Happy Pi Day everyone! (For those out of the loop, check the month and day, then remember the ole math classes- 3.14.)
Often when I’m stuck on a creative idea, (writing, cooking, photo, …) I’ll take a little stroll through the garden. Somewhere amongst the plants lies the Clever Fairy, and if I’m lucky she’ll bless me with something good to use. However most days, the little twit isn’t anywhere to be found, but at least I get to take a nice stroll while avoiding doing any real work.
In coming up with a pie idea for Pi day, I was in the middle of my mindless meandering when the idea whacked me alongside the head. “Use the garden, idiot.” It was either the Clever Fairy or Obi One Kenobi, I still don’t know which. But the idea was brilliant so I started searching for the pi’s pie foundation. Tangerines were out because I just used them for the creme brulee (gotta be more creative than that) Oranges are getting tasty, but …. Blood orange, not ready yet. Limes, maybe. Ah ha! Meyer lemons.
A meyer lemon meringue would be nice, but I was looking for something a little more savvy. The juices were flowing and the pie’s premise quickly developed. Blind bake a crust, give a nice 1/4″ layer of chocolate ganache, wait…. espresso chocolate ganache, fill with the meyer lemon curd, then top with candied meyer lemon slices and dollops (love that word) of whipped cream.
The sweet tang of the lemon curd, complimented by the chocolate and espresso, smoothed out by the whipped cream and prettied up by the candied lemon slices…. Sounded good.
The pie crust was old hat. I love our recipe for pie crusts and rolling it out was a piece of cake. I mean pie. Or pi. However I f#%ing hate doing decorative crusts. I love the look of them, I greatly admire those who can nail them, but I hate trying to form them. Maybe one of these days I’ll force myself to properly make a pie edge pretty, until then I’m going rustic. Rustic is still in, right?
Line with parchment, fill with beans, put in the ….. Damn it. Take out beans. Lift parchment. Prick pie bottom with fork, line with parchment, fill with beans… Ok. Into the oven.
The curd was easy and went without mishap. Luckily we didn’t over taste-test and there was enough to fill the pie later. Ganache was another old hat, but much tastier than an old hat. The espresso’s balance was nice, being able to taste it, but still allowing the chocolate to be dominant. And it was getting late, so I figured to make the candied meyer lemon slices in the morning.
Note to self: Never try to do fine knife work early in the morning before having any coffee. All digits are still intact, but I think the puppies learned a few new “colorful” words. Eventually enough slices were salvaged to form a respectable topping. Ok. Assemble all ingredients, and when ready to serve, whip the cream to luscious peaks and dollop. Thanks Clever Fairy. Or Obi One. The pie was tasty.
Yield: 1 Pie
This pie crust is one of the tastiest, flaky pie crusts we've had. Easy to make, too. Lard makes pies flaky, butter makes pies tasty. That's why both are used here. Also, flaky pies like cold temperatures, so keep your ingredients cold even in between steps to help make your crust happy. Makes enough dough for 2 - 9" Pies. We usually will bake the extra crust then save in the freezer for future use.
The ganache is an adaptation off of Bo Friberg’s Professional Pastry Chef ganache recipe. This recipe only makes about 1 cup, since we were using it as a pie underlying base. It easily can be increased for larger amounts. It keeps well for weeks in the fridge, so feel free to make more than you need. You can always find a use. If you are serving someone who isn’t a coffee affectionado, substitute the espresso for dark rum or with a touch of vanilla extract.
The lemon curd is an adaptation off of Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. You can make it will regular Eureka lemons as well, but it is by far the best with the meyer lemons. It’s still has a tartness, but it is also perfectly sweet, bright, and wonderfully lemony. Makes a little over 2 cups.
We’re submitting this meyer lemon pie to Andrea’s Grow Your Own Event, where we celebrate dishes made from our garden bounty. The curd for this pie would not have been possible without the crazy explosion of meyer lemons from our tree. So, thank you Andrea for this event and thank you to our fruit laden tree. If you create any dishes from your garden, make sure you join in on the Grow Your Own Event.