Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lemon Chess Pie

It happened again this week.  My lemon craving reared its ugly head.  Yes, I started to get lemon on the brain.  Thoughts of lemons would enter my head at odd, but frequent moments.  What exactly was a girl to do?

I tried slicing some lemon and adding it to my seltzer for a refreshing drink.  It was very nice and satisfied me for a short time, but then,  WHAM! there it was again...another thought of lemon...and sugar.

The bakers at King Arthur Flour's Banking Banter must have sensed my need for something lemony and sweet.  The universe is like that, I am told...Lo, and behold, there in my reader feed was a Baking Banter post describing what looked to be a luscious lemon pie, a Lemon Chess Pie.  I dashed to the freezer, looking to see if perhaps I still had a frozen pie crust tucked away for just such an occasion as this.  Aha, there it was, one of the test pie crusts made when I was trying out the Pioneer Woman's favorite pie crust recipe.  I also had plenty of fresh lemons and fresh eggs in the refrigerator.  I took this as a sign.  Lemon Chess Pie was to be in my future.

If you don't have pie crust frozen already in your freezer you are going to want to start by making your favorite pie crust.  What's that?  You don't have a favorite pie crust?  You fear pie crust?  I know what you mean.  Even though I have been cooking for quite some time now, I too, fear pie crust.  It's time for all of us to roll up our sleeves, get flour on our hands and learn to make a decent pie crust, don't you think?  Here are twelve helpful pie crust making hints I got from a pie crust demonstration delivered by one of King Arthur Flour's bakers earlier this year.

When you are ready you can try the Pioneer Woman's Favorite Pie Crust recipe which I have made with success.  The Lemon Chess Pie recipe also has directions for a crust, but I haven't made that one yet.  The crust I used for this pie was one I had frozen from the Pioneer Woman's recipe.  If you make that recipe be aware that it uses a lot of shortening and can be very hard to work with.  You'll need to keep it very cold and work fast when rolling it out.  Use plenty of flour.  If it cracks, don't fret.  You can just piece it together.  I had to do that with this one and it ended up looking OK, don't you think?



Once you have the crust in your pan just pop it into the refrigerator to keep cool while you make the filling.  The filling is easy peasy so it will just be a few minutes of cooling time.  Preheat your oven on to 375 degrees F.

The Lemon Chess Pie Filling
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cormeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions
Melt the butter and mix it together with the rest of the ingredients.  Tip: If you are in a hurry, like I was, and don't have your eggs at room temperature, you can just put your eggs in a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes to take off the chill.

Whisk all of the ingredients together until well combined.  Pour the filling mixture into the pie crust.  Bake the pie on the bottom rack of the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes.  Cooking on the bottom rack is going to help your pie crust get crisp since it was not pre-baked.  Your pie filling will be golden brown when done.



This is an easy to make, yet delicious, lemon pie without the fuss of other lemon pies.  It will satsfy your lemon craving and delight your family or dinner guests. 



Click the link for King Arthur Flour's Baking Banter printable Lemon Chess Pie recipe.  You'll be glad you did.

Other lemon recipes you might enjoy:
Lemon Pudding Cakes

Enjoy!

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