This recipe was inspired by a song I dreamed about last night. Yes, I know, I'm nuts, which by now, has been well established and documented. It is said that "the dream is the dreamer", and although I have no idea who said it, I believe this to be true. Therefore, not to do something creative with the vivid imagery and song in my waking hours would be to ignore whatever it is my dreamy subconscious was trying to work out. So work it out I will - in the kitchen, naturally.
I often dream songs, and Judy in Disguise (which I thought was Judy in the Sky when I was kid), by John Fred and his Playboy Band, contains some of my favorite, albeit obtusely psychedelic lyrics. Makes me kinda wonder what John Fred and his Playboys were doing when they wrote these trippy lyrics:
Judy in disguise, well that's what you are
Lemonade pie and a brand new car
canteloupe eyes, come to me tonight
Judy in disguise, with glasses.
If you watched the video, then you understand how I came to make Lemonade Pie. Now, Although there are many, many fine recipes for lemonade pie, all of them (that I could find) call for canned frozen lemonade and Cool Whip (including the one I adapted below), which is fine, except that I'm one of those freaks who derives absolute pleasure from making as much as I can from scratch. Admittedly, there are plenty of things I simply can't make because they're way beyond my bandwidth - still, I do like to try. But, seeing as I don't especially care for Cool Whip (except when Stewie on Family Guy says it) and since I know I can approximate frozen lemonade, I set out to make this pie from scratch, which I think I did. Behold - Lemonade Pie I think John Fred and his Playboys would dig with or without glasses.
Juice Lemons and Make Candied Lemon Zest
Make Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
Freeze Pie Overnight
Lemon Simple Syrup and Candied Lemon Zest (this is a 2-for recipe)
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (strained through a fine sieve)
2 cups sugar
- Cut lemons in half and squeeze juice through a fine sieve.
- Gently scoop out as much of the pulp and and white inner layer as you can using a sharp pairing knife and/or spoon.
- Slice into strips, then trim away as much of the remaining white pith from the zest as possible.
- Bring water and lemon juice to a boil in a small non-reactive pan, add lemon zest.
- Boil for about 5 minutes, until lemon peels are tender to the touch.
- Remove zest from water and stir in sugar.
- Bring syrup to a boil, add zest and boil until translucent.
- Drain zest and spread out on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.
- Allow to air-dry before storing in an airtight container (depending on humidity 3-24 hours)
- Place syrup in a freezer safe container (uncovered) and freeze until very thick and slightly slushy (it won't completely freeze).
Use leftover lemon simple syrup in martinis, margaritas or for sorbet or sherbet.
Use left over candied zest in cakes, scones, ice cream or anything else that calls for candied citrus zest.
Homemade Lemonade Pie (Adapted from a recipe by the Neelys on Foodnetwork.com)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 2 packages)
1/4 cup sugar
7 Tbsp, sweet unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a food processor, whirl graham crackers until finely ground (I used a resealable bag and rolling pin and crushed them with the same result and no clean-up)
- In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press firmly on bottom and up the sides of a pie plate. Bake for 7 minutes and let cool completely.
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup slushy lemon simple syrup (recipe above)
1 tsp. candied lemon zest
- In a medium bowl, whip cream and 2 Tbsp. sugar until soft peaks form. Add chilled sweetened condensed milk.
- Gently fold in frozen lemonade syrup-slush, until blended.
- Pour mixture into pie crust and freeze overnight.
- Garnish with candied lemon peel.
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