Lemon pie with walnut crust
Light, luscious and tangy – everything you want from a home-baked lemon pie.
A friend of mine asked me to make lemon pie for her father-in-law, who avoids any foods with salt. This presented quite the challenge, as most recipes call for salt in both the dough and the filling. I played around with a few versions, tweaked, adjusted and came up with the following delicious recipe. I’ve added the salt back into the crust since most of us are used to the extra flavor it provides, but if you’d rather, you can leave it out and it will come out just fine!
- 3/4 cup ground walnuts
- 6 ounces butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
- 1 egg
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 4 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 16 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Extra lemon zest or lemon curls, for garnish
Beat butter and confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, and mix. Add flour, and then ground walnuts. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and keep mixing until large crumbs form. You may need to add a bit more flour if the dough is sticky.
Divide the dough into two equal portions, and wrap in parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight. Roll out the dough on a large piece of parchment paper to half-inch thickness. Use a pizza wheel to cut around the edges and form a nice even circle. Set aside scraps.
Place dough circle into tart pan, and press into corners and against the edges. Push down hard on the edges to cut the dough against the side of the pan, and then pull off extra dough. (If using a pie pan, use kitchen shears to trim away excess dough from around the edge.)
Repeat with remaining ball of dough. Pierce crusts all over with a sharp knife. Bake for 20 minutes, or until just turning light golden.
While crusts are baking, combine all filling ingredients in a stand mixer. Mix for 3-4 minutes, or until mixture thickens up. Scrape down sides, and mix well to be sure batter is smooth.
Remove crusts, and pour in filling. Bake for 12 minutes, and then remove from oven and allow to cool.
Whip together cream, lemon zest, powdered sugar and vanilla until peaks form.
When pies are cooled, top with whipped cream and extra lemon zest, if desired. Extra pie can be frozen in an airtight container.