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Shaker Lemon Pie


This sweet-tart pie has humble origins in the Shaker community. The filling is like a chunky lemon curd, with big hits of tart lemon slices and slightly bitter peels. The secret to success? Slice the lemons very, very thinly.


Shaker Lemon Pie

4 lemons

3 cups (1 1/2 lb./750 g) plus 1 Tbs. sugar

Double recipe Basic Pie Dough, divided into 2 disks

7 eggs

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Halve 2 of the lemons crosswise. Using the slicing blade of a food processor or a very sharp knife, slice them very thinly, removing the seeds as you go. Put the slices in a bowl. Remove the peel and pith from the remaining 2 lemons and discard. Chop the flesh finely, discarding the seeds. Add the flesh and juices to the bowl. Add the 3 cups (1 1/2 lb./750 g) sugar and stir gently to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a 12-inch (30-cm) round about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Transfer to a standard (not deep-dish) 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan and fit the dough into the pan. Roll out the other dough disk for the top crust into the same-sized round.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended, then add to the lemon mixture and stir well. Add the salt and melted butter and stir until blended. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly. Place the top crust over the filling and trim the edges, leaving a 3/4-inch (2-cm) overhang. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp the edges of the dough. Cut a few steam vents in the top crust. Lightly brush the crust with the egg white, then sprinkle with the 1 Tbs. sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and continue to bake until the crust is golden brown and the center is slightly puffed and the filling barely feels like it jiggles when the pan is shaken, about 30 minutes longer, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Tent the pie with aluminum foil if the crust browns too quickly. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours, before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

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