This is no ordinary lemon pie...it will rock your world. Rich, tart, creamy, zesty, the thick lemon custard (8 egg yolks!) is beyond luscious. I've been asked for this recipe since my restaurant days, and here it is! Level up your lemon pie game with this one...
Yield: 12 slices per deep dish; 8-10 for regular crust
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
The deep dish pie is stunning and impressive, so if you go that way, you would most likely have to make the crust from scratch. But if you're busy and looking for a quick shortcut, use the readily available pre-made graham cracker crust shells, separating the custard between the two shells. You still bake at 325 degrees, but the cooking time will be slightly less. The other bonus to using pre-made...two pies instead of one! People devour this dessert and I guarantee it will go fast, so having more is a very groovy thing.
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 8 large lemons)
2 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
8 large egg yolks
(yeah, EIGHT, hence a delectably rich custard)
3-4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
dash of salt
I highly recommend a Microplane zester, it's a high quality kitchen staple, superior to other microplanes, and less than $20.
Use a dairy/non-dairy topping of your choice, or make my stabilized whipped cream ("Stabilized" with a tiny bit of unflavored gelatin to give the cream a firmer structure and longer shelf life, the mouth feel is delicious, and you can make the whipped cream hours before it's served and store in the refrigerator.)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Make the crust:
Use a pre-made crust, or make from scratch:
In a large bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine.
Add the melted butter, stirring well until combined, with a crumbly texture.
Pour the crumb mixture into a deep dish 9 inch pie pan, dispersing the crumbs out evenly, and pressing them into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Set pan aside.
Make the filling:
Here is where I lecture you about having a quality whisk. A quality whisk will change your life...well maybe not, but this is why you want one...the cup of lemon juice you are about to incorporate into the sweetened condensed milk is more likely to splash all over the place if you try to whisk it with a lightweight, cheap whisk. Using a high-end weighted whisk in cooking is one of life's simple pleasures.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk the lemon juice into the sweetened condensed milk. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, with a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the egg yolks, salt, and lemon zest on high, until doubled in volume and fluffy, approximately 6-8 minutes. Yes, it's a bit of time here, but it will be worth it.
Add the sweetened condensed mixture into the egg mixture, whisking well to combine.
Pour the filling into one deep dish or two regular graham cracker crust shells.
Bake the pie...
One deep dish - bake for 28-30 minutes, or until the center jiggles slightly.
Two regular pies - bake for 25 minutes, or until the center jiggles slightly.
Remove the pie(s) from the oven, and place on a cooling rack until cooled. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To serve, top with whipped cream, lemon slices, and mint! Enjoy!