Chef John’s Delicious Lemon Chess Pie
This is a wonderful, unique custard-based pie with fabulous lemon flavor and a hint of cornmeal giving it some delicious and interesting texture.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups Crisco Shortening
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup ice water
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut-in the shortening with a fork or VERY GENTLY pulse in a food processor.
- In a separate bowl mix vinegar, egg, and water. Add it to the flour mixture, pulsing the food processor with just a few pulses until combine. If you over mix your dough will develop gluten which makes the dough tough.
- Use your hands to mold into 2 equal balls. Chill for 30-minutes. Freeze those not to be used now.
TO FORM PIE CRUST
- Flour your surface and carefully roll the crust starting from the middle and moving out, till it’s about 2 inches larger than the size of your pie dish. Try to work quickly and handle it as little as possible so it doesn’t get tough. Gently roll your dough around your rolling pin and lay it in the pan.
- Unroll the crust, and gently fit it in-place, don’t pull or tug on the crust. Use a knife to trim the uneven edges, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Tuck the overhang under on the edge of your pan. Then use your fingers to pinch the edges for a decorative finish. Set aside
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and milk.
- Add flour, cornmeal, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture into pastry shell.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until set in the center (use a toothpick, inserted in the center. If it comes out clean, the pie is done.)
- Allow cooling completely then dust top with powdered sugar
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