Category Archives: Recipe

Lemon Pie With the WHOLE Lemon

Whole Lemon Pie with dish of lemons
The pie made with whole lemons.
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You’ll find the recipe called Shaker Lemon Pie or Ohio Lemon Pie, but whatever it is called, this is not your mother’s lemon meringue pie.

I call it Whole Lemon Pie because that’s what it is. It turns lemons into a fruit-filled, double crust pie. Don’t be shy, it is just another fruit pie. And you know that you can use the Perfect Pie Crust recipe for great results in your lemon pie.

I have to admit that I have no recollection of eating this pie in Ohio, so assume that name came along because the Shakers had a colony in Ohio. If you want to see the recipes I DID know about–see the post that has my Grandmother’s lemon pie recipe.

The key to the Whole Lemon Pie is slicing those lemons really, really, thin, and if you have a Mandoline, that might be best. I don’t have one because I’m convinced my fingers would get sliced, too, but if you have one, or if you’re brave and want to get one…. Otherwise, make sure your knife is really, really sharp.

One of the many types of Mandoline:

A slice of Whole Lemon Pie
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Whole Lemon Pie

Also known as Shaker and Sometimes as Ohio Pie, this pie has thinly sliced lemons and a double crust.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword fruit, lemon, pie
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8
Author Vera Marie Badertscher

Ingredients

  • Double Crust Pastry
  • 2 lemons large or medium
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1/4 twp salt
  • 4 eggs large
  • 4 tbsp butter melted
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • sugar Demera–for top if desired.

Instructions

  • Grate the zest off the lemons. Slice the lemons very, very thin. Cut slices in 1/2 or 1/4.
  • Mix the zest and lemon slices with sugar and salt in glass or aluminum bowl, Mix gently, cover, and leave to macerate a few hours to overnight. (Overnight is best) Mix again a few times while it is macerating.
  • When you are ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out 1/2 of dough and line pie pan. Put in refrigerator.
  • Whisk 4 eggs until frothy, then whisk in the melted butter.
  • Mix in the flour until there are no lumps. Stir together with the lemon/sugar mixture. Don’t worry about the liquid. That has collected on the lemons. Just stir it in and it will solidify in baking.
  • Roll out the 2nd half of the dough for pie top, fill the pie with the lemon mixture and top with the pie top. Make slits or holes for the steam to release. Fold the edges of the top under the edges of the bottom, and crimp. Return to refrigerator for 1/2 hour.
  • Sprinkle top with Demera sugar if you wish. Put pie pan on cookie sheet in middle of hot oven and bake 20 minutes.
  • Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes more, or until the top crust puffs up and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Let cool to room temperature before cutting. After it is totally cool, can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

These ingredients are from the Joy of Cooking Cookbook, and apply to a 9″ pie pan.
The key to a good whole lemon pie is to get the lemon slices extremely thin.  If you use a mandoline, that would be best. Otherwise, use a very sharp knife and take your time.
My Pyrex pie pan is larger, and so I increased the ingredients to 3 lemons, 3 cups of sugar, 5 eggs, 5 Tablespoons melted butter, and 4 Tablespoons of flour. 
You can see in the picture that the crimped edge of my pie disappeared in baking. That is because I ran out of time and did not refrigerate after putting on the top crust. So, lesson learned.  Do as I say, not as I do! 
apple crumb pie

Caramel Apple Pie with Pecan Crumb Crust

As a new bride, I was reluctant to start making pies because my mother made such great pies. When I worked up the courage, I started with the American classic, Apple Pie. After all, at my Grandma’s house, the rule seemed to be that it was okay to have more than one kind of pie for dessert, as long as one of them was apple. When I baked my apple pie, I relied on my American classic cook book, Joy of Cooking.

For a long time, apple pie was about the only pie I made. I finally braved the wilds of other types of pies, and am still experimenting with new twists on old favorites. This caramel apple pie with pecan crumb topping melds the original Joy of Cooking apple pie recipe, with a technique I saw mentioned in a Facebook pie baking group. Then I borrowed the crumb topping recipe from another vintage cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens, and gave it a different twist.

The first challenge with the seemingly simple apple pie is deciding which of hundreds of kinds of apples to use. Most older cookbooks recommend Granny Smith, however, people are gravitating toward sweeter apples, and I found that Honeycrisp makes a very good pie. Just be sure to adjust your sugar depending on how sweet the apple is. Here’s a chart to help you decide.

I first saw this chart at my local Sprouts Farmer’s Market grocery store. It is a helpful guide. to sweetness in apples.

