Grapefruit Cream Pie with Rosemary Crust
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a grown-up pie, with the creamiest grapefruit filling, tangy grapefruit whipped cream, and a sweet and savory rosemary crust.
Serves: 1 pie
For the Crust:
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • 9 tablespoons butter, chilled or frozen
  • 1 egg yolk
For the grapefruit cream:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 2 grapefruit (if you end up using the juice of 3, you can save the extra zest for garnish)
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup fresh grapefruit juice (from 2-3 grapefruits)
  • 2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoons
For the grapefruit simple syrup:
  • ⅓ cup grapefruit juice (from 1 grapefruit)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
For the whipped cream:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons grapefruit simple syrup
For the crust:
  1. In a food processor, add flour, salt and rosemary. Pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Cut butter into small pieces and scatter over the top of the food processor. Pulse until butter pieces are crumbled, with some as big as peas and others much smaller.
  3. Mix the egg yolk lightly with a fork. Through the spout on the lid, pour egg yolk in small batches, pulsing after each addition. Once it’s all in the processor, hold down the pulse button for about ten seconds a time. Once the crust comes together (you’ll know when the food processor starts making a different sound), dump it out onto the counter and combine it into one ball.
  4. With your fingers, gently press it into the pie pan and up the sides. Try to be gentle and not overwork the dough.
  5. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, or up to several days.
  6. When you're ready to bake the crust, preheat the oven to 375°F. Place a piece of aluminum foil that will fit in your pie pan shiny side up, and rub it with butter. Place the buttered side down tightly against the crust.
  7. Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for another 8 minutes, checking frequently to make sure the crust isn’t burning. It should be a golden brown when you take it out.
  8. Cool the crust to room temperature before filling with the grapefruit cream.
For the grapefruit cream:
  1. Get your equipment ready. You’ll need a blender, a strainer, and an instant-read thermometer.
  2. In a medium or large heatproof bowl (make sure it will fit over a small saucepan of simmering water), rub the grapefruit zest into the sugar until it is aromatic. Whisk in the eggs and then the grapefruit juice.
  3. Set the bowl over a small saucepan filled with simmering water on medium heat. Make sure you have the thermometer either on hand or placed in the bowl so you can check the temperature regularly. Whisk the mixture constantly (it’s a workout, but if you don’t, the eggs will start to scramble), and continue to check the temperature. You’re looking for it to get to 180°F. When it’s getting close, the mixture will eventually start thickening up and the whisk will leave tracks. This took me 10 minutes, and I adjusted my heat down as the temperature passed 160°F. As soon as it reaches 180°F, remove the bowl from the heat.
  4. Holding the strainer over your blender, strain the mixture into the blender and discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools down to 140°F. This should take about 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the blender to high. While it is running, add the butter 5 pieces at a time, scraping down the sides of the blender as you need to. Once all of the butter is in, keep the machine going for another 3 minutes.
  6. Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface so that it is airtight, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
For the grapefruit simple syrup:
  1. Combine grapefruit juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and simmer for three minutes, stirring often to avoid anything sticking to the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For the whipped cream:
  1. Pour heavy cream into bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high speed until it forms medium peaks. Add in the grapefruit simple syrup (I had 4 tablespoons), and whisk until it forms stiff peaks.
  2. Spoon grapefruit cream into crust and smooth with a spatula. With a piping bag fitted with a star attachment, place stars of whipped cream all over the pie, working from the outside in. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Note: This recipe is adapted from "The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart" in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home To Yours.
Recipe by Today We Bake at