...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Food journal number 53: Citronpaj


Citronpaj
is Swedish for lemon pie. I've been craving for this for weeks! This recipe is from Annas pajer (Anna's pies), a cookbook that I bought some months ago together with another baking book. It's the second pastry recipe I've tried from the books I've ordered – the first one is a chocolate-coconut brownie that I've already baked twice, recipe to come [Edit: make that 5 recipes I already made. I forgot that I also baked yellow cake, semla and apple pie]. Honestly, if I had unlimited resources to buy ingredients and – more importantly – unlimited fat-burning capacity, I'd probably bake things more often.

Problems with this recipe: I followed Anna's recipe to the line but somehow, when the time was up, my pie filling was still almost liquid (eggs were too small?). I decided to pop it in for a few more minutes until the surface looked like in her picture (that is, with parts that are caramelized), and until the filling had the firm-jiggly consistency of gelatin. My pie filling still turned out on the soft side – like the consistency of the mascarpone cheese on a tiramisu cake – but it was pretty good! Also, at the back of her book, Anna says the pie dough should pre-bake for 10-12 minutes; in the pie recipe itself, she says 15. I went for 12. Also, one thing that could have made the execution of this recipe shorter by 10 minutes is if I had a food processor. However, the recipe is plain enough that it doesn't suffer from the lack of kitchen appliances, and Anna has a "by hand" option for the food processor-less.

A lovely pie, nice and tart. It's in the refrigerator now to help it set some more. In the future, I'll probably tweak it and find out how to make it more solid... that gives me an excuse to bake it more times ;-) The guests loved it, though.

Citronpaj

Dough:
2 dl flour
1 T sugar
150 g cold butter
1-2 T ice cold water

1. Measure the flour and sugar into a bowl. Cut the butter into squares and cut the butter into the flour with a pair of dull knives, or in my case, a whisk from a blender (does the work of two knives faster). When they start to form oatmeal-sized flakes, add the cold water and cut the dough some more until it almost forms a mass.


This whole process will be made easier with a food processor: just combine the flour and butter and pulse for 6 seconds, add water and pulse some six seconds more.

Either way, transfer the dough into a plastic bag and knead gently into a ball. Don't work it too much with your hands as the butter might melt. Place in the refrigerator for an hour.

2. On some cling film, roll out the dough with a rolling pin until thin. It should fit in a 22-centimeter spring form pan. Line the pan with the dough and cut the parts that stick out (I just stuck mine back in though... why waste precious butter?)

3. Put the whole pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to prevent it from sliding down when you bake it later. Preheat the oven to 200 C and when the ten minutes are up, bake the dough for 12 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the filling.


Filling:
2 dl whipping cream
2 eggs
juice of 1 lemon
rind of 1 lemon
(thin lemon slices for the top, if desired)

Just mix everything together thoroughly.

Pour the filling into the pre-baked dough, decorate with the thin lemon slices and bake in the oven for another 15 minutes (or more if your pie turns out jiggly like mine).

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