At the suggestion of Karen from Virtually There, I got my hands on a copy of “Pies and Tarts with Schmecks Appeal,” by Edna Staebler. If you’re from the KW area in Southern Ontario, you’re sure to have heard of Edna and her remarkable line of cookbooks with a Mennonite slant. Unfortunately, most of her books are out of print now, but I was able to find one online for a ridiculous $6, including the shipping. It’s an absolute steal for a gem of a book — it’s chock full of awesome advice, snappy quips, and unique and original recipes.
Karen suggested I start with the Lemon Puff, so that’s this week’s pie. More important than the filling, however, is the crust. Edna recommends using a pat-in crust for single crust pies — no rolling involved.
Let’s take a moment to let that sink in, shall we?
Of course I had to try it out.
Here’s the crust being mixed — directly in the pie plate. Unbelievable.
My friend RheostaticsFan sent me a recipe for pat-in crust a while back, but it was for tiny little pies made in jam jars (which I totally have to try, and soon). I had no idea the same concept could be used for a full-on pie. Of course, my mother would be appalled, but thank goodness, she doesn’t read this blog!
Here’s the finished crust (unbaked):
The crust was a little strange — kind of like really soft PlayDoh. The end result is tasty but definitely not the same light-and-flaky layers of real pastry. I’d use it again if I were in a rush, but in general I think I’m going to continue with perfecting traditional pastry.
Here’s the pie with the filling, after baking.
Not too glamorous looking, I must admit.
But oooooh, so delicious.
When I was little, my mother made a dessert called Lemon Gems that I adored (she actually got the recipe originally from the infamous Toilet Paper Woman). On special occasions, like my birthday, my mom would make me a pan of Lemon Gems and YUM YUM YUMMITY YUM YUM.
This pie is like one giant pie-shaped Lemon Gem. I could seriously eat the whole thing.
What I really love about this pie is that it is very light. You could easily have a slice after a giant dinner and not feel bloated and gross and like you ate too much sugar. It’s the perfect topper to a dinner party, and would also be so great with tea at a fancy party (although you’d need to make three or four of them, because if I were only having tea with this pie, I would easily have room for three or four slices, and I WOULD SO EAT THAT).
In fact, I had some for breakfast this morning. THAT’S HOW IRRESISTIBLE. I can’t even THINK about giving away slices. THEY ARE MINE.
So, in a word, schmecky.
Drop me an email if you’d like the recipe.