In my world, lemon pie is a little like roast chicken; having been introduced to the utterly convincing very elaborate version, I had forgotten how quick and easy it can also be.
The herbs-stuffed-under-the-skin-of-the-chicken version of lemon pie is that of the River Café Cookbook Blue. It requires 6 whole eggs plus 9 yolks and half an eternity of patient stirring over a very low fire. It is the mother, grandmother, fairy godmother, and evil aunt of all lemon pies. It should be made at least once in a lifetime.
But if you don’t have 15 eggs or an entire day to spare, there is this recipe, which asks for nothing more than to whisk all the reasonably proportioned ingredients together, pour them into a pre-cooked tart shell, and bake.
This is the child prodigy of lemon pies. Effortless. Very tart, with an unconventional twist of lime. Addictive.
Recipe slightly adapted from The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver
1 unbaked sweet pie crust
Egg-wash (1 egg and a little milk)
Zest from 2 limes
3/4 cup (200 ml) fresh lime juice (4 to 5 limes)
Zest from 2 lemons
3/4 cup (200 ml) fresh lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
With a fork, mix 1 egg with a little milk and egg-wash the uncooked pie crust before baking blind.
Bake the pie crust blind for 10 to 12 minutes minutes. **When baking blind either poke a bunch of small wholes into the crust with a fork, or use dried beans or ceramic baking weights on the crust to prevent it from rising.**
Remove the blind-baked crust from the oven and set aside while making the filling.
Grate the limes and lemons for their zest. Squeeze the limes to obtain 3/4 cup juice and the lemons to obtain 3/4 cup lemon juice.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until the yolks are completely broken up and the mixture becomes very smooth.
Stir in the heavy cream, then the lime and lemon juice.
Place the blind-baked pie crust back onto the oven rack then pour in the filling (this avoids spillage, as the pie will be filled up to the rim).
Bake the tart for 35 to 40 minutes until it is barely starting to turn golden and still a little wobbly in the middle. It will set as it cools.
Let cool completely before serving.
Fresh strawberries or raspberries would be a great complement to this pie, but just a little unsweetened home-whipped cream goes really well too.