Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lemon Chiffon Pie

As promised, here is the Lemon Chiffon Pie recipe that was featured on my last blog post. I love this recipe because it is light and has the sweetness you want from a dessert, but it also has a great tart punch from the fresh-squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest. This dessert is the perfect complement to a lovely spring or summer meal....if only Minnesota weather would cooperate!

Lemon Chiffon Pie

-1 c sugar
-1 envelope unflavored gelatin
-2/3 c water
-1/2 c lemon juice
-1 tsp lemon zest
-4 eggs, separated
-1/2 tsp cream of tartar
-1 prepared pie crust

1. Juice and zest lemons. Separate eggs.
2. Prepare an ice bath.
3. In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine 1/2 c sugar, gelatin, water, lemon juice, lemon zest and 4 slightly-beaten egg yolks.
4. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently and constantly, until the mixture boils. Continue to cook for one minute.
5. Cool the mixture in the ice bath until it forms small mounds when tested with a spoon. Remove from ice bath.
6. Prepare meringue. Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat eggs until slightly frothy. Add cream of tartar.
7. Continue beating and begin to add in remaining 1/2 c sugar in small additions. Beat until stiff peaks form.
8. Fold cooled lemon mixture into meringue in small additions.
9. Pour lemon chiffon filling into prepared pie crust.
10. Refrigerate pie for at least two hours to allow filling to set up.
11. Garnish and enjoy!

Pictures and Tips:
Step 1. Here is my juicing/zesting'll need a juicer and a microplane for zesting.

Juice the lemons. To get 1/2 c of lemon juice, I used 3 1/2 medium sized lemons.

Use a microplane to zest the lemon. Make sure not to push too hard. The white part of the peel has a bitter flavor, so only zest the yellow part. I strongly prefer to use organic fruit, especially when you are zesting. A bulk of the chemicals used to grow non-organic fruit reside in the peel of the don't want to release all that grossness into your pie.

Separate the eggs into two bowls. Be careful with this process. If you get any yolk into the whites, your meringue will not work.

Step 2. Prepare an ice bath. This will be used to quickly cool the lemon filling so you want it ready to go.

Step 3. Combine a 1/2 c of sugar with the gelatin, water, egg yolks, lemon juice and lemon zest in a medium-sized saucepan.

Step 4.  Cook the lemon mixture over medium heat. Stir it gently and constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. After the mixture begins to boil, continue to cook for one minute.

Step 5. After one minute, place the saucepan into the icebath.

Allow the mixture to cool in the icebath until it forms small mounds when tested with a spoon. Remove the saucepan from the icebath.

Step 6. Prepare the meringue. I used an electric hand mixer. Place the egg whites into a medium-sized bowl and beat them at a low speed until they begin to get frothy (bubbles will begin to form). After the egg whites begin to froth, add the cream of tartar.

Step 7. After you add the cream of tartar, continue to beat the egg whites, increasing the speed. When very soft peaks begin to form, start to add the sugar. You don't want to add all of the sugar at once...sprinkle it in slowly as you continue to beat the egg whites.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Step 8. Fold the lemon mixture into the egg whites a little at a time. Folding allows you to incorporate ingredients into egg whites without deflating all of the air bubbles you created by beating them.

Step 9 & 10. Pour the chiffon into the prepared pie crust and spread it out evenly with a rubber spatula. Place the pie in the refrigerator and let it chill for at least two hours.

Step 11. Garnish and enjoy. My favorite garnish is a piece of lemon peel. I use a fruit/veggie peeler to get large strips of peel. I like that this garnish quickly lets people know what flavor of deliciousness they are in for. You could also garnish each piece with a dollop of whipped cream and some grated zest.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this recipe. Thank you for visiting.

-The Delicious Dabbler

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