Recipe: Shaker Lemon Pie

Shaker Lemon Pie

Shaker Lemon Pie



Today is my 31st birthday and what better way to celebrate than with PIE!

Lots of people might be blinking curiously at me, as is the norm when I talk about Shaker Lemon Pie. Yes, it’s namesake is from the Shakers the religious group that touted simplicity and this pie embodies the Shaker philosophy and way of life. Depending on the amount of sugar used, this pie can be calibrated to achieve the perfect balance of sweet and tartness as it uses the entire lemon – rind and all – in the pie. Strange to encounter at first, I know, but trust me: utterly delicious.

My brother is a huge fan of not-so-sweet desserts, and especially fruit-based over, say, chocolate. So when I get a bee in my bonnet to make a pie, I know I can bestow half of its final product onto him and his lady. Pie is so much tastier when you’re sharing it with others. Unless it’s razzleberry or pumpkin pie. Then get your mitts off, because it’s all mine! Buwahahahaha!

The lemons themselves I am unsure of; they were given to me by a family friend on that dreadfully hot weekend before the Fourth of July. She was lamenting about an overabundance of lemons from her tree and oh what would she do with all of them? Of course, I had to swoop in and save the day by taking about twenty off of her hands. Unsure what I’m to do with the rest of them. Perhaps lemon bars are in order? Oh well. Must start somewhere, and here we are. This lemon is more on the tart side than the sweet, and it is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of afternoon tea.

SHAKER LEMON PIE

You’ll Need
2 large lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
4 tablespons butter, melted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 pie crust for 9″ pie plate (you can top crust this if you like)

  • Wash and scrub lemons clean, then thoroughly dry. Grate lemon zest into a bowl before slicing lemons as paper thin as you can get them. Use a mandolin if you’re a badass. Don’t forget to discard the seeds. Add slices to zest and toss with sugar and salt. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven 425°F. Roll out pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate, and trim/crimp the edge, or fold up like a rustic tart style. I call all my pies rustic. It means I can’t ever have the perfectly aligned and crimped edge crust, but shhhhh nobody needs to know that.
  • Mix the macerated lemon-sugar mixture with eggs, flour and melted butter until combined incorporated. Pour final mixture in to prepared pie shell.
  • Important: Since I don’t do top crusts, I highly recommend taking strips of foil and covering the edges of the pie crust so it does not burn as the pie is baking.
  • Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F then bake the pie for 25-30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden. Let the pie cool before serving it warm-ish at room temperature. Enjoy with your favorite tea.

  • Let’s Talk Pie: Leave a comment below telling me what sort of pie you like to bake, or have baked for you on your birthday!

    Recipe Box: Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Pie

    Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Topping


    Christmas is supposed to be my holiday; the holiday where I rule the kitchen and everybody else just stays out of my way. This last Christmas, however, was slightly hijacked by my over enthusiastic aunt and it left me with nothing but an overwhelming desire to make plans for a tropical retreat come December 2013. Seriously, Hawaii? Polynesia? Australia? New Zealand? Tahiti? If any of you want this food & travel writer lady to hop on a plane and hole up in your resort over Christmas, do not hesitate to get in touch. I’m more than happy to denounce the family in exchange for some pina coladas by a barbecue pit.


    Stalker Claws
    Stalker Claws sees you when you are sleeping.


    I’m losing track here. Where was I? Oh, yes. So, a few months before Christmas I proposed the idea of banishing Christmas dinner altogether and focusing on what my family has always paid special attention to: appetizers. For as long as I can recall, my family has used Christmas as a vehicle in which to snack all day long as we watched movies, snacked, opened presents, snacked, listened to our favorite Christmas albums, snacked. Then we would sit down for a big dinner. That part never really made too much sense, especially in the last few years when we – gasped! – cut back on the appetizers. Everyone agreed that they were unhappy with that, and so it was not a struggle in the least to win them over with the idea of abolishing dinner in favor of our day long feast appetizers. That isn’t to say we did not have a few sit down moments: specifically, our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of Eggs Benedict and of course, our dessert. Which really just got tossed in among the rest of the snacking towards the evening.

