pat the crust into my pie plate with a light hand, I like the textural quality of a ragged top edge, and I don’t want the crust to be too compacted, but that’s a personal choice.  I bake it for a few minutes to set it, and that’s all the oven time this pie requires.

The silky grapefruit filling is cooked on the stove, and sets up as the pie chills in the refrigerator.

If you follow this blog you probably know how much I love citrus curds of all kinds.  If you’re a fan of my MICROWAVE CITRUS CURD method you might be wondering why I don’t use that super easy technique here.  For this pie I want the filling to be on the firmer side, and my microwave curd has a softer set.   Cooking this curd on the stove top with cornstarch as well as the eggs makes it more sturdy for slicing.

You’ll need 1 3/4 cups of fresh squeezed pink or ruby red grapefruit juice for this recipe.  For me that was 2 nice big grapefruits.  The addition of lemon juice adds some tang, but also serves to enhance the flavor of the grapefruit.

Just look at that cheery color!

I’m not really sure why I garnished this pie with a sprig of thyme, I just thought it looked pretty.  You could use grapefruit zest, or just leave well enough alone.

*My curd recipe is lightly adapted from Southern Living

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4.08 from 13 votes

Grapefruit Gingersnap Pie

Course Dessert

Ingredients

crust

  • 5 ounces gingersnaps
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter melted

filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed pink or ruby red grapefruit juice (not bottled!) strained to remove seeds and pulp
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • tiny drop of pink gel food coloring
  • 5 Tbsp butter cut in 5 pieces

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs (This should be about a heaping cup, in case you're using ready made crumbs) Add the walnuts, and sugar and process again until everything is finely ground. Add the butter and process briefly to combine.
  • Pat the crust into a 9 inch pie plate, and up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Put the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks in a saucepan with a heavy bottom and whisk to combine and break up the yolks. Whisk in the juices and add the tiniest bit of food coloring to enhance the pink tone. Less is more when it comes to the coloring, and the pink will deepen as the curd thickens.
  • Heat the mixture on medium heat, whisking or stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Boil for one minute exactly (set the timer.)
  • Take off the heat and whisk in the butter pieces, the mixture will be thick and glossy.
  • Strain the curd though a mesh strainer if you like, the step is optional, but will remove any little bits of curdled egg. Fill the pie shell immediately, the curd will start to set fairly quickly.
  • Let cool and then refrigerate, uncovered, at least 4 hours to let it fully chill and firm up.

Make it your own ~

  • Make it ahead: the whole pie can be made and kept in the refrigerator the day ahead.  Cover it loosely.
  • Any firm curd will work in this recipe so feel free to experiment.  Lemon and gingersnaps work particularly well, see my LEMON CRUNCH BARS.
  • Any crisp cookie will work for the crumb crust like graham crackers, of course, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use chocolate wafers, too.
  • For a nut free crust, just omit the walnuts and add a few more gingersnaps.

 

Don’t forget to pin this delicious grapefruit gingersnap pie!

 

 

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35 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Carrie
    May 30, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Loved it! Did not use food coloring as my organic eggs were so vibrant, it came out orange rather than pink; but it was still gorgeous and wonderfully refreshing.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 31, 2019 at 7:07 am

      Sounds beautiful, I can just picture it!

  • Reply
    Elana
    March 16, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Hi Sue,

    Love love love your photos! I’ve been looking at both you grapefruit and cranberry curd recipes and want to make them both ASAP. I’m curious – why does the grapefruit curd use only yolks, where the cranberry curd uses both whole eggs and yolks? I assume the cornstarch is added to the grapefruit curd to make up for less pectin in the fruit? Thanks for letting me pick your brain!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 26, 2018 at 10:53 am

      The two recipes are formulated for different methods, Elana, one for the microwave and one for the stove top, and the proportions are just a little different.

