Simple Shaker Lemon Pie
by Debra Lynn Dadd, “The Queen of Green” – New York Times, author of Home Safe Home www.dld123.com
I live in Clearwater, Florida where there are old citrus trees in almost everyone’s backyard. My lemon tree is still sagging with fruit, so it’s the perfect time to make this wonderful lemon pie.
This very simple old Shaker recipe has a custard filling using the whole lemon–peel and all. I ate this pie years ago at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky (see it on their menu). My husband and I stayed overnight at the Inn and had dinner in the restaurant. I bought some measuring spoons made by hand from wood. This place is worth a visit.
The original pie is made by putting the filling between a bottom and top pastry crust. But I like eating the filling plain as a pudding, with whipped cream. The pudding could also be served over cake or ice cream. It’s just a wonderful celebration of lemon!
The original called for white sugar, of course, but I made it with agave. You could substitute powdered unrefined cane sugar, maple syrup, or honey and the results should be the same. You can also add more sweetener if you want. I’ve used half the amount of sweetener of the original recipe here.
If it looks like ingredients are missing, they’re not. This really is the recipe. And it makes a beautiful lemon custard. Remember, Shakers are all about simplicity.
If you want to make a pie, here are some recipes for pie crust (you’ll have to double the recipes if you want to make the original two-crust pie).
SIMPLE SHAKER LEMON PIE
makes 8 servings
2 large lemons
1 cup agave
1. Leaving the rind on, slice the lemons very thin, and remove seeds. (You can leave the slices whole, as in the original recipe, or cut them into bite-sized pieces, which I wish I had done).
2. Place the lemon slices in a bowl, pour the agave over them, and mix. Place a plate on top of the bowl. Let stand overnight, or at least 3 hours. The longer it sits, the softer the rinds become. After the lemons have sat, but before you proceed to the next step, pour the lemon mixture into a shallow bowl or pie plate and look for seeds again. Seeds you missed before will be liberated during this process and floating around.
3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
4. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add them to the lemons and mix.
5. To make pudding: Pour the mixture into a baking dish. To make pie: Line a pie pan with half of the pastry for a two-crust pie, then pour the lemon mixture in and top with the other crust. Crimp the edges together and cut several vents in the top.
6. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
I’ve developed more than 200 recipes using natural sweeteners. To taste them, visit http://www.sweetsavvy.com.
By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).