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10 September 2009

Shaker Lemon Pie

A cousin of the Lovemuffin has a lemon tree in her backyard that produces vigorously. We've been going there to help with some things around the house, and each time we do, we take a bunch of lemons with us. The last time we went home with two bags of lemons, so I decided to make a Shaker Lemon Pie. I made this kind of pie once last year, using a recipe from "The Pie and Pastry Bible" and the Lovemuffin thought it was the best thing ever. I thought it was kind of weird and too bitter-lemony. So this time I found a different way of preparing the lemons from another recipe on and I liked it much more. It was less bitter, but still overpoweringly lemony and very refreshing and delightful. It is great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, but it is best all by itself.

Shaker Lemon Pie
Prepared crust dough for a 2-crust pie (I use my whole wheat pie crust recipe)
2 large lemons
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 egg yolk

The day before you want to serve the pie, begin preparing the lemons. Start boiling some water in a medium saucepan, enough to cover the lemons. Wash the lemons, scrubbing the skins gently, especially if your lemons are not organic and may have been treated with pesticides or wax. Once the water comes to a boil, drop the lemons in and let them poach for 30 seconds. Drain and cool the lemons. When they are cool enough to handle, cut the ends off, just to the point you can see the sections underneath the pith. Discard the ends. Cut lemons in half lengthwise, and then cut each half into very thin slices, as thin as you can manage. Discard the seeds, and place the slices and any accumulated juice in a medium bowl. Add the sugar and stir it through the slices gently. Stir the mixture again after 1 hour, try to get keep the rinds under the syrupas much as possible. Let the mixture soak for at least 8 hours, but preferably closer to 24.

Roll out the pie crusts using the method described in my recipe. Place one pie crust in the bottom of a 9-inch glass pie dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Keep the other crust chilled in the fridge. When the crust is sufficiently chilled, take it out and take off the plastic. Take the lemon slices out of the syrup, letting the syrup drip off back into the bowl, and place them in an even layer in the bottom crust. Add the eggs and yolk to the syrup and mix well; then pour the syrup and eggs over the lemon slices. Trim the edge of the crust to overhang the pie dish by 1/2 inch. Place the second crust on top, press the top and bottom crusts together gently, to keep the top one from shifting. Trim the top crust to overhang the edge of the pie dish by 1 inch. Fold the top crust under the bottom and crimp them together, using whatever crimping method you prefer, only make sure that it is well sealed.

Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425 F. When the oven is hot, take the pie out of the freezer, remove the plastic wrap and cut some fairly wide slits in the top crust. Put the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 F, and bake for 25-30 more minutes. If the top and edges of the crust are getting brown too fast, you can cover it with a ring of foil. When the pie is done, you will hear the filling bubbling gently, and you can see on the bottom side of the pan that the bottom crust is nice and brown. Let the pie cool completely before slicing to let the filling set up completely. You can put it in a well-ventilated spot in the fridge to speed up the process.

Now slice and enjoy!

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