A Slice of Life: Lemon Sponge Pie

Photo courtesy of Felicia Fisher Got lemons? Make Lemon Sponge Pie!

The phrase “when life hands you lemons” is grossly overused. While I have lots of lemons (along with occasional sour moments in life outside of the bakery), what to do with the naked ones is troubling to me.

I always have lemons on hand in the summer because I make my own lemon peel (a key Black Buggy Baking Company pie component). I simply refuse to spend $15.00 a pound for it. The trouble with doing this, besides killing several mini food processors in the process, is that I have lots of naked, leftover lemons. The naked ones instantly go into the freezer where they meet an unknown fate. When I say unknown -- it’s because I simply didn’t know what to do with them. On occasion I defrost a few for my children to use in the vintage hand-press juicer I snitched from my mother’s kitchen. But what of the others? What was I to do with all these naked lemons?

I suspect I should be adding salt or baking soda or some other household item to them and use them to polish silver but that’s presupposing that I actually have the time to engage in the task of polishing silver. In the interim, they’re sitting there in the freezer, haunting me, these naked frozen lemons that have so much juice, so much potential and, most importantly, are taking up so much space. Lemon margaritas? Interesting idea but, then again, sipping margaritas is as high on the priority list as polishing silver.

Lemon Sponge Pie! Ah, yes, Lemon Sponge Pie. The one pie recipe that evaded me, that was, admittedly, a failure in the repertoire of Black Buggy pies. The pie that tastes really good but no matter how long I kept it in the oven, or what shelf I baked it on, or what temperature I used, there was invariably a one inch circular section in the center of it THAT…JUST..WOULD…NOT…BAKE.

It took more tries than I’m willing to admit but I finally found a recipe with results I could be happy about. And here it is….

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. In large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer to blend the butter and sugar until light and fluffy;

3. Add vanilla extract and continue mixing;

4. Beat in egg yolks, flour, salt, milk, lemon peel and lemon juice;

4. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until fluffy;

5. Gently fold whites into the first mixture;

6. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.

7. Bake in 375° oven for 5 minutes; reduce heat to 300° and bake for 45 minutes longer or until top is golden.

8. Cool, slice and enjoy!

If you find yourself with a pile of lemons this summer just remember that transforming them into pie is certainly a nicer way to spend the day than polishing silver. Although anytime is a good time for margaritas... lemon or otherwise.

Felicia Fisher is the founder of the Black Buggy Baking Company and lives in Oley, Pa. with her husband and three children who are all willing taste-testers.

For more information on what Felicia’s baking up visit her web page www.blackbuggybakingcompany.com “Like” Black Buggy Baking Company on Facebook.