    Though I’d never openly admit to being outright sick of pumpkin centric treats, I definitely wanted a change up. Sweet Potato Pie is an easy enough change up that, for the most part, I just used my pumpkin pie recipe and added a nice crisped marshmallow topping for an added sweet bonus. There were a few grumbles at the lack of pumpkin, but once they clammed up long enough to take a bite of this Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Pie, they were definitely singing a different tune.

    Toasted Marshmallow Sweet Potato Pie

    1 lb. sweet potatoes, washed & scrubbed
    seasonings: ground nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger (to your taste, approx 1/4th-1 tsp)
    1 pinch ground cloves
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1/4th tsp salt
    1/2 to 3/4th c. evaporated milk
    1/3rd c. softened butter

    1 nine inch pie crust
    1 c. mini marshmallows

  • Roast your sweet potatoes in a preheated oven (400 F) for 40-50 minutes. When finished, run them under cool water as you peel away the skin. Add to a wide and deep mixing bowl.
  • If you are using a store bought crust as I did, now would be a good time to take care of any necessary pre-baking.
  • In a separate, smaller bowl, cream the butter and sugar before adding the eggs and milk.
  • Pour into the larger bowl with the sweet potatoes, add seasoning, vanilla and salt and either (1) use your immersion blender to incorporate well or (2) add to the food processor to pulse into blended filling. Once well blended, pour into cooled pie shell.
  • Bake pie at 425 for the first fifteen minutes, then reduce to 350 and bake for another 35-40 minutes.
  • Once pie has completely cooled, add a layer of mini marshmallows on top and either broil on the lowest temperature for a few minutes or use your handy dandy kitchen torch to lightly scorch the top to a nice, toasty golden brown!

  • Note:
    I recommend baking the pie one day ahead of its required time. The center will have set perfectly by then, and it will be one less thing for you to stress over when your aunt whips out a platter of deviled eggs despite the fact you already slaved over your own two dozen.


    Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Topping

    Guest Recipe: Salted Chocolate Brownie Cookies




    This guest post was lovingly crafted by Rochelle. Please enjoy!

    Hello, I’m Rochelle from WheatlessRochelle.com! I’m a gluten free, vegetarian blogger who mostly writes about cooking and baking, gardening, and raising a healthy, happy family. I focus on fresh, whole foods and recipes that the whole family will enjoy. I’m excited that Rachael has given me a chance to share a dessert recipe with you!

    This recipe is for Salted Chocolate Brownie Cookies. They are super soft, almost cake-like, but are round like traditional cookies. They’re gluten free, easy to make, and taste great! I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!

    Salted Chocolate Brownie Cookies
    (Based on a recipe from SparkPeople)

    Ingredients
    1/4 c. melted coconut oil
    1 c. raw sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 egg
    1 1/2 c. gluten free AP flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. xanathan gum
    2 tsp. salt
    1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 c. milk
    Freshly ground sea salt for topping

    Preheat the oven to 350

  • Cream together the oil, sugar, vanilla, and egg. Add the baking powder, xanthan gum, 2 tsp. salt, cocoa powder, and milk and mix to combine.
  • Add the flour slowly, and mix to fully combine.
  • Scoop batter onto a cookie sheet, top with a bit of ground sea salt, and bake for 9 minutes.
  • Makes about 24 cookies.



