Ohio Shakers lemon pie, an American classic!
This American classic was invented in the early 1800s by the female members of the Shakers community. This community was known for its food preparation skills with great imagination and accuracy. This lemon pie is entirely in keeping with the tradition of pure, honest and natural food in which fruit, vegetables and grain products play an important role. Everything from the lemon is used, including the peel, and macerating the wafer-thin slices of lemon in sugar overnight creates a pleasant sweet and sour taste, not a cake for wimps!
Precious fruits from New Orleans
The Shakers rightly considered lemons an important part of a healthy diet, and since they could not grow them in the northern Ohio climate, they were imported from New Orleans. The Shakers community was “self-supporting”, the few products they could not make or grow themselves were obtained by trading.
The precious lemons were so dear to them that they considered it a sin not to use all of the fruit, so a recipe was devised that included the lemon peel. The classic recipe we give you here comes from “The Joy of Cooking”, America’s world-renowned cookbook by Irma S. Rombauer that was first published in 1931. The book was published in its eighth edition in 2006, the Contains over 4,500 recipes and can be considered the mainstay of many a self-respecting chef and never lacking in the library of professional chefs.
Food for lemon fanatics
The cake looks a bit like the Tarte citron entier of the famous Parisian pastry chef Pradier, but in the recipe of this French grandmaster the lemons are pureed in the food processor. In the Shakers pie, the lemons are cut into wafer-thin slices and left to soak in sugar overnight, which is called maceration. Like Pradier’s pie, the Shakers lemon pie is not suitable for the faint of heart, but lemon fanatics love the fantastic lemon kick the pie gives. Covered in a crunchy buttery crust, this pie is downright irresistible to them.
Ohio Shakers lemon pie recipe
Remember to make the filling a day in advance, the longer the sugar can soak in the lemon slices, the better the cake will be. You cut the lemons wafer thin with a Benriner Mandoline grater, we will come back to that later.
Ingredients for the crust:
- 300 grams of flour
- 250 grams of ice-cold butter in cubes
- 30 grams of sugar
- ¾ teaspoon of salt
- 120 ml of ice water
Ingredients for the filling:
- 2 large lemons
- 400 grams of granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 4 large eggs
- 60 grams of butter
- 20 grams of flour
Preparing the filling
- Grate the zest of the lemons and set it aside for a while,
- cut the lemons with the Benriner Mandolin into wafer-thin slices,
- remove the seeds during cutting,
- put the slices in a bowl, add the lemon zest, sugar and salt and stir well,
- cover the dish with foil and let this lemon mixture stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
Preparation of the crust:
- Place the flour, ice-cold butter cubes, sugar and salt in the mixing bowl of the food processor,
- mix in short steps by switching the machine on and off until a sandy mixture is formed,
- add 90 ml of the ice water and mix briefly until the dough starts to stick together,
- when the dough still seems a bit dry, add the rest of the water, mix briefly,
- it is important to mix briefly, the dough should not form a ball around the blades, then it will become tough,
- remove the dough from the mixing bowl, divide it in half and form a flat disc of each half,
- wrap each half of the dough separately in cling film and put it in the fridge for two hours,
- then let the dough rest for a while, dust your work surface with flour and roll out one of the dough halves,
- work from the center in every direction and move the dough a bit to prevent it from sticking,
- make sure to obtain a circle with a diameter of about 30 centimeters,
- take a cake pan of 24 cm, lightly grease it and put the dough over it,
- You do this by first rolling the dough loosely on your rolling pin and then rolling it out again above the mold,
- first push the dough against the bottom of the tin and then against the edges,
- let the dough hang about 2 cm over the edge, cut the rest all around with kitchen scissors,
- now roll out the second half of dough in the same way and place it on a sheet of baking paper,
- if you like, you can cut out some hearts or stars with small stitch shapes, if you like,
- Now cool the dough in the tin and on the baking paper for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Preparing the filling:
- Melt the butter over low heat,
- beat the eggs in a large bowl until fluffy,
- stir in the melted butter, then beat in the flour,
- Then stir in the lemon mixture that has been soaking overnight.
Baking the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 220 ° Celsius,
- take the pie pan with the dough out of the refrigerator, pour in the filling and smooth it out with a spoon,
- now take the cooled dough on top of the baking paper and drape it over the filling,
- make sure that this dough also hangs 2 cm over the edge, cut the rest off again with kitchen scissors,
- now press the overhanging edges of both dough halves together so that they become one whole,
- fold the edge in and tuck them in under itself, pressing the dough against the edge of the mold,
- form curves in the edge with thumb and index fingers by pressing the edge alternately and making it convex,
- if you have not cut molds out of the top layer of dough for ventilation, cut the dough with a knife,
- sprinkle the cake with some coarse sugar and bake the cake for 30 minutes at 220 ° Celsius,
- then lower the oven to 175 ° Celsius and bake the cake for another 20 to 30 minutes,
- When you put a knife in the center and it comes out clean, the cake is ready, let it cool completely.
You serve the cake at room temperature, a dollop of whipped cream completes the taste sensation!
Cut lemon with the Benriner Mandoline
If you are very patient and can cut very precisely, you may be able to cut the lemons into wafer-thin slices, but it is so much easier with a Benriner Mandolin. This Japanese precision tool is made of sturdy food-safe plastic and is equipped with a razor-sharp blade that is continuously adjustable from 0.2 to 5 mm.
This allows you to make wafer-thin slices with the greatest precision. The Benriner mandolin has three easily interchangeable blades and a finger protector. The latter is necessary, this is not a children’s toy.