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Smaug April 1, 2020
OK, I've now tried it- a very nice pie. The flavor is a bit light for someone who lives in lemon territory, but nice. Also there's quite a bit of variability; I was (to my surprise) out of lemon oil and had to use extract, leaving me to guess at the amount. Boyajian says it takes 225 lemons to make a 3oz. bottle of lemon oil- it's powerful stuff. I like the pie cold, but I also tried a slice very slightly warmed in the microwave, and it did pick up the aromatics more. The recipeis quite easy- note that most of the instructions are for the crust; it's a good crust (apart from the annoying name), I've made it before, but I used some dough (also all butter) that I had in the fridge. As I recall, the suggested dough involved rubbing the butter in rather than cutting it (I usually do some of both)- it produces an excellent crust but can be rough on arthritic hands; also, you need to be a bit cautious; it is possible to over shorten a crust. Recipe writers for some reason tend to ignore the temperature of custards when baking is started, and it makes a huge difference in how it bakes. Some do recommend starting with eggs and dairy at room temp.; I usually start it warm and I did on this pie, too, as well as the crust; it baked in about 32 min. I made 1/3 recipe for a 6" pie, which was just right- it's not the easiest recipe to divide, but not too bad. Less experienced bakers should note that custards grow a bit when baked; be sure you're not all the way to the top of the crust, or it could overflow in the oven. I also used a sub for the buttermilk (1/2 milk, 1/2 sour cream)- a lemon/ milk mixture would probably have been more appropriate, but I was overstocked on sour cream. It caused no problems, but I think cultured buttermilk would give the pie a bit more bite.
Smaug March 28, 2020
There's a big difference between lemon oil and lemon extract- I have no figures, but I do remember seeing one extract that had the oil content listed at 15%, and that was a pretty high end product. I also understand that some people sell a "lemon oil" that is lemon oil diluted with other oils; the brand I use (Boyajian) is pure lemon oil, and 1/2 tsp. is a LOT- not that that's necessarily bad, there isn't a lot of lemon juice in this recipe, but it's a substitution that you'd want to give some thought.
Smaug March 28, 2020
ps I will probably give this pie a shot, probably scaled down to 6". Does it need to be cultured buttermilk, or could I use a citric acid (or lemon juice) and milk homemade sub?
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