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Recipe: Refreshing lemon pie

It might not be traditional, but this pie makes a refreshing end to the Thanksgiving Day meal.

Amy’s Mom's Whole Lemon Pie

This filling is slightly adapted from “The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread” (Wiley, $34.95)

1 large lemon
1½ cups sugar
½ cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter
4 large eggs
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 9-inch pie crust, see below

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle, place in 9-inch pie plate, fold over edges, crimp and refrigerate.

2. Wash the lemon, trim off the ends and cut it into 8 wedges. Remove seeds and trim off any thick pith and visible membrane. Place wedges along with 1 cup sugar into food processor and process until lemon is completely pulverized, about 2 minutes. Add remaining sugar and butter and process until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes more, then add eggs, salt and vanilla and process until smooth, about 1 minute.

3. Pour into pie crust. Bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes until center is set but still slightly soft and top is lightly browned. Cool completely before serving. Serve the pie on the first day it’s baked for a mild lemon flavor, or cover it with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature and serve it the next day for a fuller, more instense flavor.

Pie Crust

This recipe uses a food processor to make the dough, but it also can be made with a hand-held electric mixer or wire pastry blender. The dough can be made up to a month ahead and frozen. Defrost in the refrigerator the day before use.

1¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

1. Put flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture looks like course meal with some small lumps of butter visible.

2. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse until the dough just begins to come together. If the mixture looks very dry, add the other tablespoon of ice water. The dough should look somewhat crumbly but hold together if pinched with your fingers.

3. Bring the dough together on the work surface and form into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before using. Makes enough dough for a 9- or 10-inch single-crust pie.

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