Saturday, February 27, 2010

The price of heaven (how to get the good stuff from a lemon)

Instructions on how to get the best of a lemon.

This is painful. It's worth it. But you need to really, really, want this. If you have any little cuts, you might want to cover them now. Try a band-aid, or Vaseline. Let me know if that works.

You will need a sharp knife, two bowls, and lemons.

First, use a zester to remove the zest from the lemon. Be careful not to get much, if any, pith. Set aside the zest.

Slice off the ends of the lemon.

Cut the remaining peel and pith (white stuff, it's bitter) from the lemon.

Until you are left with this:
Now do it again, until you have as many lemons as you think need. (This is enough for 2 lemon pies)

Now, use your knife to cut each section from the membrane.
Go all the way around, each section. Then use your fingers to remove the sections from the membranes. Scrape off any little bits that stick to the membrane. Throw out the membrane.

Do one lemon at a time. Scoop out the seeds.

When you're done you'll have a pile of good stuff from the lemon. Add in the zest.

and a pile of not so good stuff. Use it to make popuri.

Now, wash your hands. How many more little cuts on your hands did the lemon help you discover? Sorry about that. It's worth it. Really. Go make some lemon pie. Then maybe you'll forgive me.

Drop me a note and let me know how this worked for you.

A slice of lemon heaven

This is not your mother's lemon pie. It's not lemon meringue (blech). It's a lemon custard. Think lemon curd with a crust. Mmmm...

This is my most requested recipe, so it seems a good inaugural blog post.

This pie is easy to make. Well, after you separate the good lemon from the pith, this is an easy pie to make.

As you separate the good lemon from the bad lemon you may have doubts about this being worth all the effort. It is. If you make this pie for someone you love, you must make an effort to think loving thoughts while you deal with the lemons. That way you will be putting love in the pie, and not curses.

Scintillating Lemon Pie (adapted from Elsah Landing Restaurant Cookbook)

Pastry for two 2 crust pie - divide, prepare bottom shell

Roll out and cut circle for top, place on cookie sheet, cut into many small thin slices, and sprinkle with:
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Bake top in oven @400 degrees for ~7 min. (until baked liked a just-done cookie)

Cream together:
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons flour

Mix in:
3 lemons (prepared as described in this post)
3 eggs (4 if they're very small)

Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 400 degrees for ~30 min. (or 375 convection oven for 30min). Check pie by jiggling, should be "set" and possibly slightly brown.

Gently slip top slices on to pie, bake for another 5-10 min. Filling should be firm.

Serve only to people who are worthy and loved.

Another blog?

So here's me. Starting a new blog. Why? Well, 'cause. Um... well. Food. I like to eat. I like to cook. People keep asking me for my recipes. So here's a place I can point them instead of having to copy down the blasted things every time.

I'm going to try not to step on any toes. Mostly I modify recipes beyond recognition, but even so, if I start with a recipe from a published source I'll try to point you to the source. If I get it wrong, let me know!