More than a few years ago when we had our bakery, MOM, I tried about every combination of flavors I could imagine in both savory and sweet pies. One of the pies that I could never master was from a Shaker cookbook culled from recipes devised in the Shaker colonies in America in the 1800s. It is a very, very simple pie, but difficult to make without pristine, exceedingly thin-skinned lemons. In those days I could never find lemons that would do the trick.
Last week, my generous friend, Linda Vaughan, gave me a bag of beautiful Meyer lemons that a friend had sent her from California. They were, I thought, the perfect specimens to make that longed for pie. And, in fact, they were as the photo shows. Here’s the recipe should you find a generous friend or be lucky enough to live somewhere in Meyer lemon territory. You can make your own pastry, buy refrigerated commercial pie pastry, or use my recipe that, I believe, you will find under an earlier chicken pie posting.
The filling is, surprisingly, quite sweet so I served the pie with dollop of thick Greek-style yogurt.
3 to 4 very thin skinned, organic lemons, well-washed and dried
2 ½ cups sugar, super fine is best, but regular granulated will do just fine
One 9-inch unbaked pie or tart shell
Using either a mandoline, Japanese vegetable slicer, or a very sharp knife, slice the lemons, crosswise, paper thin.
Place the lemons in a shallow bowl and cover with the sugar. Toss to blend. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Place the eggs in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the marinated lemons along with the sugar and stir to blend. Scrape into the pie (or tart) shell, and gently smooth the top, making sure that some lemon slices are evident.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is set.
Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool before serving.