Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Oh, That Lemon Pie!

I don't watch a lot of television, but one show I do enjoy is ABC's "Desperate Housewives." During this past Sunday's episode, two characters, Bree and Katherine, were squaring off in a contest on who could bake the best lemon pie in a battle to be the number one homemaker.

The fight over the "lemon pie" reminded me of my maternal grandmother and how much I enjoyed her homemade lemon pie.

Lemon Pie is one of the recipes I included in my book, Baba's Kitchen: Slovak & Rusyn Family Recipes and Traditions. So, in the spirit of the "Housewives" episode, here is the recipe from the book.


Basic Pie Crust

For one-crust pie.

1 c. flour
pinch of salt
¾ c. or more of Crisco shortening (butter flavor Crisco is best)
8 to 10 tbsp. ice water

Blend with pastry blender until crumbly. Then add about 8 to 10 tablespoons of ice water, and mix with a fork to form a ball and roll.

If baking, place in 450 °F oven and bake 10-12 minutes or unitl golden brown.
For a two-crust pie, make two recipes.


Grandma’s Lemon Pie

One of my favorite desserts from Grandma Figlar’s kitchen!

Crust:

Use basic pie crust recipe, or store-bought already prepared pie crust.

Filling:

1-½ c. water 3 egg yolks (slightly beaten)
1 c. sugar 1 tbsp. butter
½ c. water 1 lemon (use juice and grated rind)
7 tbsp. cornstarch
(dissolved in a bit of water)

In pot, bring to boil over direct heat, 1 c. of sugar in 1-½ c. water. Make a thin paste from the cornstarch and ½ c. water. Add cornstarch paste and cook until mixture begins to thicken. Then transfer to a double boiler and continue cooking 15 min. until thick and smooth. Add the slightly beaten egg yolks and butter. Cook one minute longer. Blend in lemon juice and grated rind of uncooked lemon. Cool and pour into pie crust. Top with meringue. Bake in slow oven at 325 °F for 15 minutes or until delicately brown.

Light meringue:
3 egg whites (beaten)
9 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat egg whites until stiff and add sugar gradually. Then add 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until peaks form.

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