"Eat Like a 19th-Century Shaker With This Simple Lemon Pie" Discussion Thread

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Back in the early 1980s, the magazine Esquire published an amusing (but serious!) article about how to make Shaker Lemon Pie. Most of the article was about how you must listen to Appalachian Spring while you sliced your lemon. If you finished slicing the lemon before Appalachian Spring was over, you hadn’t sliced it thinly enough. I did. It wasn’t. And the pie was deplorably inadequate.

For more than a decade, Elsah Landing, a small restaurant on the Mississippi River, in the town of Elsah, IL, served as part of its rotation of fine pies, Shaker Lemon. It was great, top crust with a shower of cinnamon sugar.They published the recipe in the first of their cookbooks and I couldn’t believe it was the same pie. No sign of any pulp, rind, and such. I was so intimidted I passed on it. And I, too, remember that Esquire recipe, but never tried it. I will swallow hard and consider this one. Thin-skinned lemons are pretty rare at our groceries.

I make this from time to time. Your best chance of getting thinner-skinned lemons is to buy them by the bag; they tend to be smaller and have thinner skins.