Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lemon Chess Pie with Sour Cherries

Lemon Chess Pie with Sour Cherries

Since I bake so often, I usually have treats to give away. I made seven pies last week, and while some of them were for specific people, others were up for grabs. Deciding who to give them to was an interesting process.

I have an unspoken bartering system with people who loan me ingredients. An egg will get them a slice. Two pounds of peaches might get them half the pie, possibly the whole pie if i'm feeling really friendly. It usually depends on how badly I need the ingredient.

I also consider things like, "when was the last time I took a pie to work?" or "when did I last give a pie to [some person]?" Given too frequently, treats cease to be special. If you take a pie to work every day, people will start grumbling on the days you don't bring a pie. I like having a rotation of multiple workplaces and people.

If i'm really undecided, i'll mention my indecision on Facebook or in the company of friends. Whoever expresses the most interest in the pie usually gets the pie. Sometimes my morning commute factors in; if taking two pies to work requires getting them on the 71A during the morning rush, i'll probably pass. Many a pie has gone to a friend who lives nearby, or a friend with a car.

I sent half of this lemon pie to work with a friend, where it was promptly devoured. People came looking for it long after it was gone. I love hearing what happens to baked goods after I give them away. Sometimes I enjoy the stories about the food more than the food itself.

This is a versatile recipe. The original recipe in The Foster's Market Cookbook includes variations for Eggnog Pie and Chocolate Chess Pie. You can also substitute other fresh or dried fruits. I would suggest adding more than 1/2 cup- in this photo, i've used about 3/4 cup of cherries, and I think more would have been better.

Lemon Chess Pie with Sour Cherries
adapted from Sara Foster's The Foster's Market Cookbook

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp all purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh sour cherries, pitted
OR 1/2 cup dried cherries, soaked in hot water for 1 hour and drained
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Combine the sugar, cornmeal, and flour in a bowl and stir until blended.

3. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth and well blended.

4. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, cream, and vanilla, and mix until well blended.

5. Place the cherries in the bottom of the chilled, unbaked pie crust.

6. Pour the filling on tom of the cherries. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7.Cool the pie completely on a baking rack before slicing.

1 comment:

Snooky doodle said...

lucky the pie receivers :) looks delicious