Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer Baking 5: Shaker Lemon Pie

In contrast to some of my previous summer baking challenges, this one required absolute simplicity.  Patience to let lemons mellow in the heat of the summer sun and tenderize with sugar, and then to add to them only three additional ingredients: a small amount of sugar, four eggs, and a pinch of salt.  The result was a Shaker Lemon Pie.

The Shakers are a religious group, whose numbers can be counted on one hand... as prophesied by their early leader Mother Ann Lee.  Shaker simplicity is calming for me; I would love to own a Victorian house with an interior of Shaker design.  For more about the Shakers, I recommend an older, but wonderful documentary by PBS.  Here's Sister Mildred singing:

I had heard about Shaker Lemon Pie... apparently my grandmother made a variation of it, but I don't remember it.  Online reviews of the recipes were surprisingly scathing at times.  Why would anyone make a lemon pie if they don't like lemons?!  I ended up with a recipe from epicurious and some beautiful organic lemons from Just Local Foods.  It's not for the faint of lemon-hearted... and even then I'd recommend enjoying it warm with some ice cream.

Lemons sliced as thinly as possible

All that is needed for a Shaker Lemon Pie
Ready for the oven

Fresh from the oven

Warm lemony goodness

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