Pi Day: Blender lemon pie

An easy lemon pie to treat to colleagues with on Pi Day (March 14).

The Runaway Spoon
A lemon pie filling so easy you can make it in the blender.

I like the easy way out. I’ll admit it. When I see a recipe so simple that even I think it might not work, I have to try it out. The temptation to create something wonderful from a minimum of effort is too great a lure. This must be why I copied down a recipe for blender lemon pie many years ago and filed it away. When I came across the recipe again in an old community cookbook, it was like fate calling me toward this simple idea. Then I saw a similar recipe in an even older community cookbook. And so my quest began for the perfect blender lemon pie. A few misses, but a couple of great hits got me where I wanted to go. I have now made this pie many times. At first for testing, but since I got it right, just ‘cause.

So, what is Blender Lemon Pie? Easy, that’s what. And lemony and sweet and tangy. In short, prepare a piecrust – in the spirit of taking the easy way, I buy mine. Place a lemon – a whole, seeded lemon – in the blended with the ingredients. Whizz, pour, bake, voila! 

Now, there is a little secret. The lemon needs to have a thin skin, which can be kind of hard to figure out when buying them. Too much white pith makes the filling bitter. Look at the pointy end of the lemon – if it’s very elongated, there is likely to be a thick skin. If the skin feels tough and hard, as opposed to having some give when you press on it, it’s likely to be thick. You can poke through with your fingernail to see what you’re looking at. Buy a couple of lemons with appropriate skins. Cut into them and use the thinnest skinned one. I have also used the naturally thin skinned meyer lemons to great success.

Blender Lemon Pie
Serves 8 

I happily use a store-bought rolled pie crust fit into a pie plate then blind-baked.  This is all about easy.

9-inch pie crust
1 thin-skinned lemon (about 4 to 4-1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Fit the pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming the edges as necessary. Line the crust with waxed paper and fill with beans or pie weights and blind bake the crust for 12 minutes until partially cooked. Set aside to cool.

When the crust is cool, cut the lemon into quarters lengthways, the cut each quarter in half. Carefully remove all seeds. Place the lemon in the carafe of a blender with the water and blend until smooth. Add the sugar, flour and salt and blend until combined, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.  Add the eggs and melted butter and blend until everything is smooth and completely combined.

Pour the filling into the pie crust and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the pie is slightly puffed up and wobbles only a little.  Remove from the oven, cool to room temperature and refrigerate covered with plastic warp until chilled, preferably overnight.

Related post: Southern Pecan Pie

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