Recipe Shaker Lemon Pie

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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OK, this recipe has me intrigued. I haven't come across anything like it before. It uses the entire lemon, rind, pith and flesh, covered in sugar overnight in a fridge, then lots of eggs (always useful in this household) and pie crust which I am going to switch to sweet shortcrust pastry. http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/recipes/a3375/shaker-lemon-pie-recipe-clv0510/

Now the recipe says 2 cups of sugar which translates to 400g which strikes me as an awful lot of sugar, so I'm going to half it first time around and see what we have. The number of lemons depends of what you want and how big they are. I'll let you know.

So, not vegan, but vegetarian and dairy free....

Ingredients
500g sweet shortcrust pastry
2-3 lemons, washed and sliced thinly
200g golden caster sugar
5 eggs, beaten (you don't need these until the following day, so don't beat them yet!)

Method
  1. In a glass bowl, layer the lemon slices and cover with the sugar (remove any pips you come across when slicing the lemons). Cover with clingfilm (or similar) and put into the fridge overnight.
  2. Bring the eggs and the sliced lemon mixture up to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4 or 350F. Grease a 9inch pie dish and roll out 1/2 of the shortcrust pastry to fit the bottom. Trim to fit.
  4. Now mix the beaten eggs (reserve a very small quantity to glaze the pastry with) with the lemons & sugar mixture, and pour into the pie dish.
  5. Roll out the remaining pastry and top off the tip, sealing all the way round the edges. (The recipe says to roll the top layer of pastry under the bottom layer and seal.) You can decorate the edges with the back of a fork alternating between vertical and horizontal presses around the outside if you want to add a little 'flair'.
  6. Add a touch of almond or soya milk (or cow's milk for those able to consume it) with the reserved beaten egg and use as a glaze over the top of the pastry.
  7. Cook with 45 minutes

I'll add the photos when I have made it!
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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The promised photos and review (well sort of, just an opinion of mine).

First, I used a sweet shortcrust pastry. After a lot of looking around at recipes for this lemon pie, there are a million and one different opinions but the vast majority use the American Pie Crust which I am not familiar with and being allergic to dairy, haven't really looked at making an assumption that could be wrong. So the recipe I used for the sweet shortcrust pastry wasn't as successful as I had hoped. It was sweet, it was definitely short and in a vague concept it was a pastry. I say vague because it was that short, it would have made a better shortbread, something I have missed since becoming allergic to dairy. This isn't anything to do with the recipe, it is to do with the margarine I used which is new to me. Margarine has a different water content to butter and each margarine or hard fat has to be learnt. Also margarine can be made with a variety of different oils (canola, sunflower and coconut being the most common here in Australia but in the UK it was often sunflower, olive or soya). I learnt with this one!

So the recipe I used for the sweet shortcrust pastry was

Ingredient
8oz plain white flour
4oz dairy free margarine
3oz raw sugar
1 egg.

Method
Crumble the flour with the margarine (I did spot the problem here but failed to act!),
Mix in the sugar, and add the beaten egg. It should make a dough from here, if it doesn't add a touch of water or dairy free milk.
Now rest and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.

On to the lemons.
This recipe failed to mention something that I picked up on in other recipes after I had made the pie. The lemons, used whole (though I sliced them in half length ways first) must be sliced as thinly as possible. The recipe I had chosen to follow totally failed to mention this crucial bit of information! It also wanted twice the amount of sugar (1 cup per lemon) than I was even prepared to consider! Mind you so did all of the recipes and this makes for a very sweet dessert even using half the quantity that they say.
Some recipes say to leave the lemons uncovered, some say to leave the in the fridge overnight, some say a couple of hours, others say on the counter for 24 hrs... Personally I would recommend that you leave them in the sugar for as long as possible, covered and on the counter. If I made it again I would certainly be looking at 24 hrs on the counter. I did 24hrs in the fridge.
Another thing mentioned in one or two of the recipes I found was not to use the rind and the pith. If you go down this route, you are going to have a very sweet pie with nothing to counter the sweetness. That pith and rind is needed. Keep it.

Sugar
Yeah. This is sweet even for me, though if you hit one of those thicker lemon rinds you will need all of that sugar.

Eggs
You may not need all 5. It will depend entirely on how much juice you have out of the lemons, from the sugar mixture and how big your pie dish is,

Arrowroot/Cornstarch
Whilst this is not included in most recipes, if you want a set egg mixture, you are going to need to add something to help it set. next time I will certainly be added around 2tbsp of Arrowroot for this reason.

Pastry
As mentioned above, I used sweet shortcrust pastry and I was glad of it actually. It made for it being a dessert and a pie, rather than standard shortcrust or puff pastry (I have seen one recipe say to use rough puff).

So making the pie.... some pictures.


IMG_8939.JPG

The sugared lemon slices - they needed to be sliced much more thinly!

IMG_8937.JPG


I used 2 large lemons and 1 small one.
Once the mixture had rested overnight, I removed the ends which were a touch too pithy for our liking. We were both glad I had done this.

IMG_8953.JPG

24hrs in the fridge and the sugar/lemon mixture has a lot of liquid in it.

IMG_8955.JPG

The end result was a very short, shortcrust pastry lemon pie which was very lemony and exactly to my husband`s liking.

Many things to note:
my oven is very uneven
my oven only goes to gas mark 5 (200C)
next time I will precook the lower pastry half. It was soggy and I don`t like soggy pastry.
I totally forgot to reserve any eggs to glaze the pastry.
my pastry was too short hence the joins
I probably should not have put those last few tablespoons of the egg/lemon mixture in... :whistling:
I also baled all of the lemon slices out of the lemon/sugar mixture putting them into the pie dish separately. I then mixed the eggs with the remaining lemon syrup and poured the mixture over the sliced lemons.
I would probably put the lemons & sugar on the counter rather than in the fridge for 24hrs (assuming it wasn`t summer) and let them soften more.
I would definitely slice the lemons thinner!

Once the pie has set (hopefully it will do) I will try again for getting a slice out in one piece and photograph that for you!

But the all important question: Would we make it again? The short answer is yes! In an instant. I certainly wouldn`t use the 1 cup of sugar to 1 lemon ratio that every other recipe uses. I would stick with 2-3 lemons : 1 cup sugar. I would also add something extra to the egg/lemon mixture like 2 tbsp of arrowroot to thicken and hasten setting. We like our pies hot and this one had not set.
 

Morning Glory

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This looks great. Its the sort of dessert I would like as it could be made quite tart with less sugar (as you mentioned).
 

Cinisajoy

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@SatNavSaysStraightOn,
In an American pie crust, you can use any fat you like. Most I have call for shortening or lard (lard is not vegan or vegetarian). You can also use your choice of cooking oil. The liquid is usually water.
Just mix fat and flour until it makes crumbs, then add water a tablespoon at a time until it forms a dough.
2 cups flour to a bit less than 1/2 cup of oil.
Or roughly 4 parts flour, 1 part oil. Roughly 250 grams of flour and 100 ml of oil.
 
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