Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lemon Chess Pie

Happy Pi Day, folks! To celebrate, everyone brought pies to work today (one of the perks of being a nerdy engineer). I wanted to show these New Englanders a taste of the South, so I made Lemon Chess Pie.  Basically a Buttermilk Pie (or Chess Pie) with lemon zest and lemon juice in place of vanilla, it's a cinch to pull together. If you're not a fan of buttermilk, please don't be tempted to dismiss this pie. You would never know it's in there!

Once baked, the pie has a beautiful, golden-brown crust hiding a delicate, rich custard with a little spring in its step from the tangy lemon.  It's a little taste of home that anyone (even a Yankee) can enjoy!
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), very soft
2 cups sugar
3 Tb flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
zest of one lemon
1 Tb lemon juice (~1/4 lemon)
1 9-in refrigerated pie crust
(or even better, homemade pie crust)

Preheat oven to 350

Place your pie crust into a pie pan, pressing it flat against the bottom and sides. Fold the extra edges over, and crimp. Place the pie pan in the refrigerator until you're ready to pour in your filling.

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream your butter and sugar.

Add flour and eggs, beat well. 

Stir in buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pour into your unbaked pie crust. 

Bake for about 1 hour. Start checking it after about 50 minutes, until the custard is set and a nice crust forms on top. (Sometimes I bake mine as long as 1 hour and 10 minutes)

Cool on a wire rack. 

(With a pie this good, it's unlikely that you'll have leftovers, but on the off chance that you have a piece or two leftover, store it in the refrigerator)

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