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Recipe: Refreshing Lemon Pie

Recipe: Refreshing Lemon Pie

Much to the chagrin of my *cough, cough* healthy diet, I have an insatiable sweet tooth. I'm constantly craving treats, and although most of the time I quell the voices with agave and 100 percent cocoa powder, sometimes I give in and go full Betty Crocker. 

My short-term (and failed) experiment with Whole30 left me with one giant Meyer lemon, and I decided to fast forward into spring with a citrus-y Lemon Custard Pie courtesy of Taste of Home (with a few alterations here and there). 

I thought I could expedite the process with a pre-made crust, but alas, I thawed one from my freezer that ended up being wildly unacceptable (don't ask) so I was left with two choices: No pie (nope) or homemade crust. The things I do for love...

Peace and blessings to All Recipes, which had an insanely easy crust recipe aptly called "Easy Pie Crust Recipe.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour        
2 teaspoons white sugar        
1 teaspoon salt        
1/2 cup vegetable oil        
2 tablespoons milk

To make, just mix all the ingredients in the pie pan (add wet then dry), and spread evenly along the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F so it's ready to go for any recipe. 

Tip: This crust is great and true to its name (re: easy) but is also fairly salty. It would be excellent for a more decadent pie, like some sort of insane chocolate concoction, but I would try 1/2 teaspoon salt for more delicate pies. 

UPDATE: I forced my boyfriend to eat this pie and give his unfiltered opinions. He loved the filling (especially as someone who has a decidedly smaller craving for desserts than I do) and found the crust good, not too salty, and actually utterly tasteless — which he insisted was not a bad thing, just... a thing. So I guess make your own opinion?

While my pie crust was baking, I made the filling.  

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Lower the oven temperature to 325 when you remove your crust. Soften the butter and beat in the sugar. Add just the egg yolks (place the whites in a different bowl for later) and blend again, then add your milk, flour and salt and mix once more. Blend in the lemon juice (I freshly squeezed mine, but bottled does the job just fine) and peel. Then whip the egg whites until a stiff peak forms and "gently fold" into the filling.

A few things to note about the recipe//what I actually made...

1. In my daily life, I basically live and die by almond milk, but I firmly believe that whole milk (aka vitamin D milk) is the best for baking and cooking, unless otherwise specified. 

2. I didn't have lemon zest, and considering I'm an amateur/25-year-old/not in the mood to spend $12 on fancy peel, I decided to try to grate my lemon myself. The bad news? I actually don't have a grater because of the aforementioned reasons. So I tried a knife with limited success, at best. So FINALLY I added a little more lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of orange zest, which I had leftover from an amazing cranberry-orange-walnut bread that we'll discuss at a later date, and it turned out perfectly fine. The moral of the story? Poor ladies that want to channel their inner Martha Stewart without shelling out copious amounts of money can make educated guesses regarding substitutions and it will all *probably* turn out okay. 

3. I whipped my egg whites for at least 3 minutes and I didn't see a firm peak form, but it did look pretty airy, so I figured that was good enough. It was. 

Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour. When it's slightly tanned and your fork or toothpick comes out clean from the center, it's done! Then cool and serve with whipped cream, ice cream (heyooo Halo Top), blueberries, or whatever else your heart desires. 

What's your favorite dessert to make?

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