Also known as Ohio lemon pie, this dessert with a marmalade-like filling was considered a speciality of the Ohio Shaker community, which no longer exists. Lemons were difficult to grow in the American mid-west, so these pies were prized offerings.
- 2 Meyer lemons (see Note)
- 2 cups (440 g) caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, cooled
- thickened cream, to serve
- 100 g unsalted butter, chopped, chilled
- 55 g (⅓ cup) icing sugar, sifted
- 185 g (1¼ cups) plain flour, sifted
- 1 egg yolk
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 4½ hours
Macerating time overnight
You will need a 22 cm flutted tart pan with removable base.
Place lemons in the freezer for 3 hours or until very firm. Using a mandoline, carefully slice into very thin rounds, removing seeds. Place in a bowl, add sugar and toss gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to macerate overnight.
To make the pastry, process butter, sugar, flour and a pinch of salt in a food processor until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and 2–3 tablespoons of iced water and process until mixture just comes together. Turn out onto a clean work surface and shape dough into a disc. Enclose in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll out pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a 26 cm round, then use to line the base and side of a lightly greased 22 cm fluted tart pan with removable base. Trim the edges and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove weights and paper, and bake for a further 10 minutes or until pastry is dry and golden. Cool slightly.
Reduce oven temperature to 160ºC. Place tart pan on an oven tray. Whisk together eggs and butter, then gently combine with the sliced lemon mixture. Pour into the tart shell and bake for 25 minutes or until just set. Cool completely and serve with cream.
• Meyer lemons are available from select greengrocers and the trees are widely available from nurseries. It’s worth using this variety for this recipe as the skin is thinner and less bitter than Lisbon and Eureka varieties.
Photography Derek Swalwell