Lemon Chiffon Pie
Tart lemon juice is tempered by velvety whipped cream in this classic dessert that makes a bright finish to any meal.
- 1 rolled-out round basic pie dough
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) cold water
- 2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./180 g) granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) fresh lemon juice, strained
- 1 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
- 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1 3/4 cups (14 fl. oz./430 ml) heavy cream
- 5 Tbs. (1 1/2 oz./45 g) confectioners’ sugar
- Thinly slivered or grated lemon zest for garnish (optional)
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
Fit the dough round into a 9-inch (23-cm) deep-dish pie dish and gently press into the dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) overhang. Fold under the excess dough and, using your thumb, decoratively flute the edges. Freeze for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Line the piecrust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, then carefully remove the parchment and weights and continue baking until the crust is golden, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Have ready an ice bath made by partially filling a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes.
Pour the 1/4 cup cold water into a saucepan and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let stand until the gelatin softens and swells, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the granulated sugar, salt, lemon juice, orange zest and egg yolks; the gelatin will be lumpy. Place the gelatin mixture over medium heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the gelatin melts and the mixture thickens, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Set the saucepan in the ice bath and let cool until the mixture is cold to the touch.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed or a whisk, beat together 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./315 g) of the cream and 4 Tbs. (1 oz./30 g) confectioners’ sugar until thick, soft peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour into the cooled crust, smoothing the top with the spatula.
Refrigerate the pie until it is cold and firm, at least 3 to 4 hours and up to overnight.
To serve, let the pie stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to take the chill off. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed or a whisk, beat together the remaining 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) cream and the remaining 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar until thick, soft peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream on top of the pie and swirl decoratively. Garnish the pie with lemon zest, cut into wedges and serve. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pie & Tart, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2003)