Sunday, May 22, 2016

Lemon Custard Pie

I've made this pie recipe from Taste of Home twice in the past month both because we liked it so much and because I always have the ingredients on hand.  It's apparently a chess pie, but I've never had a chess pie other than that and I'm a little reluctant to call it that since it appears that chess pies have cornmeal.  I substituted flour for the cornmeal both times I made the recipe, and it turned out great.  In all honesty, I'm suspicious of how cornmeal's grainy texture would be in this smooth pie!  So I'm calling it Lemon Custard Pie, since that's what it essentially is.  My husband and I both love lemon desserts, and this is like an extra thick lemon bar in a pie crust.  What's not to like?
One weird thing about this recipe is that both times I made it, the top browned VERY quickly. The first time, the top went from beginning to look ever so slightly like it was beginning to turn golden to way over done in about 8 minutes.  I actually ended up peeling the top off after it came out of the oven.  It came off very easily and the pie underneath looked perfect.  The second time, the top again started browning much too quickly, so I tried to cover it with foil, but the top glued itself to the foil and ended up dragging itself off when I removed it from the oven.  Oops!  Normally I wouldn't post a recipe with issues like that, but both times the pie underneath was fantastic, so I've decided to share it anyway.  Just be aware that your top may brown really quickly, and if it does, it's really easy to pull off!  I've included pictures below of both pies.
Also, be aware that this makes a rather thin pie and is not suited for a deep dish pie plate.  The pie plate I use is only about 1 1/2 inches deep inside.
 first pie before peeling off top
 first pie after peeling off top
 slice of second pie
Lemon Custard Pie
pie crust for a single layer pie (I used this recipe from Ina Garten)
4 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 C lemon juice
1/4 C salted butter, melted
Drape pie crust into pie plate, cut off excess dough, and crimp the edges.  Place into the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Preheat oven to 350.
Place eggs in a large bowl and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Whisk together sugar and flour until evenly incorporated.  Add the sugar mixture to the eggs in 3 additions, beating after each addition.  Beat on medium speed until mixture is bright yellow and thick, about 2 minutes.  Add lemon juice, and drizzle in the melted butter in a thin stream while mixing.  Continue to mix until well incorporated.  Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
Bake pie until set throughout, a toothpick inserted into the center should come out mostly clean.  An even easier way to measure this is to insert a digital probe thermometer into the pie filling about 2 inches from the edge, it should register around 210 degrees.  How long this will take really depends on your oven, but it should be about 40-50 minutes.
Remove pie from oven and let cool thoroughly before serving.  It's very good slightly warm, room temperature, or refrigerated, but be sure to store any leftovers in the refrigerator.  Lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream goes great on top, too.

Yield: 8 servings

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