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Recipe: Shaker Lemon Pie


Ingredients

2 medium lemons
2 cups sugar
Pastry for a 9-inch double-crust pie
4 eggs, beaten well
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Using your sharpest knife (a serrated knife is ideal), trim each lemon to remove the stem end and tip. Slice each lemon crosswise, as thinly as you can possibly do it, into paper-thin circles. If you can drape them over the knife blade like the watches in Salvador Dali's surrealistic paintings, you're on the right track. Scoop up as much of the escaping lemon juices as you work, and add them to the bowl of sliced lemons.

Chop the thinly sliced lemons coarsely, so that the largest pieces of lemon rind and pith are only 1 inch long, again gathering escaping juices back into the bowl for their flavor.

Add the sugar to the bowl of lemons, and stir to mix them together really well. Cover and set aside at room temperature, for at least 3 hours and as long as overnight. Stir occasionally with a big spoon, to mix everything together well.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a 9-inch pie pan with crust, leaving a 1-inch overhang.

Add the eggs, flour, and salt to the bowl of sugary lemons. Stir to mix everything evenly and well. Pour this filling into the piecrust.

Use a little water to wet the top rim of pastry around the piecrust. Roll the remaining dough into a 10-inch circle and place it carefully over the filling. Trim away the extra pastry, leaving a 1-inch overhang extending beyond the rim of the pie pan. Fold the crust up and over, and crimp it decoratively. Or press the tines of a fork into the pastry rim, working around the pan to make a design. Cut 8 steam vents in the top of the pie, so that steam can escape and the pie's juices can bubble up.

Place the pie on a baking sheet and place it on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake until the filling is bubbling and thickened, and the pastry crust is cooked and handsomely browned, 25 to 35 minutes more. Place the pie on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let cool to room temperature.


My notes:
The original recipe (from Epicurious) stated a single-crust pie, but the directions and photo indicate a double-crust pie. I used a standard Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust.

I used 4 Meyer lemons because two lemons just didn't seem like very much at all. (Plot point!)

I got the mandoline for this purpose and I still couldn't get it to slice properly. Maybe lemons are just too soft for this? IDK. At any rate, I used Huxrin's nice new very sharp knife set. Even so, it's hard to get the paper-thin slices they want in this recipe.

So, the lemons and sugar wee currently like a very strong lemonade base in a covered container, occasionally stirred, and there's nothing like fresh lemon aroma to really perk up a kitchen!

I did have to pick out the seeds. Couldn't be helped.

BUT THEN!

I didn't double any other ingredients, just the lemons, so it was really sour (but see below) and it required my deeper pie dish. So if you do it to the actual recipe, it might not be as sour. (And if you double everything, you make two pies.)

The original recipe calls for paper-thin slices. After the overnight maceration (close to 24 hours I think?) I ran it through the food processor in two batches to puree it. It really helped.

Also, I thought I had lowered the temp at the 15 minute mark, but apparently it didn't "take" and so it cooked at 475 for the entire time. Definitely done by the end!

Then I let it sit overnight, like most cooked pies.


I thought it had a good custardy texture like a smooth marmalade, but also def on the sour side. Whipped cream (or even Cool Whip) on top, or milk to drink, helps cut it. Mom thought it was just right and Dad didn't like the texture, he thought it should have been pureed even smoother. (Mom also suggested coffee to drink with it.)

Basia and Amanda at work raved over it. Basia because Poles never had any sugar and got used to never having sweet things; Amanda loved the texture and the sour taste.

Probably if I'd only used two lemons, it would have turned out differently.

In short:
- Great way to use up whole lemons! Which is what I wanted.
- A very different type of lemon pie.
- Loads of Vitamin C and fiber!

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ringsandcoffee
Feb. 11th, 2017 04:40 am (UTC)
Since you pureed the filling, I wonder if you could get away with thicker-than-paper slices at the beginning.

I might need to try this.
laridian
Feb. 12th, 2017 12:54 am (UTC)
That was part of the reason I pureed it, I just couldn't get them that thin. But several comments in the original recipe suggested pureeing as well and it really did work. I don't know how much more I could puree it though. The food processor must be 20 years old, though it's rarely used so it's in good shape.
soundofsunlight
Feb. 15th, 2017 09:49 am (UTC)
That sounds interesting, and I happen to have some lemons that I should use. :D
laridian
Feb. 16th, 2017 02:01 am (UTC)
There you go! :D But definitely puree the lemon slices. Let me know how it turns out!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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