    If you’d like to learn more about me, please check out my blog and follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

    Thank you for sharing this deliciously sweet recipe, Rochelle! – R

    Recipe Box: Mom’s Fruit Cake

    This is a guest post by my friend Spice of Batman Comics. She was kind enough to share her mother’s fruit cake recipe while I am away in New York City/Philadelphia. Thank you, Spice! – R




    When I was growing up we often hosted Friday night dinner for family and friends, and this cake was my mom’s go-to dessert. In fact, she made it so often that the original recipe card is almost illegible now, and instead it’s been written directly on the inside of a cupboard door. This cake is quick and easy to make, very tasty, and you can substitute pretty much any fruit that you have on hand. I like to use cranberries in the fall for a seasonal touch, especially if I’m bringing the cake to a Thanksgiving meal, but when I baked it this time I used peaches and blueberries to capture that special end-of-summer feeling.

    Ingredients:

    2 eggs
    1 c. sugar
    1/2 c. vegetable oil
    1 3/4 c. flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 c. orange juice
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 – 2 c. fruit (approx 1 bag fresh cranberries, or 5 apples, or peaches, or blueberries, or halved Italian prune plums, or whatever other fruit you want to try)

    Topping – brown sugar scattered, and/or crushed nuts, sunflower seeds, 1/2 tsp cinnamon



    Instructions:

    Start by preheating your oven to 350 and preparing your fruit. I used diced peaches and blueberries, they make a great combination.

    In a large bowl, mix together your eggs, sugar and oil. It should be smooth but don’t over-mix.

    In a separate, smaller bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder.

    After you measure out the juice, stir the vanilla directly in to the juice; this will ensure that the vanilla is evenly mixed through the cake. Then alternate adding the dry ingredients and and juice to the wet ingredients bowl, stirring to keep it smooth and avoid lumps.

    Fold in the fruit, and that’s all there is to it!

    Grease your baking dish before pouring in the cake batter. I used a ceramic casserole dish here, but glass also works very well for this cake and it bakes a bit faster if you do use glass. Finish by sprinkling with brown sugar and chopped nuts, or sunflower seeds.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 45 min, test with a toothpick to see if it’s done. Enjoy!

    Recipe Box: Berry & Lemon Cream Trifle

    I always volunteer my culinary services for family birthdays – first with just dessert because I was sick and tired of choking down the same stale store bought pie – then gradually I started to take over the main course. For a recent combined birthday party for two of my aunts, I decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm (glorious!) weather and grilled lamb loin chops for dinner and made a trifle for dessert. I usually think of trifles for summer backyard barbeques – which is what we were having so, hey, who cares if it’s early March? I wanted to try something new and easy, so trifle it was!

    Trifle


    You’ll Need:
    1 pound cake (I used Sara Lee family size)
    1 quart heavy whipping cream
    1 jar of lemon curd
    2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered
    raspberries – I used 1/2 lb.
    blueberries (I used one 1 lb)
    Fresh mint, muddled or crushed
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 vanilla bean
    juice of a lemon
    zest of lemon
    3/4th cup cream sherry

    Wash the berries and mix them up in a large bowl. Pour the cream sherry over them, gently mix again. Cover and let it sit in the fridge while you make the whipped cream.
    Slice the pound cake into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
    Extract seeds from vanilla bean (see this video if you don’t know how)
    With an electric mixer, whip up your cream
    As it begins to peak, add the vanilla and vanilla bean
    Once the cream has been adequately whipped, gently mix in the zest and fresh juice of the lemon.
    Begin to add the lemon curd, one tablespoon at a time as you work it through with a rubber spatula, until you reach the ratio of sugar/lemon flavor/cream you desire. I ended up using about 3/4th of my 11 oz. jar.
    Crush or muddle the mint and manually mix it into the cream
    In a large bowl (glass makes for prettier presentation but whatever) with a fairly even bottom-to-rim ratio begin to layer:
    - pound cake
    - whipped cream
    - berries
    Keep layering in that order until it’s all gone or you’ve reached the top of your bowl. You might have some excess berries to set aside for later.
    Cover and let it chill in the fridge until you want to eat it – mine was for about 90-120 minutes.

