Lemon Bar Pies

30 Mar

Over spring break, everyone understood that of course baking had to happen.  I knew I wanted to make pie, and was pretty set on peanut butter chocolate ice box pie when I started thinking about fruit.  There’s a recipe for a lemon ice box pie that I have, which looks amazing, but I don’t like lemon curd that much…  Lemon bars, though?  Definitely.  So my friends and I thought, what if we took the lemon bars and turned them into mini pies with fresh whipped cream on top?  And so.

Lemon Bar Pies

Adapted from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • Mini pie tins (with or without crust; you can pop the crust out, which we did, or just use it, in which case you can disregard this part of the recipe.  Really, though, making the crust is so easy)

Filling:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 6 tsp lemon zest

First, zesting the lemons.  With knives, since we had no cheese grater.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Or, you know, go ahead and do this whenever.  I usually don’t remember until I’m about to put something in the oven, and no harm has come to my baked goods.  Anyway.

In an electric mixer on low speed, combine all the ingredients until crumbly.  I actually ended up with legitimate dough, mysteriously…

Yeah, it looks like crumbs here, but do not be fooled.  It was just lumpy dough.  I added more flour and it became even more like dough.  How does that even happen.  I ask you.

In any case, you could actually use pre-made crust, but this is better, flavor-wise, since the dough has zest in it.  Gingerbread crust, which is the kind that came with our pie tins, might taste a little funny, but your crust is your business.

Squish the dough into the tins like so.  Be very careful you don’t put in a lot of dough, because it will puff up a little bit and make it hard to pour the filling on top.  My advice: just fill the bottom with crust.  Don’t even bother with the sides.  As I did in the picture.  Do as I say, etc.

Put those in the oven for about… ten minutes.  Keep an eye on them.  When they turn lightly golden, take them out.

For the filling:

Beat the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and zest at medium speed until well combined.

I have a thing for lemons.  I don’t know.  I think it’s actually a citrus thing in general.  Something about citrus…

When the crust is still slightly warm, pour this stuff on top.

It should look something like this.  Just cover the crust with the filling.  It’s pretty much done rising at this point, so if you go a little overboard on the lemon filling, don’t worry about it.

Also?

This is very important.

The Four Seasons, right.  I’m not talking Vivaldi, because that guy?  Not as interesting as everyone seems to think.  I’m talking Frankie Valli.  Those guys are the shit.  Oh my God.  I will never get sick of December, 1963.  Never.  I will especially never get sick of Bob singing in the beginning.  That really makes the song for me.  Ever since I saw Jersey Boys I’ve had this strange adoration of this group. “Why’d it take so long to see the light?”  He literally just sang that.  That’s how I’m feeling.  Late to the party? Yeah.  But rocking the fuck out of it nonetheless?  Oh yes.

See, that was really important.

Put the pies back in the oven for another ~10 minutes, until golden brown.  Let cool for a while.  Say, until cool.

In the meantime, take two cups of heavy cream and one and a half tbsps of sugar and whip them together until they look like something you might want to put on things and eat.  So like whipped cream.  Which is what this makes.  Ours was a little lumpy.  We generated some theories but found no conclusive evidence for why this was the case.  It tasted fantastic though.

We also made cookies because we are depraved hedonists.

Instructions for eating (in case you’re confused):

With a fork, and often.

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