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Lemon Chiffon Pie with Whole Wheat Pastry Crust

2010 April 5
by brannyboilsover

For a long time, I was in a darn good situation.  For gift giving, I mean.  People had me pegged as the cook so gift giving became easy for them and I acquired lots of kitchen gadgets.

I’ve basically got it all, from the garlic twist (thanks Gail!) to a nutmeg mill (thanks Susan!) to a dedicated egg cooker (thanks AR!).  I’ve got your baguette pans, your immersion blender, 101 cookie cutters…   the standard food processor and stand mixer, toaster oven, pressure cooker, and slow cooker.  Yep.  Oh yeah: pasta maker.  I think I’m done when it comes to gadgets.  Don’t tell Alton Brown about all of these unitaskers.  Please.  Please.

What I didn’t have was a pie plate.  And that’s been keeping me from making pies for, what, a decade now?  Two?  Sure…I could be crass and make the pie in a square baking dish or a shallow casserole dish, but I’m a little too classy for that (mmhmmm).

So I asked for a pie plate for Christmas.  I didn’t get one.  But I got some awesome cookbooks (thanks Mom!).  And I asked for a pie plate for my Birthday in March.  I didn’t get one then, either.  So, finally, I just spent the $6.73 and bought myself a pie plate. Splurge.

The first thing I filled it with was whole wheat pastry crust.  I made sure to include the word rustic in the title when I served this dish to account for, erhm, my impatience when rolling the dough.  You’ll do a better job.  I promise.

One Year Ago: Baked Gnocchi in a Veloute Sauce

Rustic Whole Wheat Pastry Crust (1 9″ pie shell)
1 stick butter
1.25 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup ground pecans (pecan meal)
1/4 tsp salt
4 TBSP ice cold water

Cut butter into 8-10 chunks.  Make sure butter is very cold.  In a food processor combine all dry ingredients and then pulse in butter chunks until the mixture resembles very coarse sand.  Pulse in ice cold water and press dough together and chill 10 minutes.  Roll into desired shape.  Keep butter/dough as cold as possible at all times.

Roll out and place into pie dish.  Place aluminum foil over crust and top with dried beans, uncooked rice, or pie weights.  Bake at 350* for 20 minutes.  Remove weights and cook for 15 more minutes.

I chose a lemon filling for my very first pie.  Nothing screams “SpRiNg!” like the lemon flavor to me, plus I think it may be one of the more low-calorie options out there when it comes to pie.

The texture of this pie is light and airy.  I ate it beachside and it could not have been more perfect.  The lemon flavor is sharp but not harsh.  The nut crust pairs perfectly.  It can be served with whipped cream, but I did not choose to do so.  It was not missed.

This recipe has been submitted to the blogging event You Want Pies With That? Check out that blog for a bunch of spring inspired pie recipes!

Lemon Chiffon Filling (from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup sugar (5/6 cup sugar but who has those measuring cups around!?)
1/3 cup water
4 eggs, separated (pasteurized eggs recommended)
1 T grated lemon peel (recommend organic lemons)
1/4 cup freshly squeeze lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine gelatin with salt and 1/3 cup sugar.
In a small saucepan, beat yolks, water, lemon peel, and lemon juice together.  Stir gelatin mixture into these wet ingredients and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat.

With an electric mixer, beat 2 whites until soft peak forms.  Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved.

With a rubber spatula, fold lemon mixture into egg whites.  Be careful not to blend too much – you risk losing height in your filling.  Spoon filling into prepared piecrust and refrigerate until chiffon is set.

8 servings at approximately 325 calories per slice