  • Reply
    Deb
    February 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    I’m telling you this pie was amazing! I made the cranberry one at Christmas and this one for a January birthday. Due to an enthusiastic puppy the gingersnap pie crust, which was patiently waiting to be filled, was–uhh-consumed. I served the filling in pretty glasses with a gingersnap topping (happy indeed that there were some left in the box). It was a hit! Refreshing and delightful. Both of these are keepers.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 16, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      Haha, so funny ~ I bet that was one happy puppy! I think another reader mentioned making this layered with the crumbs, what a great variation, love it :)

  • Reply
    Amber Joy
    January 5, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Made two of these today to take to a friend’s house for dinner. Cannot wait to share them!! Thanks for such a fun recipe and a reason to get some new pie plates:)

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 5, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      I love a reason to get a new pie plate ~ hope you love the pie Amber!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    January 1, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Hi Sue, do you have nutritional info for this pie? I diarize everything I eat into MyFitnessPal for a special diet and need as much info as you would kindly provide.
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Tee
    December 23, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Can you provide a nut free crust recipe that would work? Thx

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 23, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      You can leave out the nuts, Tee, just add a bit more gingersnaps.

  • Reply
    Morgan
    December 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Hi there,

    I’ve never been here before, but this recipe looks fabulous. I found it on Pinterest, actually but couldn’t pin it, myself, as I repeatedly was informed that Pinterest had blocked this link. I went to the trouble of tracking you down online and pin here, both through your website and through my phone. No matter what, Pinterest has blocked you.

    I don’t know if this matters to you or how you would appeal that, but I wanted to let you know in case you were not aware.

    Have a wonderful holiday!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 19, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Hi Morgan, Pinterest is having a glitch right now, but it’ll be back to normal soon, I’m so glad you found me and the pie, enjoy!

      • Reply
        Morgan
        December 21, 2017 at 6:45 am

        Thanks Sue!

        Merry Christmas :)

  • Reply
    Debi
    December 19, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Love your ideas! id always prefer fresh squeezed juice, but will bottled absolutely not work? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 19, 2017 at 7:29 am

      Bottled would work, but it won’t have the same flavor. For one thing bottled always contains sugar, so you’d have to adjust to taste there. I’ll put in a plug for the fresh, it just takes a minute to squeeze two big grapefruits and you’ll have the amount you need!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    December 18, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Just spotted this on Foodgawker, and had to pop over to check out the recipe Sue! What a gorgeous color and it sounds so refreshing and delicious!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 18, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Thanks Mary Ann, that color and the flavor really go hand in hand!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    December 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Such a gorgeous pie for citrus season!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 17, 2017 at 11:06 am

      I’m so excited for all the citrus recipes :)

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    December 16, 2017 at 4:54 am

    This lovely pie is getting me in the mood for citrus. Loving that beautiful colour!

  • Reply
    Elaine
    December 15, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I can literally feel how much excitement you have for the citrus! And I totally agree – it is nice to have all these seasons because each of them has something special we can can cook. And yes, I am a fan of your Microwave Citrus Curd :)

  • Reply
    Karla
    December 15, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I made your cranberry gingersnap pie for Thanksgiving and it was soooo good! Nice take on some classic flavors. Anyhoo, I was thinking how versatile the filling could be, and I love this version. Definitely adding it to my list!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 15, 2017 at 11:34 am

      I’m so glad to hear from someone who’s made the inspiration pie ~ thanks Karla <3

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    December 15, 2017 at 9:57 am

    This is amazing! I would have never thought of that flavor combination, but I LOVE it!!!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Little Dairy on the Prairie
    December 15, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Oh my gosh! The flavors of this pie sounds so good! I love it!

  • Reply
    Stephanie@ApplesforCJ
    December 15, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Such a lovely looking pie and I bet the grapefruit and gingersnap flavors go great together. This is really a unique way to use grapefruit. Love the idea!

  • Reply
    Traci
    December 15, 2017 at 7:52 am

    I’m in love with grapefruit…and I’m in love with gingersnap. So, this is a winner for me! :) YUMM thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    December 15, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I love grapefruit, but never used it in a pie like this! Looks creamy, delicious and that colour is beautiful!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 15, 2017 at 8:14 am

      It’s a unique pie for sure, which in my book makes it even more special. Grapefruit has such a wonderful flavor, it deserves more attention!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    December 15, 2017 at 5:08 am

    What a gorgeous color and that flavor must be fantastic! Love this citrus delight :) Pinning and sharing. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    December 15, 2017 at 4:20 am

    Such a lovely pinky colour! Have never had a grapefruit pie…is that filling like custard?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 15, 2017 at 6:53 am

      It’s more of a curd, Angie, since there is no dairy in it. I like it that way because the flavor of the grapefruit is more pronounced than it would be in a custard.