My Dad makes the best pies! He’s a perfectionist at heart and when he makes this pie, you better believe it’s the best darn pie you’ll ever taste – perfect lemony heaven. He found this recipe at Cooks Country and makes it for special occasions. I always tell him to make two so he can share the wealth with me!
1 double-crust pie dough (Dad uses this Vodka Pie Crust Recipe )
3 large lemons, sliced THIN and seeded (see technique below)
1 ¾ cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 dough round and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Squeeze lemon slices in fine-mesh strainer set over bowl; reserve juice (you should have 6 tablespoons). Bring drained slices and 2 cups water to boil in saucepan, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slices are softened, about 5 minutes. Drain well and discard liquid. Combine softened lemon slices, sugar, salt, and 1/4 cup reserved lemon juice in bowl; stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Whisk cornstarch and remaining lemon juice in large bowl. Whisk eggs into cornstarch mixture, then slowly stir in lemon slice mixture, then slowly stir in lemon slice mixture until combined. Pour into chilled pie shell. Brush edges of dough with 1 teaspoon cream and top with remaining dough round. Seal, crimp edges, and brush top of dough with remaining cream. Using paring knife, cut 4 vents in top of dough.
4. Bake until light golden, about 20 minutes, then decrease oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour. Serve. (Pie can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for 2 days.)
–> The Slice is Right
We found that using a knife to evenly cut the lemons into paper-thin slices was a difficult and time-consuming task. We had better results with a mandoline (or V-slicer), which produced perfectly thin slices in no time at all. If you don’t have a mandoline, we did find another piece of kitchen equipment that will make the process easier—the freezer. Popping the lemons into the freezer for about 30 minutes firms them up for better hand-slicing, which is best accomplished with a serrated knife.
–> Building Bold, Not Bitter, Lemon Flavor
Using sliced whole lemons, pith and all, can produce an overwhelmingly bitter filling. We found a few tricks to create bright lemon flavor while tempering the bitterness of the pith.
1. Squeeze the seeded lemon slices and reserve the juice for the filling.
2. Simmer the slices to mellow the bitterness of the pith and then add them to the filling with the uncooked juice.