    Take a big ass spoon and dish into bowls. Add extra berries and serve!


    Notes:

    - I don’t think I paid much attention to the video I recommended or maybe I didn’t use enough but adding just one vanilla bean seemed to do fuck all for flavor. I ended up adding a lot more vanilla extract. First time working with a vanilla bean and it’s a bust!
    - I thought my cream was too lemon-sugary but everyone else said I was crazy so I’m going with majority ruling on the amount. I stand by the use of lemon curd but next time I’d use less.

    Guest Post: Four Recipes

    I gave a Twitter shout out for people to send in their favorite recipes and my Tweeter pal Amemait sent not one, not two, not three but four marvelously easy recipes. Two dinners, one dessert and a fabulous anytime snack. ENJOY! -R

    Amemait’s Notes: Most measurements given in Antipodean metric, I’m afraid (which means the ‘cups’ are slightly differently sized as well as the measurements being in grams). Exception is Fondue, as this recipe’s a traditional German one. Temperatures given in Celsius (so add 15 and multiply by 2 to get the Fahrenheit).

    DINNER ONE: Farmhouse Fondue
    Serves: 4-ish. Or 2 very hungry cold people
    Prep and cooking time: depends on your stove
    Difficulty scale: 2ish
    Special equipment: Fondue set, Fondue forks and a cute person to snog sitting next to you

    Ingredients:
    1 clove Garlic
    1lb Cheddar Cheese, grated
    1 teaspoon dry Mustard
    1tsp Nutmeg
    1/4pint Milk
    2tblsp Dry White Wine (+1 glass to drink while making)
    Salt & pepper to taste
    1/2tsp butter (optional, but useful)

    Method:
    Chop garlic finely (or used some of them garlic twisty thingies)
    Place in fondue pan & melt gently, stirring continuously.
    Slightly warm the wine & milk, add with remaining ingredients except butter.
    Cook until thick & creamy, stirring all the time.
    Adding 1/2tsp butter makes the pan about 100x easier to clean.
    Fondue bread should be crusty, or you can use Granny Smith apples for the sharp tastiness.
    Have the cute person sit on your right if you want to be allowed to snog them if you drop the food into the fondue bowl, or on your left if you want them to kiss you.

    DINNER TWO: Pizza Pancakes
    For the days when you wake up and a) can’t decide if you want pizza or pancakes, or b) discover that you’ve woken up and it’s time for dinner!
    Serves: however much the pancake mix you’re using serves.
    Prep time: Depends on your pizza toppings
    Cooking time: About 5-10 minutes per pancake
    Difficulty scale: 2
    Special equipment: A frying pan, a see-through lid which fits over it, and something to lift the pancake off the frypan with.

    Ingredients
    Either your own recipe for pancakes, or some supermarket pancake mix
    Whatever you personally like to put on Pizza

    Method:
    Pour the pancake mix into the frypan, and wait until it’s about 1/4 to 1/2-pancaked on the bottom side. Without flipping it over, add whichever sauce you use for pizza to the top of the pancake, and then
    your cheeses, meats, peppers, etc.
    Top it off with some more cheese (this helps it cook a little better, honest!) and place the lid over
    the frypan.
    Watch until the cheese is melted to your taste, then quickly turn the frypan or stove off and transfer your pizza to a largish plate.
    If making for more than one person, be sure to place the plateful of pizza pancake in the oven on ‘Keep Warm’. This will keep your pizza from getting cold while you make everybody else’s.
    Perhaps not a good idea to put the fried egg on if that’s your thing for Pizza.

