lemon pie

I want this lemon pie to be a little bit foamy, not like thick lemon pudding, unless it's like a light and airy lemon pudding. I will avoid Eagle Brand condensed milk. It will contain eggs, cream, sugar, dash of salt, fourteen gallons of vanilla extract, which is possibly a slight exaggeration. Oh, and lemon, the juice and the scrapings from the lemon skin. It will have an ordinary pie crust but one that's extraordinarily flaky. I will put those flakes in there myself, one by one, and by hand. I will do this rapidly and efficiently without the use of specialized tools. It will be a thing of wonder.

boiling custard
whipped cream
pie shell rolled
pie shell ready
pie shell ready to pre-heat
pie shell pre-heated
combined pie filling
lemon pie filled
How to do this:

* Two lemons, the juice and the scrapped skin
* Four whole eggs
* One cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt or a pinch of sea salt
* one and 1/2 cup cream
* one Tablespoon vanilla extract (a lot, to take the edge off the saccharine/tart combination)

* Flour, a little over a cup
* Butter, Crisco, lard, I think about a little less than 1/2 cup. Possibly more.
* pinch of salt, cinnamon, allspice.
* 1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water. A spray bottle would be great for this.

* an immersion blender makes this really fun, but it's not necessary.

A little bit of the cream is heated along with the eggs and the juice and the scrapping and the sugar. It is blended with the emersion blender. It's bubbly but not foamy. It threatens to curdle it is removed from the heat and the blending continued.

The remaining cream, about one cup, is whipped in a separate container. It turns out to look like not enough so a little more is added, about 1/3 cup.

I taste the cooked mixture. I decide I don't like those skin scraping in there. They're too annoying. They are strained out. They did their job. Now, begone! I taste again. It hits me right in the jaws, like something tart should. I decide it needs more vanilla. I'm a fiend with this vanilla, and have no problem going overboard with it.

The two mixtures are combined, the cooked lemon curd and the whipped cream. I'm expecting the heat from the brought-just-to-simmer-curd to melt the whipped cream like the hot soup did, but it seems to be holding up. Whatever. It lightened the mixture and that's all that I wanted. The total mixture got whipped a lot together, not like a souflé, but not dense as pudding either. This is beginning to look like it just might work.

The crust was made with butter and a little less Crisco and a lot less lard rubbed into it. The fats were cold. The cold lumps were rapidly smashed and rubbed through the flour quickly so that the heat from my hands wouldn't have time to melt it. Each little flour coated fat particle will translate into a separate flake once the crust is baked. The entire flour mixture was cold. There wasn't enough fat in the flour so I nicked off a little more Crisco and rubbed that in too. When my fingertips felt the crumbly mass of flour coated fat particles was sufficiently enfattenated I drizzled ice water in the moving particles while mixing thoroughly and rapidly attempting to add as little water as possible to bring the dough together into a shaggy evenly dampened mass. One that would stand a bare chance of holding together once rolled. The dough was put into the refrigerator while I cleaned up the place, where it rested, hydrated, and chilled.

The dough was rolled out onto parchment paper with its plastic wrapping on top. The parchment was used to lift the dough into the pie dish, actually the dish was inverted over the rolled dough and the whole thing, parchment, dough, and dish were flipped over. The dough was put into the freezer. to re-firm. The chilling again, is so the dough doesn't shrink when it is pre-baked, and to help convince it of its structure. It seems a little odd, to put something chilled directly into a hot oven, but that's what you do. Great pie crusts are all about temperature control. Well, that and water control. And also fat control. And I suppose flour control to. What the hell, it's all about control.

The parchment paper was cut to fit inside the pie and covered with spoons to hold it down. It's basically flour and fat and it tends to bubble up. The crust was docked to let steam escape and prevent bubbles, and briefly pre-baked. (10 minutes) The weight of the spoons also helped prevented it from bubbling.

The spoons and parchment disc were removed and the pie shell filled with the combined foamy mixture. Returned to the oven and baked for 40 minutes.

The pie shell pre-baked at 400℉, it could have gone a little longer than 10 minutes, and the whole pie was baked at 350℉ for forty minutes, that could have also gone longer without suffering.

lemon pie cooked
It puffed up for now and that's a good sign. It'll probably deflate, such is the nature of puffy things that are baked.

lemon pie slice
Do you know what goes with this? Perfect coffee.

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