Thursday, July 11, 2013

CREAMY LEMON CHIFFON PIE

Graham-Cracker Crumb Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine the crumbs, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl, blending with a fork or fingers.  Press mixture evenly over the bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate.

Refrigerate crust.

Filling:
4 eggs
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lemon peel
yellow food color, optional
1/2 cup heavy cream

Separate eggs, placing the whites in a large mixer and the yolks in the top of a double boiler pan.  Allow whites to reach room temperature, about an hour.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water to soften; set aside.

Using a wooden spoon, beat the egg yolks slightly.  Stir in the lemon juice, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the salt.  Cook egg yolk mixture over hot but not boiling water until mixture thickens and forms a coating on a metal spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the gelatin and stir to dissolve.  Add the lemon peel and 2 drops of the yellow food coloring.  Remove pan from the water.

Pour the mixture into a medium bowl that has been placed in a larger bowl of ice cubes; stir occasionally until as thick as unbeaten egg white, about 10 minutes.

Beat the egg whites at high speed of electric mixer until soft peaks form (soft peaks will bend over slightly when beaters are removed).  Beat in the remaining half cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition.  Beat until stiff peaks form.

Using a rotary beater, beat the heavy cream until stiff.

With a wire whisk, gently fold the gelatin mixture into the whites just until combined.  Gently fold in the whipped cream.  Mound mixture in the chilled pie shell.  Refrigerate pie until firm, about 3 hours.

Topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Beat the cream with the sugar until stiff.  Transfer to a pastry bag and make a lattice top with rosettes around the edge.

Yield: 8 servings.

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