    PUDDING: Sticky date pudding
    Serves: A LOT. Can go up to 8 people with leftovers for breakfast (it’s a very nice breakfast)
    Prep time: About an hour the first time
    Cooking time: 40-60 minutes
    Difficulty scale: 2
    Special equipment: Oven-proof pudding basin, baking paper to line this (makes it easier to clean)

    Ingredients
    250 g pitted, chopped dates (you can buy them like this in Woolies, sometimes)
    1 and 1/2 cups water
    1 large rounded teaspoon minced ginger or 1 level teaspoon ground ginger
    1 and 1/2 teasp baking soda
    90g butter
    1 cup caster sugar
    3 eggs
    1 and 3/4 cups Self-raising flour (or use plain flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder)
    1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice or cinnamon

    Caramel sauce
    60 g butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    1 cup cream

    Method:

    Preheat oven to 180 deg
    Line a large pudding basin with baking paper
    Put dates, water and ginger in a saucepan, cover, bring to boil then
    turn heat down and simmer for 5 mins
    Remove from heat, stir in baking soda while still hot, then allow to
    cool slightly – 10 minutes max
    While the dates are cooling, cream the butter and sugar together, then
    add eggs, mix thoroughly but do not over beat.
    Mix the flour and mixed spice together in a separate bowl
    Fold in 1/2 the flour into the butter & sugar mix, then fold in half
    the date mixture, then repeat with the remainder.
    Put it into the pudding basin, bake for about 1 hour – watch that it
    doesn’t burn, maybe test with a knife after about 40 minutes.
    Remove from oven, and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

    Caramel sauce method:
    Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan, stirring over gentle heat until melted and mixed.

    SNACK: Never-fail Microwave Brownie!
    Serves: AS MANY AS IT LIKES
    Prep time: 2–5 minutes
    Cooking time: 5 minutes
    Difficulty scale: 1
    Special equipment: Baking tray, maybe a mixer (I whisk it by hand within the 2 minute limit), maybe a sieve to sift the flour & cocoa for easier mixing and to put the icing sugar on top)

    Ingredients:
    Butter: 100g
    Eggs: 2 (mediumish)
    Sugar: 1 cup
    Cocoa: 1/4 Cup (not drinking chocolate. I speak from experience)
    Flour: 1 cup
    Baking powder: 1tsp
    Vanilla Essence: 1tsp (not essential, but does lift this a little. If using Vanilla Extract or Flavouring, 2tsp)
    Icing sugar, Chocolate Sprinkles, or Grated Chocolate on top (optional)

    Method:
    Soften butter (by soften I mean ‘nearly liquid). Add sugar & eggs,
    cream well. Add other dry ingredients & Vanilla, mix well. I’ve taken
    to doing all this in the bowl which I’ll bake it in to rescue dough.
    Place mixture in microwave-proof tray (which should fit into the
    microwave and be able to do 360degree turns in it; if this gets stuck
    it burns). Cook on High for 5 minutes (watch to make sure the try
    doesn’t get stuck).

    Sift on icing sugar/grate chocolate over it/attack it with sprinkles.

    Review: Cupcakes by For the Love of Cake (Toronto, Canada)

    Zuzu has been talking up the cupcakes from For the Love of Cake bakery for a long while now. She had the good fortune of being a judge for their last Iron Cupcake Competition. She knew I was not easily persuaded by cupcakes as they’re not high on my list of go-to sweets, which is why she insisted I try a range of cupcakes from For the Love of Cake. By the time cupcake tasting was brought up it was already Friday, two days before I was going back home. I had munched on half a cannoli for breakfast (don’t you judge me) and could not really get into the mood for any more sweets. Still, it was insisted that I at least go buy some and try them out. I had to, of course. I have journalistic integrity.

    For the Love of Cake is the brain child of Genevieve Griffin who sought out to achieve the 4 Dimensional Cupcake and push the envelope on creativity and taste buds. Her Toronto bakery not only serves cupcakes but is a popular spot for custom event cakes, gluten-free cupcakes, cakeballs, and mancakes (Probably my only quibble is this name. I know more girls who would devour those bacon and booze based treats).

