Waste not, want not. This pie has roots in Shaker tradition where every square inch of every square inch is utilized. We are going to use the whole dang lemon in this pie excluding the seeds because that would be painful. Whole Lemon Pie has an insanely bold lemon flavor with a perfectly balanced custard texture. The crust is super flaky and compliments the creaminess of the filling. Since we are using the whole lemon, rind and all, you will end up with little chewy bites of candied lemons running throughout the pie. I love to serve a slice of Whole Lemon Pie with a dollop of raspberry or blueberry whipped cream. Simply beat heavy cream to stiff peaks and fold in a few spoonfuls of jam being careful not to deflate the airy cream. Please note- the lemon slices need to macerate for at least twenty-four hours so unfortunately, you can't get a hankering and whip this baby out in an hour.
425 grams granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Zest of two lemons
Two lemons, sliced paper thin and I mean PAPER THIN
4 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons pie enhancer, or if need be, corn starch
4 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
On the sidelines:
Pie crust, recipe follows
In your first bowl, combine all ingredients. Let sit for at least 24 hours so the lemon rinds become soft and candied. Toss the lemon slices every few hours to ensure they are evenly coated.
Preheat the oven to 425. Prepare the pie crust, recipe as follows. Roll out one half of the pie crust into a standard pie pan, pressing the dough evenly into the sides and bottom. Cut the excess and crimp as desired. Keep the other half of dough chilling in the fridge.
In the second bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
Fold the first bowl into the second bowl and stir to combine. Pour the pie filling into the prepared pie pan and spread evenly.
Top the pie filling with the second half of the pie crust however you like. I used a small square cookie cutter to cut out little squares and placed them around the top of the filling. Whatever you decide to do, make sure there are a few slits to let steam escape. Brush the top with a little egg wash- just lightly beat an egg with a splash of water.
Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool thoroughly- at least two hours.
Bowl of a food processor:
355 grams all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetables shortening, diced and very cold
1/3 cup very cold water
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla powder, optional
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, optional, but if you do omit it add a bit more cold water
I make this pie crust in the food processor because it's so easy and I'm kind of lazy when it comes to cutting butter into flour. Simply throw everything into the food processor and pulse until the dough comes together. Be careful not to over mix the dough because it will produce a tough crust. Divide the dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.