Saturday, April 14, 2012

A New Blog and Lemon Chess Pie

Both of my grown daughters moved to Brooklyn in the last eight months.  Joanna moved from Cleveland in August (where she had served in an Americorps position with City Year Cleveland for two years) to attend graduate school at Bank Street College of Education.  Cara moved from Greensboro, NC in February (where she graduated from Guilford College six years ago, attended Leon's Beauty School, and became a very popular and accomplished hair stylist).  She is now trying to figure out how to be the best hair stylist possible....and NYC is the place to do it.

They both seem to love the City....but they always seem to be looking for some good Southern food.  Joanna's first restaurant meal in Brooklyn...her first night there...was at Peaches HotHouse.  She swears that the fried chicken is the best...better than your mom's, Jo?  Cara and her friend, Charla, have started a blog (N Y'all's City) about "Southern" restaurants in New York.  If you live in or are visiting New York you may find it helpful.  Or you may just find the whole idea amusing.  Two restaurants they visited serve burnt end beans.  Now I grew up in Virginia and North Carolina...and burnt end beans was a new one to me.  After a little research I found that they are really from Kansas City....oh well.  And pulled lamb barbecue?  Really?

In honor of the new blog...and in honor of Southern cooking in general...our Easter dessert was lemon chess pie.  This recipe is from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock.  It is easy and delicious.  I used a bought pie crust (the kind that comes in the box rolled up) so that made it even easier.

Lemon Chess Pie

4 large eggs at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
1 tablespoon white cornmeal (yellow is fine)
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled to room temperature
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put the eggs a large mixing bowl, and whisk briefly to blend.
One at a time, whisk in the following, blending until each ingredient has been incorporated before proceeding to the next: the sugar, cornmeal, flour, salt, melted butter, buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust, and bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pie is golden brown on top and almost set. The center of the pie should remain slightly loose; it will set as it cools. Remove to a cooling rack, and cool completely before serving.
Serve at room temperature with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

A note in the book says that it is important that all ingredients be at room temperature so that the butter does not resolidify and separate from the mixture.


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