Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lemon-Chamomile Cream Pie

My sister Anna is in town visiting (yay!) and she brought me the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living. It has a whole article on cream pies, and we just had to try one--specifically, the Lemon Chamomile Cream Pie. The recipe was easy to follow, though long, and the results were amazing. I was definitely glad we were working together on it because it had a lot of steps! Don't be afraid of the number of tea bags listed in the recipe--the chamomile flavor is not overwhelming and blends really nicely with the lemon. It's not exactly a cream pie--more of a custard pie with meringue topping--but it's absolutely delicious and very different from a lemon meringue pie despite the similar components.

This recipe was also perfect for this month's Sugar High Friday, hosted by Tartelette. The theme this month is citrus--yum! Check out all the amazing entries starting in a few days.

Lemon-Chamomile Cream Pie (from Martha Stewart Living)

Cornmeal Crust

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
3/4 c cornmeal, preferably medium-ground
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar
3/4 c cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/4 c ice water

1. Pulse flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar in food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal (about 10 pulses). With the machine running, slowly add the water until the dough just begins to hold together (no more than 30 seconds).
2. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll our the dough to about 1/8-in thick. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate and trim the edges. Tuck under and crimp. Lightly prick the bottom with a fork and chill 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line dough with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 15-18 minutes, until edges begin to turn gold. Remove weights and parchment and bake until crust is golden bron, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Filling and Meringue

Cornmeal Crust
3 cups whole milk
12 chamomile tea bags
1/4 c cornstarch
1 1/4 c plus 2 T sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (from 2-3 lemons)
1/4 c fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
4 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan and remove from heat. Add tea bags, cover, and let steep 5 minutes. Strain, pressing on the tea bags to extract liquid. Discard tea bags.
2. Combine cornstarch, 1 c sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in milk mixture. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, about 7 minutes total (about 2 minutes after it comes to a boil).
3. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl. Pour in milk mixture in a very slow and steady stream, whisking until completely incorporated. Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it returns to a boil, 1-2 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice. Add butter, 1 T at a time, whisking until the butter melts before adding the next piece. Let cool, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes.
5. Pour custard into cornmeal crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface and chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
6. Just before serving, combine whites and remaining 1/4 c plus 2 T sugar in the top of a double boiler. Set over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt. Beat on medium-high speed until shiny, stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.
7. Spread meringue over pie. and serve immediately.

Note: The egg whites aren't cooked so don't serve this to folks who shouldn't eat raw eggs.

Here's my sister with the pie!


  1. Yes!Yes!Yes! This is brilliant Sara! Wonderful entry to this month SHF! Thank you for participating!

  2. Hi Sara, your pie looks amazing :)