Maggie Monday: Lemon Sponge Pie and the Pastry Chef

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.

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Categories: Baking, Dessert, Fruit, Guest-Maggie, kosher, Recipes, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

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13 Comments on “Maggie Monday: Lemon Sponge Pie and the Pastry Chef”

  1. September 10, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Saw the video…….such a cool way to separate an egg!


  2. September 10, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    As a cooking professional, I agree with your response. Owning your own restaurant sounds good in theory. However, you are working when everyone else is playing; working incredibly hard and long hours. The failure rate is high.
    Like the lemon sponge pie – the pie version of lemon bars! The video technique would work fine in the home, assuming the bottle was cleaned and sanitized between uses. For quantity cooking, the best and safest separated eggs are purchased separately (pastuerized).


  3. Maggie
    September 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Pat- I’d be honored to serve as Pastry Chef in your HYPOTHETICAL restaurant. Real life? NOPE! But I’d consider “guest” chef if you ever change your mind!


  4. September 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Maggie – I grew up in Shippensburg, so I know all about Pennsylvania Dutch food. Most of it isn’t much to look at, but you are right about the flavors – wow! Still get a craving for a decent ham salad and have to go home to my folks house to have some 😉


    • Maggie
      September 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      Awesome ham salads there! We need a recipe! I remember going to the ice cream joint and they had Pretzel Cones. Chocolate ice cream in a pretzel cone was fantastic! The salt rocked it. Precursor to all the fancy salted chocolates and caramels.


      • September 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

        Ahh, pretzel cones. I forgot about those – yum! I’ll have to look for a decent ham salad recipe. If I find one, I’ll let you know.


  5. Agi's Farmhouse Kitchen
    September 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    This looks and sounds delicious!


  6. September 11, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    This is definitely going to be on my supper table tonight!


    • September 26, 2012 at 7:22 am #

      Follow-up: It was quite simply… amazing! I’ll be making it again and again as both my Companion and I adored it. Luckily, I made two with the idea of sending one over to his Mom’s house. Bless her heart, she never saw it!


  7. September 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    I have never been a fan of lemon meringue pie, but this kind of lemon pie looks fabulous! I like the above comment about lemon bars in pie form. Thanks for the recipe!


  8. September 14, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    This is is nice, very lovely! =)


  9. September 15, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    Am printing this recipe up and giving it a go. Lemon Sponge pie sounds yummy. I have a lemon tree and not enough lemon recipes, so many thanks.


  10. September 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Yep, give me lemon. 😀


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