Monday, January 19, 2015

Shaker Lemon Pie

If the winter blues have you down I have the perfect antidote and it comes in yellow.  This bright, sweet Shaker Lemon pie is just what you need in your life right now. Yes, it has two whole lemons in it, and I do mean whole as in rind and pith.  The Shakers were a thrifty bunch and didn't like anything to go to waste.  Of course, that two cups of sugar could also have a mood elevating component as well, but I like to think it's the lemons with their C vitamins and acidic pick-me-up.

Most recipes I looked at were strikingly similar, two lemons, two cups of sugar and 4 eggs.  Some had flour and I thought it was a good idea to add it.  I also added a teaspoon of vanilla extract, vanilla and lemon being such good friends.  And the pie gave me a chance to try out my new favorite pie crust again and it's still my favorite.  This batch was just the right amount for a bottom and top crust. 

Two words of caution: First, make sure you use organic lemons.  Since you're using the whole lemon and you can never be certain what a conventional fruit has been sprayed with. And second, both the filling and crust do require some down time to achieve the desired results making it the perfect project for a long Holiday weekend.  You can't rush good medicine.

Shaker lemon pie

2 organic lemons
2 cups sugar (plus some for the top)
4 whole eggs (plus some for brushing)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pie dough for top and bottom crust

Wash and dry lemons, grate the skin and set aside.  Slice lemons into the thinnest possible slices.  Place in a large bowl and toss with sugar.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Roll out the bottom crust. Roll out top crust between two pieces of parchment or waxed paper.  Refrigerate both until ready to use.

In a large bowl whisk eggs.  Add lemon mixture, flour, salt and vanilla extract and mix well.  Place pie shell on sheet pan and add filling.  Top with crust, seal and crimp edges.  Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Make 4 or 5 slits from the center out to the edge to vent pie.

Bake for 20 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting.  Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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