Shaker Lemon Pie Pops
In 2009, Americans celebrated their first designated Pi Day. We didn't do this by writing songs about the mathematical constant nor do many people take a day off work to celebrate that 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of pi. No we American's; land of the free, home of the food.
We spend the day eating pie, because...well. Close enough. Now, nearly ten years after the United States House of Representatives endorsed and recognized the date as a day of observance, Pi Day has become a day about pie more than a day to celebrate math.
I don't know where we went wrong. Somewhere there is an angry scientist really shaking his or her fist at all of us, angry that we've bastardized their favorite holiday by dumbing it down.
I mean, I'm not an A+ speller anyway, so I don't mind the loss of the "e". I'm also not that into math. (I have other strengths like singing and drawing people running.) I like that Pi Day also gives a slight flexibility for eating pizza AND pie today. How can one not endorse this kind of holiday?!
In honor of the Pi day of 2018, I am encouraging everyone, even those shaking their fists at today, (especially those shaking their fists!) to make this Shaker Lemon Pie Pop recipe from my second book, "Pie Pops."
The Lemon Shaker pie is one of my favorite uses of an abundance of lemons. I find that late winter, as the citrus season is winding down, I end up having a drawer full of citrus. It's the time of year that I find myself making make lemon pound cakes, limoncello, ice creams and shaker pies.
The Shaker Lemon pie originated in Ohio. The Shakers (Shaker Quakers) were a well-known religious group who originated in the 1700's. By the mid-1800's, they had chapters everywhere from Ohio to Maine and they were notorious for their religious enthusiasm, equality within their religious hierarchy (as early as 1747, women assumed leadership roles in their church), and their commitment to chastity.
On a more quaint level, they were known for their economic prowess, their architecture and their lemon pies.
The Shakers were also penny pinchers, and part of their philosophy on simple living is to not waste anything--not the tiniest crust of bread, not the smallest piece of lemon peel. This pie "sticks" to that philosophy. It incorporates the whole lemon with absolutely delicious results.
Shaker Lemon Pie
(From "Pie Pops", p. 24)
Makes: 1 pie or 20 pie pops
2 1/2 cups of AP Flour
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. of salt
2 sticks/230 g of butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup/120 ml of ice water
2 lemons, washed with skin left on, sliced paper thin, preferably with a mandolin
2 cups/400 g of sugar
1/4 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten, mixed with 30ml/2 Tbsp. of milk for wash
a 6.5-cm/2 1/2 inch lemon-shaped cookie cutter. (Any shape will work if you don't have the lemon!)
20 lolly/popsicle sticks (soak in water prior to use, this protects sticks from burning in the oven)
a cocktail stick, toothpick
Toss the lemons and sugar together in a mixing bowl and let sit for three to eight hours.
Make the pastry. Put the flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor, pulse to mix those three up. Add the butter and pulse continually until the mixture starts to resemble cornmeal. Pour 1/2 cup/120 ml of ice water into the mixture and pulse until the dough starts to come together, about ten seconds. Divide the shortcrust dough in half, shape into a disc and chill for at least a half hour.
Put the shortcrust on a floured work surface and roll to 1/8-inch/3-mm thickness. Cut out 40 lemon-shaped pastry cookies using the cookie cutter. Place on a half sheet tray lined with parchment in layers. After done cutting out lemons, place the sheet tray in the refrigerator to chill the dough.
For the lemon filling, lightly whisk the eggs, salt and vanilla together in a mixing bowl and add the lemon mixture. Mix well to incorporate.
Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C (Gas 4). Line a second sheet pan/baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the pastry shapes from the fridge, coat with egg wash and lay on the lined baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch/2.5 cm apart. Put a wooden stick in the middle of these pastry shapes, then add 1-2 Tbsp. of filling in the middle. Top the 20 lemon shapes with the other 20 shaped lemon cut-outs and seal the edges around the pop. Prick holes all over the tops of pies with a toothpick and brush the lemon shaker pie pops with egg wash and sugar.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Allow pies to cool before serving.
Other recipes from "Pie Pops"
Butterscotch-Pecan Pie Pops (Today.com)
Mini-Pork Pie (Junior Magazine)
Pumpkin Pie Pops (Fruetcake.com)