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Easter Brings More Lovely Lemon Pies

Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Tart

Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Tart

Well, it was a week ago and I’ve finally recovered from Easter.  I love Easter; I love the meaning of it, I love rabbits, I love eggs, I love spring, I love being with my family and of course, I love the food. I planned on starting my diet clean detox program the next day, so I really needed to stuff myself full of good Easter food that day. Sadly, I accomplished my goal with gusto. My Aunt Lina helped out with her homemade lumpia and my sister-in-law, Laureen, brought Ina’s Smashed Potatoes and my soon-to-be- sister-in-law, Stephanie, brought Ina’s Potato Fennel Gratin (without the fennel).  Praise the Lord! I had one disaster- that would be the deep fried Mormon funeral potato balls. The recipe from Sunset seemed so decadently trashy that I just had to try them. Perhaps, I did something wrong, but they turned out inedibly salty. Darn it.

Easter to me means lamb, roasted asparagus and lemon pie {besides that amazing resurrection}.  This year, I tried two new lemony desserts out; Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Tart and Lemon Cream Cheese Pie.  The Lemon Cream Cheese Pie is now my all-time favorite lemon pie. The one thing I would do differently is double the filling. The recipe is from 1965; a time before super-sizing and deep dish pie plates. So, the filling only came about halfway up the pie shell. I have doubled the filling from the original recipe.

Here is what we had for Easter:

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie - see you need to double the filling

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie – see you need to double the filling

 

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie

Adapted from The Farm Journals Complete Pie Book (1965)

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe for pastry crust, subbing in 1 T. lemon juice for water & adding a little grated lemon peel
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cup water
  • 2T. grated lemon peel
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Cooking Directions:

  1. Line 9 inch pie pan with the crust; flute edge and prick entire surface with a fork. Blind bake at 400 degrees until pie is golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool.
  2. Combine 2 cup sugar with the cornstarch; add water, lemon peel and juice and slightly beaten egg yolks in a saucepan. Stir until smooth and cook , stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and blend in cream cheese. Cool thoroughly.
  3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold into lemon mixture. Turn into pie shell and chill thoroughly.
  4. Total lemon-y goodness!

 

Meyer Lemon Vanilla Tart

adapted from better homes and gardens (January 2010)

Ingredients:

  • Pastry Crust******
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 -5 T. ice water
  • ********* ***********
  • 2 meyer lemons (enough for 6 T. of juice)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 T. flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 2 small meyer lemons (or oven candied lemon slices)

Cooking Directions:

  1. To candy lemon slices: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut 2 small lemons crosswise into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices. Arrange on a single layer on the sheet. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over slices. Bake at 275 degrees for 45-50 minutes. While still warm loosen sliced from paper to prevent sticking.
  2. Make pastry by cutting cold butter into flour until pieces are the size of peas. Combine the egg yolk with the water and then add to the flour mixture. Add 2-4 more tablespoons of ice water as needed to moisten dough. Wrap in a ball and chill until the dough is easy to handle.
  3. Roll out the pastry to an 11 inch circle. Drape, do not stretch, pastry over 9 inch removable bottom tart pan. Press pastry into fluted sides of tart pan. Trim edges even with the pan. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake for 8 minutes at 450 degrees, remove foil and bake for 5-6 more minutes.
  4. Grate lemon peel from 2 lemons to make 4 t. and then squeeze the juice. Hopefully, you will have 6 T. of juice; set aside.
  5. In a bowl, combine sugar and flour, add eggs. Beat on medium to high speed for about 3 minutes or until slightly thickened and lightened. Stir in lemon peel and juice, melted butter and vanilla. Pour into pastry shell.
  6. Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until filling is set and lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Remove sides of pan.
  7. Top the tart with the oven candied lemon slices.

 

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