You know you married the right man when he rolls out pastry dough because you’re too scared to do it yourself. With my sister and now-proven-better-half cheering in the kitchen, we made a pie from scratch.
And it was pretty good, if I do say so myself.
Lemony, creamy filling and the buttery-est crust to back it up. This pie is REALLY good for the ego 🙂
I’ve made pie crust and a shortcrust base before, successfully, for smaller quantities. But an entire pie involves rolling out the dough, and placing it in a pie dish, whole. It was a hot day as it always is in Mumbai and the dough would not behave. Enter my knight in shining armour who somehow coaxed it into submission.
Together, we lifted it up using our hands (because the rolling pin trick works for dough that’s not as soft; cold butter and ice water are only so strong in front of the fabulous tropical sun), placed it in the pie dish and then my sister and I went about mending the cracks and tears.
Half the battle won.
The filling, or the lemon curd isn’t hard to put together. The one mistake I made which you definitely shouldn’t, is not using a hand mixer to bring it all together. I found my filling to be a little splotchy on top because I hadn’t beaten it through. Miraculously, even though lemon curd is basically just eggs, lemon juice and sugar, the pie isn’t eggy AT ALL. That was my biggest worry because I hate eggy desserts. You can smell the egg faintly, but you can’t taste it, promise 🙂 It’s rich and yet fresh thanks to all that amazing lemon juice. Perfect with the buttery pie crust.
To counter the tartness of the filling, dusting the pie with powdered sugar is a good option. It also helps to cover up any not-pretty bits of the pie.
I substituted the sour cream in the recipe with yoghurt and realized later I should have drained it first. Not doing this caused the filling to release some water. Not a catastrophe, but a note for the next time.
This is not a difficult thing to make, it’s just a bit fiddly. If you’re a pie crust veteran, this will be a cakewalk. Either way, give it a shot!
What you’ll need:
1 and 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)
113 gms cold butter, cubed (I usually use one 100 g pack of Amul and add a tablespoon more)
2 tbsps ice water + up to 2 tbsps more if needed
Lemon Curd Filling
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup yoghurt (preferably hang about 1 cup a few hours earlier to drain out the water)
2 tsps vanilla essence
7 lemons (3/4 cup juice)
1/4 tsp salt
What to do:
1. In a food processor, or by hand, combine the flour, sugar and salt, if using. Add the cubed butter and pulse till the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. If you’re doing this by hand, mix the butter in using your fingers.
2. Add the ice water and pulse again till the dough holds together when pressed between two fingers. Add up to two tablespoons more, one at a time, if needed. Do not overprocess the dough at this time.
3. Turn it out onto a floured work surface and bring together into a soft dough. Press down into a 3/4 inch think disk. Wrap tightly in clingfilm and refrigerate for at 1 hour.
4. Take the chilled dough out, unwrap and place on a well-floured sheet of baking paper. You could do this directly on a kitchen counter too, but the paper makes things easier. Roll the dough out into a 14-inch circle, flouring, turning, lifting as needed.
5. Using either a rolling pin to wrap the dough around, or your hands, gently lift and place the dough into a greased, 9″ pie dish. Press down gently and up the sides to fit the dough well. Trim the edges and use those bits to patch any broken/torn areas of the crust.
6. Chill the crust for for about 30 minutes.
7. While the crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 220 C. Take the chilled crust out of the fridge, cover with a sheet of baking paper/foil and fill it with uncooked rice, uncooked beans of any kind, or baking beans if you have them. It is unlikely that the rice or beans can be used again except to bake with in the future.
8. Bake the crust for 20 minutes till lightly golden. Remove the foil and beans and bake again for 5 to 10 minutes. I pricked the base of the crust with a fork at step 7 to avoid it puffing up.
9. Set the crust aside to cool for about 20 minutes. Cut and juice the lemons at this stage. Preheat the oven to 175 C.
10. Now make the lemon curd by beating the eggs, sugar, yoghurt and vanilla together. Slowly add in the lemon juice. A hand mixer will help give you a smooth mixture.
11. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake for 25 to 35 minutes until set, but slightly wobbly in the center.
12. Allow to cool completely and chill for a few hours or overnight, until ready to serve.
The greased pan makes it easy to slice and remove the pie pieces. Serve with cream, ice cream or as is!