Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lemon Cloud Pie

Or:  All-Out War in the Kitchen!!
I mean, how much trouble can one recipe be? (Or, conversely, now stupid can one cook be, hmmm?)

So, back on Valentine's Day, I saw this recipe over on Gumbo Lily's blog. Scroll down past the chickens and grandbabies. It looked divine. I said to myself, "Self, we're gonna make that pie."
Eventually, I remembered to buy lemons and cream at the grocery. Two weeks later (today), I made it.
I took Gumbo Lily into the kitchen with me :)
I decided to make the filling first, and worry about the pie crust later. (first of many mistakes...)
Here, I gently whisked 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 3 Tbsp cornstarch, 1/3 cup lemon juice, and 2 egg yolks, in a saucepan. I turned for mere moments ...

Mere moments, I say! ...

to the sink, to scrub the wax off the lemons ...

And the mixture was boiling (which was nice, because it's supposed to). But I hadn't really, fully, um, mixed in the eggs. So there were little wisps of egg floating around in my lemon custard. Sigh. Lemon Egg Drop Soup, anyone?
My professional household chef was standing at my elbow.  He said, "You can fix that by putting it in the blender."  My self said, "Ugh. Me too lazy."
Then I ran my finger through the mixture, removing a piece of egg. Yeah, the blender came out, and it was helpful.

After its experience in the blender, however, the mixture was very airy, but still warm, and I added 4 oz. of cream cheese, and 2 tsp. of lemon zest. (At that point I realized I'd only need 2 tsp of lemon zest, not two whole lemons, which is what I'd bought at the store. So now I have a whole, unused lemon, and I have a nagging OCD tendency to feel obligated to make yet another lemon pie, just to use said lemon. I will ignore this little, niggling voice.
I left the lemon custard mixture to cool at last, and turned to the easy, predictable part -- the pie crust. I like the one I use for my Apple Pandowdy. It's almost fun. But my brain was temporarily disengaged. I tried to press it out by hand into the pie dish, without cooling it or rolling it. I went and took a dementia pill (or too), and came back to my pie crust. And I realized that, once the crust was baked, it would have to cool completely, before I could put the filling in it. This was turning into an all-day cooking event. I put the pie dough in the freezer, the filling in the frig, and went and sat on the couch.

Later, after watching a dozen videos of Japan's devastation and reading all about Libya, I rolled out the dough and popped it in the oven. When I checked on it, I discovered the sides were falling! And I remembered I'd done this before, with this same crust recipe! Argh! But who am I to be picky about crust? I'm all about flavor. Only Adam cares about how the food looks.  If it's ugly food, I just close my eyes when I eat it.

Intent on not burning the crust, I took it out soon.  Too soon. Later, when it was cooled, I realized it really wasn't cooked all the way.

So, you guessed it! I turned the oven back on, put it back, and finished it off:
All that trouble for that ugly thing!

At least it was cool enough to lift out onto a cooling rack. Later, I plopped the filling in.  It will have to cool in the frig for three hours at least.

Do NOT pray to God for patience.  He's liable to tell you to cook this recipe.
And then I remembered what I'd forgotten to do today:  bake 2 loaves of bread.  Now that I'm done with this post, I'm back into the kitchen. I hope my brain is still working.


  1. Oh my! I actually printed out the recipe when you posted before. It still looks yummy!

  2. Forget about the bread. Let them eat pie!


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