As you may already know, I’ve really only had one craving thus far in my pregnancy…tart citrus fruits. So, when someone handed me this recipe for a Meyer Lemon Shaker Pie created by one of my all-time favorite bakeries in San Francisco, Tartine, I knew I had to try it.
Over the weekend, I celebrated with a few girlfriends who are also pregnant. We snacked on this pie and hot tea as we talked for hours about becoming mommys and the crazy process of labor and delivery. With this being my first child, I have so much to learn. Here’s the advice I’m taking to heart:
• Every woman is different and ever labor experience is unique.
• Read positive stories. If you come across a negative, see what you can learn, but don’t dwell on it.
• Read a labor book or two then start on the parenting books. Labor lasts hours while parenting lasts a lifetime.
• Think of the things that calm you and incorporate those into your labor experience. (For me, it’s definitely bubble baths and music.)
One thing that I love thinking about is that women all over the world are having babies, some in much less comfortable environments than mine. I am grateful that our bodies were designed to bear children. As I enjoy every stage of pregnancy I am also looking forward to joining in with women, who for generations have felt the pains and glory of childbirth.
Here’s the recipe from Tartine for their Lemon Shaker Pie. The meyer lemons and local eggs from this recipe are both from Liberty Heights Fresh, a great place to find seasonal produce and specialty groceries.
If you have any positive advice or stories of childbirth or having your first child, please feel free to comment!
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 75 ml water (about 1/3 cup), very cold
- 227 g (about 1 and 3/4 cup) all purpose flour
- 150 g (1 stick plus 2.5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very cold
- 2 medium meyer lemons (see note* if you use regular lemons)
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In a small bowl, add the salt to the water and stir to dissolve. Keep very cold until ready to use. Put the flour in the food processor bowl. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and scatter the pieces over the flour. Pulse briefly until the mixture forms large crumbs and some of the butter is still in pieces the size of peas. Add the water-and-salt mixture and pulse for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball but is not completely smooth. You should still be able to see some butter chunks. On a lightly floured work surface, shape the dough into a ball, then flatten to a disk 1 inch thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or for up to overnight.
- Slice the lemon paper-thin, discarding the thicker stem end and any seeds. Put them in a nonreactive bowl (stainless steel or glass) and, using a spoon or your hands, toss with the sugar. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours or for up to overnight. If any seeds are still left, they will usually float to the top, where they are easily fished out. If you are using the more tender-skinned Meyer lemons, you can proceed to the next step without letting them sit, as the skins don't need the sugar to tenderize them.
- On a floured surface or between two pieces of plastic wrap, roll out the tart dough to fill a 10 inch tart or pie pan.
- Line a 10-inch tart pan (the kind with a removable bottom) with the tart dough, easing it into the bottom and sides and leaving a half-inch overhang. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and salt together until blended. Add the eggs to the lemon mixture, mixing thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the pastry-lined tart pan. The mixture will be very liquid, so you must evenly distribute the lemon pieces in the pan.
- Using your hands press the edges of the tart dough into the edge of the tart pan causing the dough to tear right at the edge.
- Then use a small pastry brush to take some of the egg liquid from the pie to brush the rim of the pastry so that it comes out with a nice shine.
- Chill for about 30 minutes. (Chilling the assembled pie is to firm up the pockets of butter in the dough, so that when the pie is put into the oven, the butter pockets will melt, creating the flaky texture you want in your finished dough.) While the pie is chilling, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and place the tart pan on the lined baking sheet. Bake the pie until it is light gold on top and filling is bubbling about 45-50 minutes. If the top is coloring too quickly, place a piece of foil or parchment loosely over the top. Let the pie cool completely before slicing to allow the filling to set properly. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed (though the pie needs to cool completely for the filling to set up, it can be warmed up a little in the oven before serving). The pie will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
*if you are not using Meyer Lemons you must allow the lemons and sugar to sit for at least 3 hours, covered, or over night, so that the lemon rind softens. For Meyers, you can proceed to the next step, as they have much thinner skin.
If you, or someone dear to you, is gluten free, try this lovely version of Shaker Citrus Cheesecake Tart by A Full Life.