I have definitely earned this lemon pie! I put a lot of work into this one because this journal entry from The Captain’s Lady is so touching I had to get the recipe just right! This is after-all… the Captain’s favorite.
The recipe, originating from the 1800’s, is fairly vague so it took me about 3 tries to get it just right! The Captain’s Lady says she uses puff paste but since she didn’t share how to make it I had to search high and low for a good puff paste recipe for the lemon pie crust; and I can honestly say I have found the very best one! This puff paste is so good I had to make a separate post just so I can make lots of desserts using puff paste and reference it in the future. A lot of work went into this beauty and I know you will LOVE it!
The Captain’s Wife Episode 03: Parting
“My Captain always felt that it was bad luck to say goodbye when he was about to leave for a voyage – especially a very long one. We were both filled with unspeakable anguish as the time of parting drew near. I knew when the day arrived, however, because he would say to me in a fortuitous way, “I think I shall sail across the Bay but I shall be back in time for a piece of your special lemon pie.” He then held me close, kissed me quickly, turned and was gone. My eyes followed his stalwart figure until he was out of sight. Then – and only then – did I permit the tears to fall. Throughout the long months of waiting I held that picture of him close to my heart. I prayed each day that God would bring him safely home to me once more.
When his return was imminent, I would make a lemon pie almost every day. I really became quite proficient at it. Then, that special day arrived.
My captain would stride through the door, blue eyes sparkling in his tanned face, his hair and beard a mass of tangled golden curls – I would have the pleasure of trimming them later. He would pick me up, swing me around, hold me so close (I could feel his heart beat!) and say playfully. “Well, my Lady, isn’t that lemon pie ready yet?””
(The Captain’s Lady Cookbook – Personal Journal Vol. II )
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The Captain’s Lady Cookbook
- 1/2 puff paste recipe
- 1 large lemon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- For Meringue
- 2 egg whites
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Roll out puff paste very thin about 1/8 inch for the bottom crust. Gently lay into pie dish and cut so that it only goes 1 inch up side of pie dish. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile grate/zest yellow rind from lemon. Place the grated yellow rind into a medium size bowl and squeeze out all the juice from them lemon. Add a cup of sugar and the yolk of one egg and stir well together. Pour in cold water and corn starch and combine well. Place in a medium size saucepan and stir over medium heat until it is cooked into a rich, clear straw-colored jelly. Allow to cool slightly.
- With the crust being done, fill with lemon mixture and set aside.
- For the meringue, beat eggs on high with an electric mixer until frothy. Add sugar gradually and continue to beat until stiff. Add vanilla. Spread on top of pie and bake at 450 degrees for 1-2 minutes until meringue is just brown.