Lemon Macaroon Pie

The is before piping. For this one I wasn't going for presentation. It was really tasty.

Lemon Macaroon Pie before piping. Low quality presentation, high quality taste.

Happy Day-After Thanksgiving:) I hope everyone who wanted to be with family and friends enjoyed their holiday. I wanted to post this earlier than today but didn’t have my to-do list organized well enough to bake the pie until the morning of turkey day.  This is the recipe for a Lemon Macaroon pie. It is attributed to the Bon Appetit Dessert Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild and was done almost to the letter (as best I could). I wanted to do something besides the traditional pie fare, but I baked 3 pumpkin pies too.

The Crust:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

t tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

8 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. water

Blend the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the butter, using on/off turns until the mix resembles a coarse meal. Add the water and blend until moist clumps form. Remove from processor, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Set oven to 350F. Place rack in bottom third of oven.

Remove dough from fridge and roll to 12 inch circle. Place in 9 inch pie dish and trim so there’s half-inch of overhang. Fold under and crimp the edges. Or not. I wasn’t in it for presentation at this particular outing. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Remove from freezer, line bottom with foil and add beans or pie weights. Place in oven for 20 minutes or until edges or golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool, remove weights and foil. Set aside. Leave oven at temperature.

The Filling:

3 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups sweetened flake coconut

1/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. melted butter

2 tsp. grated lemon peel

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, egg yolks and salt in a large bowl. Add sugar and beat until thick and fluffy. Beat in coconut, whipping cream, lemon juice, lemon peel, butter and vanilla and almond extracts. Pour filling into crust.

Bake until filling is golden and set, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely and then chill in fridge until cool. About 3 hours.

The Topping:

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tsp. powdered sugar

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

8 thin lemon slices (optional – I didn’t use them)

Using your electric mixer, beat the cream, sugar and vanilla in a small mixing bowl until  stiff peaks form (please note this will take a while, even on whip setting). Fill a pastry bag with a star tip (or plastic bag with corner cut) and pipe around the edges of your pie.

The pie is yummy and the lemon flavor is outstanding. There was one tiny slice left this morning and that was my breakfast. Olivia wants 4 of them for her upcoming 14th birthday. I’ll probably just make 2.


Pie #32 – Lemon Macaroon Pie

Happy Independence Day! Like any good, upstanding citizen, I spent some dough on stuff. Bought a much-needed mattress from Costco online. We hear it’s nice:) My wife and I look forward to a new mattress.  We roll to the center of the current one nightly, like sleepy little bumper cars. I guess no more pillow tops…

Being that the day  went  spending dough on stuff, I didn’t start until about 7pm. And this weeks pie needs a lot of attention. It won’t be piped until tomorrow morning. This week it’s lemon macaroon pie, courtesy of Bon Apetit Deserts by Barbara Fairchild.

Lemon Macaroon Pie, not as beautiful as it would be in Bon Apetit, but probably just as tasty

The crust!:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flower

1/2 cup cake flour

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

6 tbsp. (1/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces

2 tbsp. chilled non-hydrogenated solid vegetable shortening cut into half-inch pieces

3 tbsp. (or more) ice water

Blend both flours, sugar and salt in food processor. Add butter and shortening; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add 3 tbsp. ice water and process until moist clumps form. Add more water by teaspoon full if  dough is dry.  Gather dough into a ball, flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least an hour.

Position rack in bottom third of oven and pre-heat to 350F.  Roll out dough on lightly floured surface  to 13 inches diameter. Transfer to dish. Trim dough to half-inch and fold under. Crimp decoratively and freeze for 15 minutes.

Line crust with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights (I have pie weights!). Bake until crust is set and edges are pale golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans (or weights). Cool completely on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

The filling!:

3 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Using and electric mixer beat the eggs, egg yolks and salt in a large bowl to blend. Add sugar, and beat until mixture is thick and fluffy, about a minute. Beat in coconut, whipping cream, lemon juice, lemon peel, melted butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Pour into crust.

Bake until filling is golden and set, about 40 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack and then chill until cold, about 3 hours. Note that I’m typing this at 11:45 pm CST. And the pie is still in the oven. I guess, I’ll have a slice for breakfast. I’ll drop in a picture too. Enjoy your Independence Day, however you choose to celebrate!

An update on July 4-Finally got the pie piped with whipped cream and garnished with the lemon slice at around noon. The pie has a good taste of lemon but there’s a heavy texture of coconut that I’m not too crazy about. The crust baked well and thankfully didn’t burn. Pie collars are important:)Coming from a Bon Apetit cookbook, I’m bummed this doesn’t have a bigger lemon pop to the flavor.  It’s average to me. Too bad, considering the amount of time it took to put together. I guess I’ll have to drown my disappointment by going out and looking for a sectional sofa.

Pie #28 – Foggy Bottom Lemon Curd Pie

Today was a day of labor. I mowed the lawn (a downside of the American Dream, especially in 98 degree heat) and did a lot of plant pruning. But hey, the yard looks nice and the work to get there further motivated me to cook dinner for my lovely wife, and to create pie number 28, the Foggy Bottom Lemon Curd Pie.

