1Heat oven to 450°. Once you have softened one pie crust according to package directions and placed into a 9" glass pie plate, bake crust for 15 minutes. Use a pie crust weight (I use white rice, poured into foil, to loosely line the crust), or prick the pie crust, so it doesn't bow up while baking.
COOL COMPLETELY. Also make sure the pie plate itself is completely cool, so the heat doesn't merge up thru the crust and is then trapped under the filling once you pour it in. It will ruin your crust, if it's not completely cool.
2In a 1-qt. saucepan, mix unflavored gelatin and orange juice. Allow to stand for 1 - 2 minutes.
3Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange zest with an electric mixer on med. speed, until smooth and fluffy. Set aside.
4After gelatin/orange juice have stood to soften for a couple of minutes, cook over med. heat, until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool. NOTE: at this point, I set the pan of hot gelatin/orange juice into an ice-water bath, and stir it every couple of minutes, so it will not be too hot when I pour it into the cream cheese mixture, in step 5.
5After the softened/cooked gelatin & orange juice mixture is somewhat cooled (tepid to the touch), blend it into the cream cheese mixture, using the hand mixer. Refrigerate until slightly thickened, about 10 mins.
6Fold the thawed cool whip into the orange mixture; gently fold in chopped oranges, making sure to mix it well.
7Spoon all of this into the COMPLETELY COOLED crust.
8Refrigerate until firm, about an hour, or more, if necessary.
Garnish with orange peel curls (optional).