Friday, January 27, 2012

Edible Sunshine

For those of you that didn't know,  National Pie Day was Monday, January 24.  [Not to be confused with Pi Day (3/14)].  How did I figure this out?  My very pie-obsessed husband clued me in on the secret via e-mail that today was pie day and what exactly were we going to do about it?  As we pondered the subtle complexities of what constituted pie (he proposed cheesecake was pie's cousin, and I said no, no.  We cannot make cheesecake on pie day.  Save that for cheesecake day), we then moved on to types of pie. I mean there are so many types of pie out there! Cream pie, pizza pie, fruit pie, chocolate pie, pizookies, fruit pizzas, savory pizzas and pies, Oh my!

Finally, wonder of all wonders, we agreed on a pie.

Lemon Cream Pie, which I quickly dubbed Edible Sunshine Pie.  You may be thinking, " does this differ from lemon meringue pie?" Well, believe it or not, several ways.  To sum it up in one word it's lighter, fluffier if you will.  Lemon meringue pie is great, don't get me wrong, but its sister, lemon cream is the light-hearted and carefree version of its French counter part.

As far as taste goes, I initially thought it tasted like a lemon meringue pie with whipped cream instead of meringue, but the more I ate it, the more I knew I was wrong.  It's got a different depth of flavor that's subtle but ever present. The best way to describe it is edible sunshine in the middle of a very grey Missouri winter.

Have I convinced you to try it yet?  No? Well how about this, prep time was about 15 minutes, no joke.

How about now? Trying it yet?

That's what I thought...

Lemon Cream Pie A.K.A. Edible Sunshine Pie

1 prepared graham cracker crust
8 teaspoons grated lemon zest (about 6 large lemons)

1 cup lemon juice

8 large egg yolks

1 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream

6 T powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Using a rasp or other small grater, zest the lemons. Then cut the lemons and juice them. You want approximately 8 teaspoons of zest and approximately 1 cup of juice. Rest assured that the pie will still be delicious if you only get ¾ cup of juice or 6 teaspoons of zest. No need to run to the store again.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the 8 egg yolks with the lemon zest until the eggs have lightened a bit in color, about 2 minutes. Add the sweetened condensed milk and whisk it into the egg mixture. Finally, slowly add the lemon juice and mix it in as you go. Set the filling aside for about 5 minutes to thicken up a bit. When the filling has thickened a bit, gently pour the filling into the crust. You may have a tiny bit of filling left over.

Place the pie into the oven and allow it to bake for approximately 15 minutes. Bake until the pie is set, but still slightly wiggly in the center. Remove the pie from the oven and cool to room temperature and then place it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to chill.

Before serving, place a medium mixing bowl and your electric mixer beater attachments and whisk in the refrigerator to cool. Pour cold heavy whipping cream into the bowl along with the powdered sugar and using your electric mixer or whisk, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.  Spread the whipped cream onto the pie and serve.

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