It’s pie mania this weekend.  My sister-in-law’s sister is going away for school, there’s a going away BBQ, and I’m in charge of dessert – 3 different pies, coming right up – one old favorite and 2 new recipes.  This pie is a family favorite (and one of mine because I can make it a few days ahead), and it’s adapted from the Barefoot Contessa’s (Ina Garten), ‘Family Style’ cookbook.

Frozen Lemon Pie

Crust

2 c. graham cracker crumbs AND 3 T. sugar

7 T. melted butter (about a 1/2 c.)

Mix all together and press into a 9 1/2 inch Pyrex pie plate, making sure the sides and bottom are an even thickness – I use a measuring cup for the pressing, and it helps keep things even.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350 and leave to cool completely.

Filling – 7 large egg yolks, at room temperature AND 1/4 c. sugar

Beat the yolks and sugar together using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, until it’s thickened, then add;

1, 300mL can of sweetened condensed milk

3 to 4 T. lemon zest – usually 2 lemons

3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice – usually 3 lemons

Combine well for a minute or 2 with the mixer on medium speed – check the paddle, sometimes most of zest sticks and needs to be scraped off and blended in again.  Pour into the cooled pie shell and freeze.

Topping – 1/2 c. heavy cream AND 2 T. sugar

lemon pieces or wedges for decoration

Beat the cream until firm, adding the sugar near the end – this will work a lot better if the cream and bowl are very cold.  Spoon over the pie in any form that you wish and decorate with lemon pieces, wedges or zest curls.

A trick to getting the pie out of the plate in nice looking pieces is to wet a long tea towel with hot water, wring it out, roll it up lengthwise and curl it around the base of the pie.  Leave it for a couple of minutes and it should loosen the crust – you may have to do this a couple of times.  Pie and more pie for the next 2 days.

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