July 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
We discovered this pie at an amazing bakery (Scratch) in Durham, NC. I never knew such a pie existed, and it really is amazing. Tart and sweet and perfectly lemony with a hint of bitterness because it uses the entire lemon. The whole thing.
I looked up many recipes to see how I could possibly replicate such a startling fantastic dish, and I was surprised at how relatively simple it is. However, there are many variations. Some include chopping all the lemons up more finely in a food processor, which may eliminate some textural issues that some may have with the lemon rinds, but I think if they’re sliced finely enough, this isn’t much of an issue, but rather provides a nice little bite.
This recipe is derived from Smitten Kitchen, which is derived from Saveur.
2 large lemons, preferably Meyers (I thought my lemons were really tiny so I used 3 1/2)
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespons butter, melted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg white
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Dough for one double-crust pie (I’m too lazy to make my own, though I think that could make the pie even more delicious)
1. Clean lemons well and dry (you’re using the whole thing, so they need to be clean).
2. Finely grate lemon zest into a bowl.
3. Using a mandoline or a really sharp knife and good skills, slice lemons as paper thin as you can get them; remove and discard seeds. It may help to freeze them for ~30 minutes prior to slicing.
4. Add slices to zest and toss with sugar and salt.
5. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 24 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
7. Fit half of dough into 9-inch (1-quart) pie plate, and trim the edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang.
8. Mix the macerated lemon-sugar mixture with eggs, melted butter and flour until combined well.
9. Pour in to prepared pie shell. Can you believe it’s just that easy once you have the lemons cut?!
10. Place top crust/dough over the filling, fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively.
11. Beat one egg white until frothy and brush over pie crust, then sprinkle with sugar.
12. Cut slits in the crust with a sharp knife, forming steam vents, and bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes.
13. Reduce the temperature to 350°F. and bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until the crust is golden.
14. Let the pie cool on a rack and serve it at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream. However, we also found that it’s possible even more delicious served cold for breakfast. But serving at room temp appears to be the convention.