    Right off the bat I went for the Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcake and the Peanut butter banana chocolate mini cupcake. I was waffling over my third cupcake, debating between the strawberry shortcake cupcake and the pumpkin pie cupcake. They tried to persuade me to buy the maple bacon cupcake with a blueberry filling) but I wasn’t in the mood for anything too funky. The former looked very impressive while the latter looked very boring. However, when I wisely asked the employee which she recommended she said if I was a true pumpkin fan I could not pass up the pumpkin pie cupcake because – drum roll, please – the inside of the cupcake was the same texture as pumpkin pie.
    I nearly fainted.
    Instead I ordered it.

    G ordered an entire 6-pack of cupcakes that included two pecan pie cupcakes, a coconut cupcake, a lemon cupcake a cookie dough cupcake and two others that may or may not have been PB & J or peanut butter and chocolate. His clear favorite is the pecan pie cupcake, as he even talked a customer in front of us out of trying it out so he could greedily purchase the remaining two for himself. I don’t blame him in the least.

    After taxes cupcakes are roughly $3.00 each (cheaper by about fifty cents for the minis) – which is about average for high-end cupcakes. I’d rather pay a little more for something made with high quality ingredients, especially if it’s an occasional indulgence like cupcakes. Their website is fun and tidy, but could use an update on prices and selection as not all cupcake flavors are featured yet. If they are on a rotating cupcake flavor schedule, I would suggest for them to put it online.


    Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Jr. Cupcake
    Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Jr. Cupcake


    I ate the Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Jr. Cupcake first. The peanut butter flavor was subtle, like it had been baked into the chocolate cupcake base. The banana flavor was mostly (and probably exclusively) in the frosting. I like the crunch of the peanuts on top, it was a favorable contrast to the cupcake. I’m glad I bought this in a mini size because I think it would have been too rich as a big cupcake. I realize that I am contradicting myself since I ordered a salted caramel chocolate cupcake but…shush.

    After Zuzu and I had dinner and returned home we decided to try more cupcakes. She split her cookie dough cupcake with me.


    IMG_8004


    I wasn’t very impressed with it, but Zuzu seemed to enjoy it immensely. I decided to have my pumpkin pie cupcake. Here is the description from For the Love of Cake:

    A perfectly spiced pumpkin cupcake topped with a dollop of real whipped cream and sprinkled with fresh ground nutmeg. Just like biting into pumpkin pie!

    The guts of a pumpkin pie cupcake


    Holy. Mother. Of. Jeebus.
    OK. If you promise not to tell my local cupcake bakery, I am going to share a secret with you: This was the best pumpkin flavored cake-related-product I have ever tasted in my whole life. Do not be deceived by its mundane appearance: this little cupcake packs a powerful pumpkin flavor! The inside truly is rich, creamy and 100% pie-like. The fact that they use real whipped cream makes a world of difference and I appreciate it. As soon as I was finished I wanted another. Sadly, I did not get to For the Love of Cake again.

    I was enjoying my pumpkin pie cupcake high too much to indulge further that evening and waited until breakfast to eat my salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcake. This is how For the Love of Cake describes this confection:

    Our moist chocolate cupcake filled with our homemade caramel and topped with chocolate butter cream, a pinch of sea salt and a caramel chew.


    Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake
    Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake

    It was a chocolate caramel lovers dream. The salt was just the right bite I needed to take the edge off the sweetness. It was soft, gooey and just the perfect morning pick-me-up before I ate something healthy and boring.


    Overall, I enjoyed For the Love Cake cupcakes and would have definitely returned had time permitted. That pumpkin pie cupcake is the stuff of dreams and I must unlock its mysterious perfection and copy it for my own nefarious, sweet tooth indulgences.


    For the Love of Cake
    171 East Liberty Street
    Unit 117
    Toronto, Canada
    website

    Hours of Operation
    Wed-Fri: 12-7
    Sat-Sun: 11-5
    Mon-Tues – By Appt only

    For the Love of Cake on Urbanspoon