Foggy Bottom Lemon Curd Pie = Yum

This is a non-bake pie, but I did a sweet crust from scratch, courtesy of the 500 Pies and Tarts cookbook. It didn’t come out that great and I’m not sure why. I mean, the crust doesn’t look great but I’m sure it’ll taste really good. The edges retreated a bit and the fluting, that looked so wonderful in dough (thanks Claudius Rex!), ended up disappearing. The filling is from a recipe at cooks.com. The original recipe is actually called Black Bottom Lemon Curd Pie, but I can never find chocolate nilla wafers. So I did my own crust and changed the name of the pie. Plus I used a glass pie dish and when the pie is frozen it actually has a foggy bottom. Is that bad?

The crust!:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1 quarter cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter (that’s one stick of butter)

1 large egg yolk

1-2 tsp. ice-cold water

Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Cut the butter into small chucks and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or two knives in a criss-cross motion, blend the butter into the mixture until it has the consistency wet sand (sweet, delicious wet sand)with a few pea-sized pieces remaining.

Using a fork or whisk, beat the egg yolk and the water. Pour the egg mixture over the flour, stirring only until the mixture becomes moist. The dough should stick together and be able to hold the form of a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Chill in the fridge a minimum of 30 minutes.

To roll it out, I used a cloth dinner mat. Flour the surface, cover the dough with your plastic wrap and roll out into a 9 inch circle. I was able to pick up the crust and transfer to my pyrex pie dish. You can also just slide it from the cloth surface to the pie dish. Trim or fold the excess under the edge of the crust and flute. Place a pie weight or beans in tin foil over the center of the crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the weight from the crust and bake an additional 5-7 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

The filling!:

1/2 stick of unsalted butter

1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice (that’s 2 large lemons)

Lemon zest from 1 large lemon

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

3 large eggs

1 pint of vanilla ice cream

Melt the butter. Stir in the lemon juice, zest sugar and salt. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Beat the eggs (don’t just yell at them); gradually blend in the lemon mixture into the eggs. Return to heat. Cook over LOW heat an additional 2-3 minutes or until the filling starts to thicken. Do NOT allow to boil. Remove from heat, allow to cool and then chill in the fridge for 15 minutes or so.

Nuke your ice cream for about 15 seconds in the microwave and slather along the bottom of your crust. Use the whole pint. Remove the cooled lemon curd from the fridge and place over the top of the ice cream. Freeze for about 6 hours. Or until you can’t stand it anymore and must have a piece. You can add shaved chocolate as a garnish if you’re feeling it but it isn’t necessary.

It’s very tasty. The lemon is a nice partner to the vanilla ice cream. It’s just a pain to cut a piece of solid ice cream and lemon curd. I recommend a heated knife to cut yourself a piece. Or you can just brutalize it with a large spoon.

Pie #7 – Lemon Merin Pie (didn’t quite make it to Meringue)

Lemon Merin Pie:)

I have to re-think my schedule. I’d initially thought I’d bake these on Wednesdays but sometimes things get in the way (like life or laziness). I plan on doing my baking, moving forward, on Saturday or Sunday. It’s easier and a bit more relaxing than doing it on a weeknight when I’m usually late from work.

I had a couple of challenges this week; I forgot to add butter to the pie crust recipe so I had to do the pie crust again. File under lack of attention to detail. I also didn’t whip the meringue long enough so it wasn’t as stiff as it should have been. Not epic, but slight pie-fail.

The Crust:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel

1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 in. chunks

2 tbsp. (or more) ice-cold water

Blend flour, sugar and lemon peel in a food processor. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Unsure of what a “coarse meal” resembles, I winged it. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of ice water and mix with fork until moist clumps form, adding more water a tablespoon at a time if mix is dry. Gather dough into ball and then flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator a minimum of 20 minutes.

Roll dough out on a lightly flowered surface to 12-inch around. Gently roll up the dough on a rolling-pin and unroll into a 9 inch diameter glass pie dish. Fold the excess dough overhang under, even with the edge of the pie dish. Crimp dough edges decoratively. Freeze your crust until firm, about 15 minutes.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line the frozen crust with aluminum foil and dried beans or pie weights. Pie weights? I have never seen or heard of these… Bake until crust sets, about 15 minutes. This will keep the bottom of the pie crust from bubbling up, forming a dome. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking until the crust is golden brown, another 10 minutes or so. Remove the crust from oven and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Let the crust cool while you prepare your lemon filling.

Your lemon filling:

1 cup sugar

4 tsp. cornstarch

2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

4 large egg yolks

1 tbsp. finely grated lemon peel

Whisk the sugar and cornstarch in a medium sauce pan. Gradually whisk in the lemon juice. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the lemon peel. Whisk constantly over medium heat for 10 minutes until the filling comes to a boil and thickens. Spoon the warm filling into the crust and smooth out the top.

And now for the Meringue (or in my case, the Merin):

3 large egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

Using an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Check. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating the mixture until stiff and glossy. Glossy, check. Stiff, FAIL! It was, ummmm, semi-stiff. I didn’t mix it long enough and while it was able to hold some form, definitely not enough for the big peaks one would hope for.

Using a silicone spatula, spread the meringue over your warm filling, covering to the crust edge and creating peaks and swirls. My wife needed to step in here and rescue the top by adding the swirls and what she could of the peaks. For that I am grateful.

Bake until the meringue is pale golden, about 15 minutes. Cool pie completely and serve.

The lemon filling really pops with sweet/tart. The meringue has a nice texture and the crust is nice and flaky. I’m just not pleased with the presentation and will probably try this one again.