Since I started the blog, I’ve had more than a few friends and family ask me if I ever wanted to open a restaurant. Short answer – NO. Medium answer – Hell No! While I love to cook, and like to cook for others, I really wouldn’t want to cook the same things day after day. Plus your evenings and weekends are spent at the restaurant and if you are not working 100+ hours a week, be prepared for failure. If I did have a restaurant, though, one of my first hires would be a good dessert/pastry chef. I know that is not my strength and a strong dessert menu can bring diners in droves to the place. Not that she has time in her schedule, but don’t you think Maggie would be a great Pastry Chef for this hypothetical restaurant? I could eat these desserts all the time. Here is another great one. Welcome Maggie….
Just after graduate school I spent a year in Pennsylvania. I spent a summer with the family of the man I was dating, then worked at Shippensburg University the following year. This lovely family introduced me to the many joys of Pennsylvania Dutch dishes. I’ll post a few more soon (Chicken Corn Chowder! YUM!)
I had never heard of Lemon Sponge Pie before that lovely summer. I love anything lemon, so I was excited to try it. Oh. My. Good. Ness. It is such an improvement over the boring, old Lemon Meringue pudding heaviness. This pie is light, tangy, sweet, and satisfying. Any time you have to stiffen egg whites you’re in for a bit of effort, but it is easy, and worth it! Warning: This is NOT a pretty pie. In fact, it is sort of ucky looking. This is one best cut, covered with a BIG dollop of whipped cream, and served on individual plates. Not a showstopper that you want to cut at the table for “ooohs and ahhhhs”. But, it tastes good and custard-y! Summer is almost over, so go for one last lemony splurge! This is a keeper!
PS: Watch this video for the coolest way to separate eggs I have ever seen. It’s in Chinese, but the video sends the message!
Lemon Sponge Pie
What you need:
2 cups sugar
4 Tb butter
4 eggs, separated
3 tsp flour
½ tsp salt
1 lemon, juiced and zested, reserve both
2 cups milk, warmed ( I just zap it in the microwave for about 45 seconds or so)
Pastry for two 9” pies
What you do:
Place pie pastry in 9” pie pans. Crimp edges, and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar. Will be quite dry. By, hand, Mix in egg yolks, salt and flour. Add lemon juice and zest and gently stir by hand. Add milk and continue to gently blend. With a mixer in a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold stiffened egg whites into lemon mixture. Gently incorporate.
Pour the pie filling evenly into the two prepared pie pans.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes- until filling is set and it is golden and firm. Allow to cool, and serve with fresh whipped cream.