Lemon Cake Pie? Are you ready for a little dessert? This is the final day in my series highlighting recipes from my mother’s collection.
It has been a lot of fun for me, and actually very illuminating too. Because I have had this cookbook my brother put together after my mother passed away for about 15 years, but until this week I had never cooked from it.
The first few years it was in possession I honestly was not that interested in cooking. Then, once the interest in cooking took hold, I would occasionally peek through the book. But those peeks were more like a trip down memory lane than anything else.
But this week I did cook from this book. In fact I cooked 7 times! Each time was like a reintroduction to my mother, because each of the 7 recipes reminded me so much of my mom for all kinds of different reasons.
So I thank you for allowing me this indulgence. I realize it may have been a bit overtly sentimental for your average food blog, but you gotta realize the associations I make with food are strong. So once I got started I just had to take the journey where it led. It’s a good thing a decided beforehand to limit myself to one week of recipes though. Because it might have easily devolved into a whole Julie/Julia scenario– can you imagine what a warped movie that would make?
So I have decided to finish the series on a sweet note. I figured you have had your fill of the bittersweet! Though I did choose a lemon dessert so I guess in its own way its just as bittersweet as the rest of the week.
Lemon Cake Pie
This recipe is called Lemon Cake Pie. Again, it’s a sorta southern recipe to me… and though it comes from my mother’s cookbook I know for a fact this recipe is not completely original to my mother. Because I remember this recipe from a Betty Crocker Cookbook we used to have around the house.
I remember it vividly in fact, because to my young non-cooking brain I found the physics of the recipe fascinating. Because all you do is mix up the ingredients and then put them into a pie shell and “poof” miraculously during baking it separates into a lemon curd on the bottom and the lightest, fluffiest cake you can imagine on the top. I hope my photos are able to show this voodoo sufficiently enough to impress you, because I still find the whole process magical!
This is also the very first pie I have ever made. Now I have made tarts, and quiches, and turnovers and croustades. But a good old American pie has never come from my oven. So I have my mom to thank for getting me over my fears regarding pie. Thanks mom!
Now to close the series I have one final cute story to share about my mother. My mother liked the ‘perfect pie crust’ recipe that Martha Stewart featured in what I think must be her very first cookbook, Entertaining. I know this for a fact because I have my mother’s copy of that book, and she left a hint that she liked this crust.
You see my mother had a system. I think she did this with most of her cookbooks. She liked to make her own indexes to the book. These were basically lists of all the recipes she found interesting in each cookbook. This list had the title and page number of these recipes written on it. Presumably this would save her time in the menu-planning department because she could pull out a cookbook consult her handwritten notes and already have an idea about which recipes appealed to her from each book.
Which is actually a pretty sensible pre-computer system, but not the cute part of the story. What is so funny to me is the fact that my mother’s handwritten index for the Martha Stewart cookbook has survived. It has been sitting tucked inside that cookbook for decades. I must have looked at this list a million times before it struck me one day. My mother made a mental typo when she made out the list. She calls Martha Stewart ‘Mary Stuart’. If you knew my mom you would know how very her this is. I bet my mother went to her grave calling Martha Stewart Mary Stuart without ever realizing her mistake. And no matter how subsequently famous Ms. Stewart became, I can imagine my mother correcting people whenever they ‘mistakenly’ referrred to the now icon as Martha Stewart! My mom would have stuck by her guns too and convinced everyone at that dinner party that it was indeed Mary Stuart all along!
It’s so funny it makes me want to cry, because the littlest things can say so much… So Happy Mother’s Week to you mom. This is the end of my series. But not the end of my interest in this cookbook or my mother’s recipes.
- 1⁄2 recipe for perfect pie crust, click here for recipe
- 2 T unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1⁄2 c sugar
- 1⁄3 c flour
- 1 pn salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 2 lemons
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 1⁄4 c milk
Put rack on lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 375.
Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie tine with 1/2 a recipe of Perfect Pie Crust. Crimp or decorate the edges as desired.
In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter and sugar. Stir in flour, salt, lemon peel and lemon juice.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with milk until well blended, stir into lemon mixture.
In another medium sized bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until they hold distinct but moist peaks. Gently fold egg whites into lemon mixture. (Don’t mix it too much.).
Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the top is browned and the center jiggles only slightly when pan is gently shaken (45-55 minutes). If the crust begins to brown excessively, drape it with foil.
Let cool before serving.
SERIOUS FUN FOOD
Lemon Cake Pie