Wednesday, February 4, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons...

There's only one thing to do when life hands you a bounty of lemons....start baking!!

My next door neighbor called me in early January to ask if I'd come over and help her harvest her huge bounty of lemons.  A light freeze had been predicted for that night.  You see, she's in her 80's and stooping or stretching to pick the lemons is getting hard for her to do.  So, with pruners in hand, I met her in her back yard and we got to work.

These are Meyer lemons and they are huge!  And there must have been over 100 lemons on that little tree.  It took two of us to carry the tote box filled with lemons into her garage.  I took a few for myself, wondering what I was going to do with these lemons. Each one will provide 5-6 ounces of juice.  Yes, that's how big and juicy they are!

Check out how big these lemons are!  Easily 3-4 inches long

I put the lemons in the fridge and then started researching recipes.  Lemon bars, lemon pie, lemon cookies... This past weekend I made my decision.  It will be pie.

My go-to pie crust recipe...flour, butter, egg yolk, ice water, pinch of salt, and a tiny bit of sugar

I assembled all that I'd need to make the pie and the crust and got to work.  First, I made my go-to pie crust recipe and, while that was chilling in the fridge, I turned the oven on to warm up and juiced one of the lemons, yielding more than 5 ounces of juice.  These lemons are much too large to use a hand-grip squeezer and just hand-squeezing is hard and inefficient.

I remember clearly the glass juicer that my mom had.  It was simple and elegant and very easy to use.  She would put us to work when we were kids, making fresh orange juice.  I haven't seen one of those juicers in decades.  Modern technology, "better" and "faster" and "expensive" have supplanted such an old-fashioned and simple device as this.  But I didn't want better and faster and expensive.  I wanted simple and elegant.  So last week I got onto and did a search and there it was! The exact same style that I remember, still out there, still being made, still being sold.  So for $11.00 or so, I got what I consider to be the perfect juicer.

Classic and efficient.  My new prize juicer

I added the lemon juice to sugar and egg yolks and beat them until frothy.  This is going to be such a good pie!!

Lemon pie filling is blended, whipped, and ready to
pour into the pie shell.  

Oven is ready, pie is assembled, now into the oven it goes!

Ready to go into the oven

Within minutes, the house smelled wonderful!!  Thirty five minutes later, the pie came out of the oven to cool off and set.

Out of the oven and cooling...smells so good!

I prepared dinner for myself but the whole time, this pie was sitting there tempting me like no one's business!

The perfect blend of tangy and sweet - oh, my but it is wonderful!
Then it was time.  Time to cut into the pie and eat the first slice.  Was it good??  Oh my, yes!!


  1. Mmmm lemon pie, one of my favorites. I've never been a fan of meringue so when I see a naked lemon pie I need a bib for the drool.

    Thanks for sharing the pics.

  2. mmmmmmmm... and +1 trobairitz. i dont need the meringue either. yumm! thanks for the reminder, time to make pie! :)