Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lemon Juice: The New Gold

Over the summer, I wrote about our lemon juice shortage, which, I am sad to report, is still ongoing. What fresh lemons I've seen are either exorbitantly expensive (one local, large chain store sold them for $1.19 the last time I was there - ouch!) or look really beaten up and crappy. Still no lemon juice anywhere either.

But, my SIL scored on the lemon juice front during a cross-border shopping spree last week to Spokane, WA. At Costco, she found these 1.4L/48oz bottles of lemon juice - with nifty flip top lid for easy pouring! - for around $2.50USD. I nearly keeled over when she told me this. First of all, there appears to be no shortage of lemons or juice in the States (I did see a 2lb bag of lemons for very little money during my last cross border shopping spree, but since we can't bring fresh produce over the border I didn't buy any) and second, even if we could get lemon juice up here right now, a bottle this size would probably be around $8, if not more! My SIL offered me a bottle and of course I accepted it - and will now be rationing closely it until the return of lemons and lemon juice. In fact, I'm almost not wanting to bake with it at all, and totally hoard it instead! Ridiculous, I know, but when something is hard to get or limited, you kinda want to use it very, very carefully...

So, in celebration of all things lemon but taking into account that even though I now possess nearly 1.5L of this new gold, I have reluctant to part with even a drop, I present you with a recipe reprise from the archives of this blog: Real Lemon Pie.

Real Lemon Pie (originally posted here)

Filling

4 thin-skinned lemons (I don't know how you tell a thin one from a thick one without cutting it first, but I just used what I had on hand)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs

Shortcrust Pastry

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
150g (5oz) chilled unsalted butter, chopped
2 tbsp granulated sugar
3 - 4 tbsp cold water

1 egg, beaten, for glazing

1. Wash the lemons. Slice 2 unpeeled lemons very thinly and remove the seeds. Peel the other lemons, removing all pith and seeds, and slice the flesh thinly. Put all this in a bowl, not metallic, with the 2 cups of sugar and mix well, coating all the lemon with sugar. Cover and refrigerate over night.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. For the pastry, sift together the salt and the sugar. Sable in the butter. (Remember what sable means, from the previous post? No? Ok. Rub the butter in with your fingertips - quickly so it doesn't melt.)

3. When you have a cornmeal-like consistency, add the water, one tablespoon at a time and toss gently with a fork. Add just enough water so that the dough comes together and is rollable. Divide in half and roll out 2 10 inch circles.

4. Lightly grease a 9" pie plate. Line the pie plate with one disk of dough; cover and chill. Somehow chill the other disk of dough, too; I put it into a second pie plate for easy tranferring.

5. Beat the eggs well and add the lemon slices, mixing gently but thoroughly. Pour the filling into the shell and put on the "lid." Crimp the edges to seal them. Decorate the top with pastry scraps. Brush on the beaten egg you reserved for the glaze, and bake until golden brown - 55 minutes to an hour. But keep an eye on it. Let it cool completely before serving.

8 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That's not funny for a foodie... Anyway, your Pie looks delicious!

Cheers,

Rosa

Captain Karen said...

yay for lemon juice!!! I never even thought to send you some - no shortage (as far as I know) about the juice over here. Hmmm. Feel free to use as liberally as you need. I'll see what I can wrangle up for for Christmas.

Tamara said...

Wow, how strange that you would have such a shortage. I haven't heard anything about or noticed a shortage here. Like Captain Karen, I could also send you some. Let me know!

Meg said...

Lovely lemon pie! Love the crust too!

Cherie said...

What a beautiful looking pie! Ignorant me, I've never heard of a two-crust lemon pie before - always lemon meringue. THIS is another one I shall have to try.

And we've had lemons non-stop around here. I wonder what's going on where you are? Weird.

Helene said...

We don't have a shortage of lemons yet, but they are so expensive around here.

Emily Rose said...

that's so strange about the lemon shortage! food is definitely becoming more and more expensive in the states- but I don't understand why you guys can't get lemons! yay for the lemon juice!

Wandering Coyote said...

We can get actual fresh lemons, but they are really expensive and not so good-looking. It's the bottled lemon juice that we can't get for some reason. Normally, I don't buy bottled lemon juice because I prefer the fresh, but because the fresh lemons are so crappy-looking and expensive, bottled lemon juice is my next best bet. Only - NOT. Weird though that lime juice is readily available!

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