Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lemon Cream Pie

I spent the evening recently trying my hand at making a pie. I've wanted to start for awhile now. This Christmas my Dad bought me a lovely Emile Henry pie dish and a book full of pie recipes. If you've been reading my blog, you also know that last year I drove to eastern Washington to learn first hand how to make pie crust from my Grandmother Eileen.

The recipe I picked to follow was a lemon cream pie with a gingersnap crumb crust. I was gearing up to make my Grandmother's crust, which is easy and versatile, but this time around a gingersnap crumb crust sounded too good to pass up. I flipped through the crust recipes in my book and there are so many options. For instance, I could of also choosen to use a graham cracker crumb crust. Let your imagination and creativity flow with this sort of thing. Just think of all the cookies in the cookie isle! Let's see, maybe a macaroon crumb crust would of been another great choice. Making the crumb crust was very easy, but the recipe called for too much butter so I struggled with a very greasy pie shell after baking it for a few minutes. Next time, I will adjust the recipe slightly so the crumb mixture has the right ratio of butter to crumbs, that is, just enough butter to hold it all together to form into the pie dish.

The cream filling took less time. I mixed sugar and cornstarch together and then added whole milk over medium to high heat until it became thick and bubbly. I removed the mixture from heat and added egg yolks then returned to boil for a couple more minutes. I removed it once again from heat then added lemon juice, zest, and of course a half a stick of butter! I let it cool for about ten minutes then poured the mixture into the pie shell and put in the refrigerator to cool. This basic process, as with the crumb crust, creates a foundation to build on on your way to creating a variety of delicious pies! Fillings could include the popular choices like chocolate or coconut but how about cookies and cream or banana caramel! Add some whipped cream and you'll be set. Need more pie ideas? I'd suggest watching the movie, Waitress, a story about a unhappily married woman in the south trying to win a pie contest so she can leave her husband! Share your pie ideas...

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