November 15, 2011

Lemon Chiffon Pie With Pretzel Crust



I had Friday off for Veteran's Day, so I decided to keep myself busy by making a pie.  I perused my The Weekend Baker & decided on lemon chiffon pie with pretzel crust.  Sounds good, right?  Well, it totally was.

Let's get started.


Have ready a 9-inch pie plate & ingredients.  


Combine the pretzels & sugar in a food processor & process until the pretzels are medium-fine crumbs.


Add the melted butter & process briefly until the crumbs are evenly moist.


 Dump the crumbs into the pie plate & cover with a large sheet of plastic wrap.  Place your hands on the plastic wrap & spread the crumbs to coat the bottom evenly.  Once the crumbs are in place, & with the plastic wrap in place, use your fingers to pinch & press some of the crumbs around the inside edge & on the rim of the plate to cover evenly & completely.


Sprinkle the gelatin in the bottom of a blender, making sure that it's all off the blades.  Pour about 1/3 cup of the lemon juice over the gelatin & let stand until the gelatin is no longer dry looking & has softened, about 5 minutes.


In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), bring the remaining lemon juice just to a boil.  Carefully pour it into the blender to cover the gelatin.  Let stand for 2 minutes.  Cover & blend until the gelatin is dissolved, about 1 minute.  Dip a spoon or spatula into the liquid.  It should look clear & feel smooth to the touch.


Add the ricotta, 3/4 cup sugar, & the salt.  Cover & blend until the mixture is smooth, about 45 seconds.  


Pour into a medium bowl & stir in the lemon zest.  Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until the mixture is cooled & beginning to thicken, about 15 minutes. 


In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks.  


Continue beating while gradually sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.


When all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high & beat until firm, glossy peaks form.


Using a rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the whites into the chilled lemon mixture. 


Add the remaining whites & fold together gently but thoroughly until blended.


Pour the filling into the crust & allow it to mound in the center.


Cover & refrigerate until well chilled & set, at least 4 hours.


To serve, use a sharp, pointed knife to cut the pie into 8 wedges.  Garnish with (optional):  lemon slices, mini-pretzels, mint sprigs, red berry sauce, or sweetened whipped cream.

This pie was really good, although, hilariously, up until the last step of the recipe (refrigerate for 4 hours), I thought I was making a lemon meringue pie.  Ha!  Oh well.  One day I'll learn to read the entire recipe before I start cooking.  But I loved this pie.  It's super lemon-y, which I like.  And the crust...  OMG, the crust is so good!  The citrusy filling & the salty, buttery crust go really well together.  As far as pies go, this one was pretty easy to make.  I definitely recommend it.


RECIPE

Lemon Chiffon Pie With Pretzel Crust

Adapted from The Weekend Baker

Makes one 9-inch pie, or 8 servings

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CRUST

3 1/2 cups salted mini-pretzels
1/4 cup granulated sugar
12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING

1 packet unflavored powdered gelatin
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese (part-skim or whole is fine)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
4 whites from large eggs

DIRECTIONS TO MAKE THE CRUST

1.  Have ready a 9-inch pie plate.  Combine the pretzels & sugar in a food processor & process until the pretzels are medium-fine crumbs (some small chunks are okay, as they add crunch).  Add the melted butter & process briefly until the crumbs are evenly moist.

P.S. The buttered pretzel crumbs smell SO GOOD!

2.  Dump the crumbs into the pie plate & cover with a large sheet of plastic wrap.  Place your hands on the plastic wrap & spread the crumbs to coat the bottom evenly.  Once the crumbs are in place, & with the plastic wrap in place, use your fingers to pinch & press some of the crumbs around the inside edge & on the rim of the plate to cover evenly & completely.  Redistribute the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pie plate & press down firmly to make a compact layer.  Use a metal measuring cup with straight sides & a flat bottom for this.  Set aside.

DIRECTIONS TO MAKE THE FILLING

3.  Sprinkle the gelatin in the bottom of a blender, making sure that it's all off the blades.  Pour about 1/3 cup of the lemon juice over the gelatin & let stand until the gelatin is no longer dry looking & has softened, about 5 minutes.

4.  In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), bring the remaining lemon juice just to a boil.  Carefully pour it into the blender to cover the gelatin.  Let stand for 2 minutes.  Cover & blend until the gelatin is dissolved, about 1 minute.  Dip a spoon or spatula into the liquid.  It should look clear & feel smooth to the touch.

5.  Add the ricotta, 3/4 cup sugar, & the salt.  Cover & blend until the mixture is smooth, about 45 seconds.  Pour into a medium bowl & stir in the lemon zest.  Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until the mixture is cooled & beginning to thicken, about 15 minutes.

6.  Once the lemon mixture is thickened (it should be as thick as unbeaten egg whites), remove it from the fridge.  The mixture should mound slightly.  If it's too thick, heat it gently in a double boiler until it's more liquid & repeat the chilling process.

7.  In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks.  Continue beating while gradually sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.  When all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high & beat until firm, glossy peaks form.  Using a rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the whites into the chilled lemon mixture.  Add the remaining whites & fold together gently but thoroughly until blended.

8.  Pour the filling into the crust & allow it to mound in the center.  Cover & refrigerate until well chilled & set, at least 4 hours.  To serve, use a sharp, pointed knife to cut the pie into 8 wedges.  Garnish with (optional):  lemon slices, mini-pretzels, mint sprigs, red berry sauce, or sweetened whipped cream.

See Flickr! photostream here.

4 comments:

ND said...

I really love looking at the things that you make and am always impressed by your adventurous kitchen spirit. Thanks for sharing!

Stephanie said...

It looks delicious. The pretzel crust is interesting. I saw a recipe for an apple betty using gingersnaps for the crust - doesn't that sound great?

The Blonde Mule said...

Nichole: thanks! I need to start calling you when I bake, so I don't end up eating the whole fill-in-the-blank dessert by myself.

The Blonde Mule said...

Stephanie: oooh, that does sound good!

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