Today’s recipe is very unique for it’s a rare recipe, as chosen by Lina. When the rare recipe challenge was announced on her blog, I was very excited to take part. Except for a few names, everything else was very new to me. Given my limitations with meat, I checked with her on what are the veggie options and she very sweetly gave me Lymonnyk. Sure, the name sounded fun and a recipe that I would have liked to try. Soon I realized it’s the recipe of Lemon Pie from Russia/Ukrain. Having never made a lemon pie, my excitement was on the raise. On further exploration, I could find only one recipe but it definitely seemed like a success recipe.
My go to guide for anything on the internet, Wikipedia also had not much info on this dessert. No wonder it’s considered a rare recipe. Apart from finding out that this is a Lemon Pie from Ukraine or Russia, I could find no other significant information. However, looking at the recipe it seemed the pie crust recipe was quite different as far as I knew. The use of sour cream in making the pie dough was an interesting idea. And I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about how good the crust would turn out. In India, lemons are sour no matter how yellow they look. This was my other concern – being not so fond of the tanginess of the lemon, I wondered how would it taste in a pie or tart, especially when lemons are cooked. Since I had signed up for the challenge, I went ahead to try out the recipe – keeping aside my inhibitions. Cooking is all about shedding your fears and going ahead with your gut instinct isnt it?!
To my surprise, the pie turned out very good. Though I did not follow the recipe to the T and made my own modifications to it, it was a huge success. The crust was flaky, light and soft with a crisp outer layer. The lemon filling was not overly sweet but not too bitter as well. The pie itself was like a cross between a cupcake, a pie and a tart – its texture is something I loved while making as well as while relishing it. I have some notes (in the last section of this post) on what could make it much better, the next time. Do give this a try! 🙂
I am sending this recipe over to Jhuls from thenotsocreativecook.wordpress.com, who is the judge for this challenge.
To make Lymonnyk | Russian Lemon Pie
What I used –
- All-Purpose Flour/Maida, 1 cup
- Fresh Cream, ⅓ cup (I used Amul Low Fat Fresh Cream)
- Cooking Soda/Baking Soda, ½ tsp
- Butter, 1 tablespoon + extra to grease the pie moulds
- Lemon, 1 medium
- Sugar, ¼th cup
How I made –
1. In a bowl, add the fresh cream along with cooking/baking soda. Mix well. Melt the butter in microwave/stove top and add it to the fresh cream and whisk well. Add the flour ½ cup at a time and mix well with a spoon.
2. The dough would come together very soon. Use your hands to knead the dough until firm and pliable. Set aside until the lemon filling is ready.
3. Cut the lemon in to quarters, remove the seeds. Pulse these lemon pieces in a mixer until roughly minced (along with the skin). Remove onto a bowl and add sugar. Mix well. The lemon filling is ready.
4. Grease the pie moulds with butter. Take a small ball of the prepare dough and spread it into a circle of 3mm thickness using your fingers. Gently place the rolled out dough on to the buttered moulds and gently press the sides and bottom. Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 180 deg C for 5-10 mins.
5. Scoop a teaspoon of the lemon filling and spread it inside the pie. Take another small ball of dough and spread it to 3mm thickness and place it to cover the pie. Seal the edges of the dough well enough. Score the top of the pie with a knife. Place the prepared pies in the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 mins. When the sides start to turn golden brown, set the oven on toast mode for 5 mins until the top is golden brown. Remove the pies from oven. Wait for 5 mins and gently run through a knife to ease the edges and turn them onto a plate.
6. Serve hot or cold as a dessert 🙂
- Since I could not find sour cream, I used low fat fresh cream and the result was great. Substitute if you have access to sour cream.
- The next time, I plan to add a small pinch of salt as I felt that the pie dough was a little bland. This would help bring the flavor much better.
- My lemons were not very sweet or quite sour. Using the skin of the lemon added slight bitterness to the lemon filling. While it was wonderfully lemony, the next time I may skip adding the skin especially if the lemons are not very sweet.
- I plan to try the same recipe with oranges and I have a feeling that this tart would be wonderful with the sweet orange flavour.
- I did not use a big pie mould as I was a little skeptical with the recipe and hence used smaller pie moulds. Next time, I would make this in a medium sized pie mould.
- The crust is not supposed to be too thin as the filling can turn quite watery while cooking (as we added sugar) and hence, it will blend with the pie dough getting the right texture.
- Sealing the edges of the pie is very crucial as the sugar caramelization can break open the seals very easily.
- With my oven, all it took was 15 mins to bake the pie. This may vary from oven to oven. Pay close attention to the color change and remove the pies accordingly.
- It’s important to remove the pies from the mould while they are hot as the sugar can become sticky and tight on cooling down.
- The original recipe called for an egg wash which I skipped and yet, the result was great.