Plucked from our very own tree, two beautiful Meyer lemons.
I’d promised to take another crack at the Shaker Lemon Pie almost exactly a month ago. Thanksgiving morning, I was inspired to deliver.
All credit and praise to Tartine Bakery and Cafe in San Francisco for the recipe and inspiration.
2 medium lemons
2 c. sugar (14 oz.)
flaky tart dough
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg yolk
1 TBS. cream
sugar for dusting top of crust
Slice the lemons super-thin – sharpen your knife first and you will be glad.
Remove all seeds, but put everything else in a glass bowl.
Add sugar and stir gently, then cover and macerate for 3 hours or overnight.
When using Meyer lemons, you can skip the macerating, but I think at least a couple of hours helps.
(You macerate to tenderize the skin, which, on Meyers, is already fairly thin and tender.)
Prepare the tart dough in a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
Mix the eggs and salt, then mix into the lemons, then pour into the pan.
Brush egg wash around the rim of the bottom layer of dough.
Lay the second round on top, trim, and seal. Crimp so you are sure to get it sealed.
Brush top with the egg wash, then dust with sugar.
Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, then cut vents before baking.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until you have a nicely-browned crust.
I always put my tart pan on a small baking sheet to avoid the rookie mistake of sliding your hand underneath the tart pan to pick it up and pushing the entire tart out of the pan and onto the floor. Not that I’ve done that, but I bet it could happen.
Also, this time, I hit the rim of the tart pan with a light spray of Baker’s Joy. I did not want to struggle to get this buttery lemon delivery system out of the tart pan. It definitely helped, as did making sure the seal was tight on the crust so no lemon-sugar-egg glue oozed out.
Some slices are thinner than others.
After a couple of hours, the lemon juice and sugar have turned this into a very liquid mixture. Be ready to mix in the eggs and get into the dough quickly once you’ve mixed.
Post-egg wash and sugar dusting, but pre-vents.
I think I could let it get even browner, but this crust flaked like nothing I’ve ever achieved before, so I’m not going to worry about it.
The photo in the cookbook shows a crust so crackly and brown that I suspect they use a kitchen torch to really carmelize that sugar. I dropped a hint to my father-in-law about the fact that a small torch from the hardware store might be a lovely addition to my collection of kitchen gadgets.
Rave reviews from all at Thanksgiving. I admit it, my ego depends upon such praise, and I play to it. As vices go, however, I’ll take seeking praise for pastry over most of the others I see people struggle to overcome!
So, for vanity’s sake, another angle: