Blackberry Farm's Lemon Chess Pie

Serves 8
Adapted from The Blackberry Farm Cookbook

½ recipe basic pie pastry (see below)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal (we used a finer grind)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of two lemons
pinch of salt

First, make the dough. The recipe is below.

Take the dough out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for just a few minutes. Use a rolling pin to roll it out to a circle about 11" wide and about 1/6 inch thick. Fold the dough over your rolling pin and unroll over a 9-inch pie pan (we used a deeper pie dish but your standard foil version is fine too). Ease the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Patch up any bits that may have torn with your fingers. Trim the dough if needed, leaving a 1-inch apron all around. Fold excess dough over and use your fingers to crimp the edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy with bubbles on top. Whisk in the sugar, butter, cornmeal, lemon juice, zest, and salt. Pour this mixture into the chilled pie shell. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the center is mostly set or a knife inserted into the filling comes out clean. For us, baking time varied so start checking on the pie after about 30 minutes.

Allow the pie to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 2 hours. Slice and serve with blueberry compote or syrup. We just warmed up some frozen blueberries, water and sugar for a few minutes. 


Blackberry Farm Basic Pastry Dough
Makes enough for two 9-or-10-inch pie shells or one double-crust 9-inch pie
From The Blackberry Farm Cookbook 

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons shortening
1 large egg
1/3 cup plus 1-to-3 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, 1/3 cup of the ice water, and the vinegar. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a fork just until dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently into a ball. Divide the ball in half and flatten each piece into a disk about 1½ inches thick. Wrap each piece in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days. The dough can also be frozen for up to 6 months and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator prior to using.

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