Here is my cobbled together recipe–for two smaller pies so you have one to eat and one to share. I hope you like it.

apple crumb pie
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Caramel Apple Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping

New twist on America's favorite: Apple Pie. Recipe for two pies–one to share.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, pie, vintage
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 11 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Author Vera Marie Badertscher

Equipment

  • 2 Disposable pie pans
  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 8-10 Apples Peeled, cored and sliced. See Notes
  • Pie Dough for two shells
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Corn starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp Penzey's Apple Pie Spice See Notes

Crumb Topping

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans

Instructions

  • Mix brown sugar, salt, corn starch and spices. Pour over Apples and place them in refrigerator over night.
  • The next day, heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • When ready to bake, strain off liquid and boil until reduced to thin syrup. Let cool slightly before adding back and mixing with apples.
  • Line two 8" pie pans with dough, and heap half of the apples in each.
  • To make Topping, mix sugar, flour and butter, and pulse a few times in food processors, just until there are no large clumps. Add pecans and three to four times more to incorporate pecans.
  • Scatter topping on apples in pans. Apples should barely show.
  • Put pie pans on cookie sheet and insert in 400 degree oven. Bake 45-50 minutes, until topping begins to brown. Check after 30 minutes and cover edge if it is browning too fast.
  • Serve pie with ice cream or whipped cream.

Notes

If you have very sweet apples, you can cut back on the sugar used.  If your apples are not juicy, you may want to add some water or bottled apple juice when you are boiling  down the juice.
Of course, I recommend my Perfect Pie Crust, however, feel free to use whatever pie shell you prefer. The topping is the star in this pie.
I specified Penzey’s Apple Pie Spice in the recipe, but if you don’t have any, you can substitute 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon; 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp cardamon (if you have it on hand). The Penzey’s mix is  very nice and I have found that I use it in a lot of ways besides apple pie–other fruit pies, cinnamon/sugar toast, baked puddings, etc.

The Not-Swedish, Apple, Not-Pie

Not Really Apple Pie
(Not Really) Swedish Apple Pie
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You can find several versions of a “Swedish Apple Pie” on the internet. Most of them look like fruit crumbles, rather than pie. This one has no bottom crust, but has a top crust that resembles a large cookie rather than pie crust. The result is a very easy, very delicious, but very ugly “pie.”

A caveat–I do not have Swedish ancestors, unless you count some stray Vikings who attacked and maybe bedded my Scottish or English distant ancestors. I do have a Swedish sister-in-law, and through her some Swedish acquaintances.

My Swedish friend tells me that she has not seen this “Swedish Apple Pie” in Sweden. They are more likely, she says, to make a dessert with oats that looks like a crumble.

Even though I constantly remind you of my Perfect Pie Crust recipe, sometimes there is a reason to use something different.

But sometimes taste wins out over authenticity, ya know? It took my husband and I about 36 hours to devour this delicious dessert–call it what you will.

In the recipe, I have included a link to the web source of the recipe that I adapted. There you can also find the recipe for traditional Swedish vanilla cream sauce, which really is Swedish, and might be served on this dessert if this were a Swedish dessert.

Not Really Apple Pie
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(Not) Swedish-Apple-(Not) Pie

An easy, delicious, ugly "pie" with a cookie crust.
Course Dessert
Keyword apple, fruit, pie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 8 minutes
Servings -6 slices
Author Vera Marie Badertscher

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4-6 Cups apples peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4" thick
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans Optional
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a pie plate and set aside.
  • Mix the 3 Tablespoons of sugar and spices and pour over sliced apples. Stir well.
  • Spread apples in pie plate. Level them out.
  • Whisk together flour, the one cup of sugar, salt and spices.
  • Stir in melted butter. Add lightly beaten egg and stir until blended.
  • Pour the crust mixture over the apples and spread evenly, keeping 1/8-1/4 inch away from edge. Scatter nuts on top.
  • Place pie plate on cookie sheet to catch drips. Bake pie for one hour, or until crust is a golden brown, like a finished sugar cookie. (It took an extra 15 minutes in my oven.)
  • When done, cool on cooling rack. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream or ice cream if you wish.

Notes

While my Swedish friend says this is not really the way that the dessert is made in Sweden–where it is more of a crumble made with oatmeal– this dessert is delicious.  If you want to make it a bit more Swedish, you can use the traditional Swedish topping, Vanilla Cream Sauce.  You can find the recipe for Vanilla Sauce where I got the basic recipe for this “pie” at That’s Some Good Cooking.
I added nuts to the recipe because I thought it would up the flavor, and also perhaps improve the looks a bit. Unfortunately, I only have a picture of the original–without nuts.
Note for the Minority of Us Who Do Not Have Microwave Ovens
Microwaves are great for melting butter, but I do not have a microwave oven (and don’t miss it).  I have discovered an easy way to melt butter  if you have an oven that is under the range of your stove.  I turn on the oven, and then put the butter in a small pyrex dish or spare measuring cup on the top of the stove.  The butter melts from the oven heat while I am setting out ingredients, greasing the pan, peeling the apples, etc.  Of course this doesn’t work if you have a built-in wall oven. You can also put the dish with butter in the oven, but keep a close eye so it doesn’t start boiling and spattering!