Monday, February 18, 2013

Shaker lemon pie

I've had my eye on this pie ever since Alan made one around Thanksgiving time. I like the filling much more than typical lemon curd or custard fillings: it has a great marmalade-like texture, it's not too sweet and not too sour or bitter (at least with my Meyer lemons), and it's easier because it doesn't need a stove-top thickening step.

Since the resident pie crust expert Laura is off cavorting in South America, I got to try my hand at her dough recipe unsupervised—with surprisingly excellent results, if I do say so myself. She's been planning to do a guest post with a step-by-step tutorial on her favorite all-shortening pie crust, so I think I'll keep you in suspense about the crust until she does. In the meantime, don't hesitate to try out an all-butter crust like this one (which I haven't tried but I think is similar to the one Alan used).

3 medium Meyer lemons
2 c sugar
1/4 t salt
4 eggs (3 whole + 1 separated)
1/2 stick butter, melted
3 T flour
turbinado sugar

pie crust for a 8-9" double-crust pie

Slice the lemons very thinly with the mandolin and remove the seeds. Toss the lemon slices, sugar, and salt in a plastic bowl and let macerate on the counter for at least 2 hours; the lemon juice should seep out and dissolve the sugar into a thick goopy delicious soup. (Meanwhile, mix up and roll out the crust.) Preheat the oven to 425F. Whisk 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk, plus the butter and flour, into the lemons, and pour the filling into the unbaked lower pie crust. Top with the upper pie crust and crimp the edges together. Lightly beat the remaining egg white with a fork then brush it on the top of the pie. Sprinkle turbinado generously over the whole top crust, and cut air slits into the crust. Bake at 425F for 20-25 min, lower the temperature to 350F (and cover the rim of the crust with foil if needed), and bake for another 20-25 min. Cool completely and serve at room temperature, with or without a dollop of creme fraiche.

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