I hereby declare 2016 the Year of the Pie. I plan to post a pie recipe every single week. Well, maybe some of them will be tarts, galettes, tartlets and rustic tarts but all in the pie clan! Since I want to eat less sugary desserts I am going to step away from cakes and turn to something my family all adores. Pie. It’s time to make more pies. Full of fruit pies, nut tarts, citrus chiffon pies, jam tarts, and chocolate pies of all sorts. Pie and more pie. Sounds delightful doesn’t it?
My first entry is something out of my Farm Journal’s Best Ever Pie Cookbook published in 1981. My dear sister Margie gave it to me a long time ago and I have baked a number of sweet pie treats out of it. This is a lemon pie but unlike any I have ever made. It is called a lemon velvet pie. I think of it as a puffy lightly lemon cloud of a treat. Impressive and delicious. My guy is already bugging me to make it again for him and I just made it yesterday! Actually he saw the recipe and asked me to make it so I did. It has a lot of elements to it but no step is that difficult to conquer. It might strike you as the offspring of the union of a chiffon pie and lemon meringue pie! Anyway, it is melt in your mouth and delicate especially if you make it with Meyer lemon as I did.
Per my New Year’s promise I did cut the sugar down quite a bit. This filling is naturally gluten free. My wheat eating friends can use a regular pie shell to make this treat. I am betting it might be also great with my cookie/tart pie crust. This pie will be the talk of your next gathering if you whip it up!
Here are some impromptu shots as I made this pie: the crust, yeap I see those cracks! No matter…covered up by the pie filling. And yes; the top layer refused to totally spread out for me. Next time I might warm it a tad so it spreads smoothly. But it is one tasty pie!
Lemon Velvet Pie
2/3 cup of sugar (can add another 1/3 cup if you like it sweet)
6 tbsp. corn starch
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups cold water
2 eggs separated
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. lemon zest, grated fresh
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. (1 packet) unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
1 cup light cream
A baked 9 inch pie shell
1 cup heavy cream, whipped with 2-3 tbsp. powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Directions; bake the pie crust and let cool. See any of my past pie blog posts for a crust recipe. I bake it about 20-25 minutes until it is light brown.
Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in 1 ½ to 2 qt saucepan, stir in water, cook over medium heat until it thickens and mounds when dropped from a spoon; stirring constantly. Might take 3-5 minutes. Stir a couple of spoons of it into the two stirred up egg yolks. Add right back into pan and stir well, cook 2 minutes on low stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add butter, stir, add the zest, lemon juice and vanilla, stir well. Remove one cup of filling and set aside.
Soften gelatin in the cold water for 5 minutes. Add to the remaining hot filling in pan, stir to dissolve it. Gradually stir in light cream, cool slightly to firm a bit.
Beat egg whites until firm and glossy, using electric mixer at high speed. Fold into the pan of cooling filling. I used a rubber spoonula. Pour mixture into baked pie shell, Refrigerate 15 minutes. Top with the remaining cup of plain filling you set aside. It will be thick; I put small spoonfuls all over the top. Chill in fridge at least 2 hours to set the pie.
Whip the cream, add some powdered sugar and vanilla to sweeten lightly and serve slices with big dollops of cream on top.