Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lemon Pie

Yesterday was my poppa bear's birthday. He requested one thing: Lemon Pie. Now, this isn't just any lemon pie. It's his mother's lemon pie. My grandmother, who we called Memere (which is French for Grammy) made the most amazing lemon pie. She kept the recipe a secret right up until her final moments. Memere's lemon pie was so good you had to eat it with a spoon.

As a granddaughter, and there are 6 of us, I don't think any us has truly mastered the lemon pie recipe even close to how Memere made it. Naturally, lemon pie was all my dad wanted for his birthday. The kicker- he wants fresh whipping cream too.

Ok. Game on.

First, before I got cooking, I had to do one thing. Give angelbaby a bath. He was a little stinker. This part of the story comes in critically later on.

Duncan sporting some Soul Glo.

While angelbaby was drying out in the Florida heat, DF made some sun-tea. 


Ok, so now it is PIE TIME. Clean dog, check. Moving on:

I gathered all the necessary ingredients. I squeezed fresh lemon juice and I shaved my own lemon zest. I carefully folded ingredient after ingredient. Every time I make Memere's lemon pie, it never "gels" never gets to that jell-o like consistency.

This time however, it WORKED.

I nicked the side of my crust but I got this:


I was beaming with pride. So I set the pie to cool on top of the huge toaster oven, which is on the counter.

Next, I had to make the fresh whipping cream. I figured it was going to be really easy.

For extra help, I put my KitchenAid bowl in the freezer for a few minutes.

Then I added the cream directly into the bowl.

Turned the sucker on:

And.....nothing. I'm serious. I felt like a crazy person. I asked Grammy what I was doing wrong. She told me it was going to take more than one minute to happen and I should just let my mixer work its magic.

Um, no. I was going to watch that thing like a hawk until something happened.

About 6 or 7 minutes later it finally happened! Whipped cream! I tasted it, and it sure did taste like butter, so I threw in some sugar for good measure.

Ok, now things get interesting. I let mooshie lick the spoon. I'm horrible I know, but he rarely if ever gets a treat from a human, so he went after that spoon like Wolverine.

Attack dog! 

So, I thought I was done. I left the kitchen to go wrap papa's presents. 

I was gone about one minute. I realized I was missing scotch tape, so I came back into the kitchen.

My pie was on the FLOOR.


And there is Duncan. Covered in yellow lemon pie. I was furious. Everyone rushed into the kitchen and I started to cry. Pie was everywhere. It was a mess. 

The only comment my dad made was, "Tell me you made two pies...." Uh, no dad, no I didn't. And how the hell did Duncan rocket himself onto the counter to get the pie off the toaster oven in under one minute without anyone hearing anything? What, is he a phantom? Oh wait, he is. The freakin' phantom menace.

Well, folks. Here is what happened next. It was now crunch time. I whipped together the most amazing Italian Mac and Cheese, and I did it in record time. Two huge casseroles. 

Then with exactly 25 minutes before company was due over, I threw together ANOTHER lemon pie. It didn't have time to sit and cool, so I put it in the fridge to set-up.

Dinner was a huge success. Everyone said it was great. Dad opened his presents, and then it was finally time for pie. I cut him a huge slice, drop on a heaping spoonful of fresh whipped cream and hand it to papa.

I inhale sharply as he takes his first bite. He rolls it around in his mouth, puckers his lips, and smiles. 

I ask, "well? WELL? How is it? Good? Even close to Memere's?"

Papa says, "well, her's was a lot tangier, but good try."

...and that is how my Saturday went. Duncan still needs to have another bath and my pie was close, but no cigar.


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