lemon cream pie with fresh strawberries

Posted on April 26, 2011

This pie is about as spring as you can get in one dessert! The fresh strawberries compliment the lemon cream perfectly and it’s not heavy, which is nice now that the weather is starting to warm up a bit. Additional bonuses: it looks gorgeous and you can assemble it all in advance!

Lemon Cream Pie with Fresh Strawberries

For the crust, from the Tartine Bakery cookbook


This recipe makes two pie crusts. You’ll only need one for this recipe, so stick the other in the freezer and defrost overnight in the refrigerator the nigh before you want to use it. 

1 1/2 t salt
2/3 cup very cold water
3 cups plus 2 T all purpose flour
1 cup plus 5 T unsalted butter very cold, cut into cubes

In a small bowl, add the salt to the water and stir to dissolve.  Put the flour in the bowl of a food processor.  Sprinkle the butter on top. Pulse briefly. Add the water. Pulse again. The dough will just begin to come together. Pour the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Divide into two balls. Press into 1 inch thick disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. 

Roll out the dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. Lay into a pie or tart dish. Line with parchment and fill with pie weights, beans or rice (new discovery on the rice – works just fine). Chill the shell for another 30 minutes to get the flakiest crust. 

Heat an oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the weight and parchment and bake for another 5 minutes. Cool completely.

For the filling, adapted from the SF Chronicle
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
zest of two lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
a pinch of salt
4 T butter, cut into cubes

Over a double boiler, whisk the eggs, sugar, salt, lemon zest and juice together. Continue stirring until a custard has formed. Be very diligent with this step. You can very easily end up with lemon scrambled eggs!  No good! Once the mixture has thickened, take it off the heat and whisk in the butter. Strain though a mesh sieve and chill. Ta-da! Lemon curd!

To assemble
1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 T sugar

Slice the strawberries. Whip the cream with the sugar. Lighten the lemon curd with the whipped cream by first stirring in 1/3 of the whipped cream and then folding in the remaining. Carefully! I always am too hasty here and Jordan has to remind me to slow down. Pour the lemon filling into the prepared crust. Top with sliced strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

This pie is delicious and the lemon cream would compliment any berry as each comes into season. The combination of the lemon and the strawberry is particularly satisfying because it hit a nostalgic vein in all of those eating it … Jordan, Matt, Alexa and I were eating our dessert on Sunday evening when Jordan pauses, “Does this remind anyone of some sort of ice cream novelty?” Instantly, and almost in unison, the rest of us cried, “Flintstones Push Up pops!” Yep. The pie tastes like a Push Up. Not sure how it happened, but it is absolutely going to happen again.

-Emily