Welcome, hoppers! Spring in Kentucky means blue skies, daffodils and redbud trees in bloom, and fields dotted with newborn foals. This spring, I’m celebrating the release of One Thing Leads to Lover, the second book in the Love and Let Spy series, out April 6. If like me, you enjoy celebrating with something sweet, I hope you’ll try a slice of Shaker Lemon Pie. Its bright flavor is perfect for spring!
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, is a historic site that preserves the buildings and traditions of the 19th century religious community of Shakers (so called because of the way they stomped and whirled in worship). The Shakers were noted for their strict separation of the sexes, as well as their craftsmanship and their labor-saving devices. If you visit Shaker Hill today, you can see their living and working conditions, buy handmade brooms and boxes, and enjoy a fabulous meal, topped off with—what else?—lemon pie!
Shaker Lemon Pie (adapted from the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill’s recipe)
For the filling:
1. Slice the lemons paper-thin. A mandoline is ideal, but if you are using a knife, freezing the lemons briefly first will help in cutting. Remove the seeds. Place the lemon slices in a bowl, mixed with 2 cups of sugar. Let the bowl sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. When you are ready to make the pie, lay out the bottom crust in the pie pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling. For the filling, beat 4 eggs and mix in 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Mix the lemons and any remaining syrup/juice with the eggs, then pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Add the top crust and cut small vents for releasing steam. Place in a 425-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes (the crust should turn light golden), then reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake for about 20 to 25 more minutes, or until a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean. Cool for an hour, then enjoy!