Sweet-Tart Lemon Cloud Icebox Pie.
Here we go, here we go! Settle in for a long, rambly post with a wandering storyline. The stuff you clearly embrace if you’re a repeat reader of my blog.
First off, a word of thanks to all of my local friends with lemon trees who have been kind enough to drop off bags at our house at regular intervals. ‘Tis the season in California that I absolutely cannot bring myself to pay for lemons at stores when I full well know that there are many trees bursting with lemons that have few prospects in life. I’m a barterer/surprise gifter from way back, but you’ll see in this post that this tendency has become strengthened even further during COVID-19.
This pie’s story begins on Easter night, with Levi juicing a million lemons like a hero. Juice to be used in the pie, for Penicillin cocktails later in the week/month, etc. (we also like to keep juice in the freezer to have on hand, hence the ice cube trays.) Not pictured, us watching The Chosen, which has honestly helped us get to know our Jesus better than I would have EVER imagined a mere television show could. So, so, good.
Trader Joe’s Ad of the Post: Organic Vanilla Wafers being crunched up to make a very fine (texture wise, and otherwise) crumb crust. Dee-lightful. It’s exactly like making a graham cracker crust (melted butter, cinnamon, brown sugar) but with the obvious substitution of Vanilla Wafers for Grahams.
A sad sidebar: you may well have noted in the above image that the handle of my food processor is, um, missing…it has broken in several places…so for the time being, every time I make a crumb crust (or pesto or hummus, for that matter) I get to meticulously line up the point of the tiny part pictured below to an equally tiny pressure point at the base of the food processor “handle” in order to start the blades spinning. It’s kind of hard to describe, but your takeaway should be, “That sounds safe, but annoying.”
Guys, I’m a broken record. Ain’t nothin’ like a homemade crumb crust.
Here’s the next bit of excitement: learning to make lemon curd! I was actually quite excited that this pie called for homemade curd. You may remember (or may learn by clicking here) that one of my more recent endeavors was the 10-Minute Lemon Meringue Icebox Pie. That pie, titled for its expediency, called for storebought lemon curd (I used Bonne Maman). And that was great too. But I think I have always wanted to make my own lemon/citrus curd (aside from pie. Scones come to mind first!) and this was a great foot in the door.
Lemon juice, lemon zest, an egg, 5 egg yolks, sugar. (Later, butter.) That’s what’s in a nice homemade lemon curd.
Cue lots and lots of whisking over a double boiler.
A layer of plastic wrap pressed over the finished product is a classic storage tip for curds and custards.
P.S. Unlike the 10-Minute Lemon Meringue, I would NOT recommend trying to make this pie alone with a nearly two-year-old. I didn’t try, she was for sure playing with Daddy during at least the more complicated parts, but um yeah I can’t imagine that would have gone well if I had. #knowthyself #andthytoddler
The order of events:
1. Pre-baked crumb crust (7 minute baking time)
2. Layer of lemon curd
3. Layer of whipping cream beaten with powdered sugar, vanilla, and mas lemon curd.
You’ve heard me talk before about how it’s just not really okay to eat a whole pie on your own. When I say on my own, I also mean, my immediate family. Two adults and a small child to one pie is not the correct ratio. I’m not saying we don’t have it in us, I’m just saying it’s a bad idea. And if you can’t bring people to the pie…bring the pie to the people.
The ridiculous packaging of these outgoing gifts immediately prompted me to buy a fat stack of cute pie clamshell thingies that you will no doubt see in future episodes (I meant posts but I wrote episodes and decided to leave it).
On the same day this pie went out to surprise some friends, I got a lovely surprise on my doorstep too. We did a fun little “Spring gift exchange” in my church’s women’s group, and the pie was part of my outgoing “secret sister” gift. My incoming gift included sweet bracelets handmade by one of my youngest friends, a basket handmade (!) by her very talented mama, a nature book, and oranges from their orange tree. Talk about a day brightener. I loved it all! (So did/does Pippa.) Thank you, friends!
When Levi and I sat down to enjoy our portion of pie, he declared it to be…drumroll…THE BEST PIE YET. And just now as I was writing I was like whoa whoa I better clarify this b/c that’s a pretty big claim. So here are some of his exact-ish words:
“Okay, I don’t know if I’d put it in a contest and claim that it would win against every other kind of pie out there but it’s true that if you ask me right now or really any time what pie I want to eat, the answer is this one.”
Do with that what you will.
Oh, and please check out the layering in the side profile shot right there on your way out.
Unrelated P.S. The Gelineau House lockdown has been brought to you by innumerable hours of Playmobil. Pictured below: (L) Mommy and Pippa with quarantine hairdos and yes that is a Playmobil sunflower behind my ear. (R) “Daughter” gets sent to the market to buy vegetables.
Smile! God loves you.