Lemon Lavender Pie

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We celebrated Independence Day this past weekend and with that came lots of parties, BBQs, and outdoor concerts. It was a lot of fun!

On the 4th we were invited to a potluck that included watching multiple fireworks displays throughout the city of Chicago from the roof of our hosts condo building. I could have contributed a very healthy, very clean salad to the buffet, but I wanted to celebrate summer the way I know best. I wanted to indulge and make … PIE!

There are so many foods that are associated with summer: watermelon, ice cream, grilled corn on the cob, but also fruit pie. And I do pie really well. There was a time when I was seriously kicking around the idea of opening a pie shop or pie “something”, and I spent a lot of time working on a menu of pies and perfecting a pie crust recipe.

This Lemon Lavender pie is actually inspired by the Tour de France. It’s yellow (in honor of the maillot jaune) and has a French flair with the addition of the lavender. It’s also one of the most popular pies I make–I watched the pie disappear in about 8 minutes!

Life is about living and treating yourself every now and then. I believe that in moderation, sweets like these can still be enjoyed.

 

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Maybe you’re not comfortable making pie crust from scratch. Honestly, it’s actually very easy (just a little messy with all the flour and rolling out the crust). Please give it a try before you choose to go with a store bought crust, which may be full of preservatives and won’t be at all flakey.

Lemon Lavender Pie

Makes one, 9 inch pie

Gather:

For the crust:
One, 9 x 1 1/4 inch pie plate
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, very cold
1/2 c. ice water
 
For the filling:
2 c. sugar
1 T. flour
1 T. cornmeal
4 large eggs
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 T. fresh lemon zest
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. dried lavender flowers
 

Method:

To make the crust, combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and mix with a wire whisk. Pull the butter from the refrigerator  and cut immediately into 1/2 inch pieces, tossing them into the flour as you go. With a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until a course meal forms (pea-sized pieces of butter and flour). You can also use a food processor for this step, but watch it closely. Over mixing the butter and flour can make for a less flaky dough.

Add a couple of tablespoons of ice water to the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir the dough. Add more water, one tablespoon at time, and mix until dough comes together. (All the water may not be used.)

Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.

After dough has chilled throughly, roll it out on a well floured surface to about a 1/4 inch thickness, about 10 inches around. Brush off excesses flour and place dough in the pie plate. Trim any excess dough so that there is at least a 1/2 inch over hang. Tuck the overhang under and pinch/crimp/flute the edges for a decorative touch. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

At this time, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.(My oven heats up my kitchen really well, so I like to wait to preheat until the last minute.)

To make the filling, add sugar, flour, and cornmeal in a medium bowl, whisk to combine. Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the milk, butter, lemon rind, juice, and lavender flowers and whisk again.

Remove the chilled crust from the refrigerator and pour the filling into the crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until the center is set.

The top of the pie will brown–this is okay. If the crust starts to brown too quickly, cover the crust with strips of foil or a pie shield (most ingenious invention, ever!)