The Great British Bake off has been back a few weeks now and I’m finding myself getting more and more excited each week as the intro music starts. Last week’s episode of free-from foods was yet another impressive episode filled with sugar-free cakes, gluten-free bread and dairy-free ice cream roll things.
I love baking but I am not where as good as the contestants. Growing up cakes were my favourite thing to make (and eat) but now things have changed. I have made oatmeal cookies, strawberry tarts, and bread all with impressive results but none compare to my lemon pie.
Over a year ago I asked BF to give me suggestions of what to make and straight away he gave me a quick quip of “lemon pie or oatmeal and raisin cookies”. Of course, to make sure that he would actually enjoy the baking result, I made cookies first as they were much easier to make and to much praise. A few weeks later I tried to make lemon pie thinking that my first attempt would be possibly a complete mess only to find out quite the opposite – my lemon pie is now infamous among BF and his colleagues who are now used to occasional bakes turning up.
I’ve shared the recipe with lots of family and friends – this normally happens after they have tried it. Only one person has tried to make it so far as it is a 2 hour long bake – most people now just suggest lemon pie when I ask what they would like me to bake for when they visit.
Now with Bake off back on the screens, my baking bug is in full swing so along with a load of other bloggers I am taking part in a baking project with Silver Mushroom where we share and compete each week for the best recipe. I thought that I’d start things off with a bang by sharing my current favourite sweet bake via my infamous Lemon Pie.
Now if you’re going to make this incredible pie you will need the following:
- 250g plain flour
- vanilla extract
- cinnamon power
- 6 egg yokes
- 125g non-salted butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 400g condensed milk (though I use a can of 395g fine)
- 3 lemons
The reason that this takes so long is because of the pastry – it needs to be chilled and cooled at various points for the best result.
Start by making the pastry by putting 250g of flour, 1tsp vanilla extract, 1 egg yoke, 1tsp cinnamon powder and 125g of finely chopped butter in a bowl and mixing with a knife. The trick with this pastry is to avoid handling with hands (especially palms) as much as possible to keep the butter as solid as possible. I often start with a knife then starting using a fork before finally kneading the mixture into a ball. Wrapping the balled mixture in cling film, putting it in the fridge will help chill the butter down again.
While the pastry is chilling, turn on the oven to 180 degrees and then focus on making the filling by grating the three lemons of their zest before juicing them into a separate jug (make sure that you remove any bits or seeds from the juice).
First beat 5 egg yokes and 50g of caster sugar until it is pale and creamy before stirring in the condensed milk and finally adding in the lemon juice and zest. Mix this until it is thoroughly mixed and creamy. It should be a nice soft yet thick yellow liquid.
By now the pastry has probably chilled for an hour (well it is for me at least!)
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and here is where paths of practice will change depending on what you use. I for one love silicon pie pan and cupcake moulds. This means that I don’t need to butter then but it does make it harder to remove the final bake. If you use a metal pie pan make sure at this stage that you butter it so that you can remove it – it is also possible to line it with baking paper.
Lay the pastry inside the pan and make sure that there is an even layer across the pastry and then use a fork to stab it on the bottom a number of times . I often find that I have leftover pastry and use the remaining pastry in cupcake moulds to make miniature lemon pies.
Put the pie pan in for 15 minutes and then remove from the oven to cool. If you have cupcake sized leftovers, I put these in for only 5 minutes. Now as this recipe is made up of only egg yokes, this is normally when I whisk up only two-three egg whites until it is white and stiff before whisking in about 25g of sugar. This will mean that you can add meringue if you want and finding good use of this leftover ingredient. Making it now while the pastry is in the oven, it should be ready by the time the whole pie needs to go in the oven.
Once the pastry is cool, carefully pour in the lemon filling into the pie (and cupcake sized minions). If you have made meringue, this is the time that you carefully spread it on top making sure to add peaks, spikes and swirls to add texture. It is now ready to go in the oven for 35-40 minutes to bake.
Now once the pie has initially cooled it is ready to eat but I find that I make this late and put it in the fridge over night as it tastes best when chilled.
I adore this recipe – it is easy enough instructions yet because of the time it takes it feels like an achievement and tastes so wonderful. It is a joy to both make and eat but it is the squeals of delight from others the first time that they try it as the sweet yet lemony filling works so well with the very plain pastry that holds it and adds a crumbly texture.
Will you try to make it? Have you tried to make it before but to a different recipe? Do you have any tips to making lemon pie? Do you have a recipe that you think that I should attempt? Make sure that you leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!
Next week I’m planning to share my newly found strawberry tart recipe that takes less than an hour so I hope that you will come back next week! If you want to find more amazing recipes – check out #BWBO or @silvermushroom1 on Twitter.