Joan Crawford’s Lemon Pie

In my fading memory, Lemon Meringue Pie was something my mum made for us all when we were kids (I have four siblings) and in my mind’s eye I see massive peaks of meringue all browned on the edges like this one by James Martin…

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BUT, my mum used to work all the hours God sends for the family business (my folks ran a nursery as they called it in those days, probably now it would be called a garden centre) plus there were 5 of us kids, plus she and my dad were always making bed-sits from nothing. When on EARTH did she have time to make Lemon Meringue Pie?

Come on mum, I know that you read my blog, let us know in the comments if I have false memory syndrome or if you really did make ace Lemon Meringue Pies! And while I am at it, Marsha, my sister, also reads this I think, and I have vivid memories of something she made once that was a kind of reconstituted loaf of bread that you sliced and it had various layers of filling, all covered with cream cheese. Am I mad Marsh, or did you once make this weird but delicious concoction?   sandwich loaf
In my mind it looked a bit like this (photo copyright ).

I’ve never made a Lemon Meringue Pie before, but I followed Joan’s recipe and here’s how it turned out:

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Oooh, not bad! Joan was a bit vague about how to make the meringue so I followed good old Delia Smith’s recipe found here (3 eggs like Joan’s recipe) and I baked it at the temperature and for the amount of time Delia suggested.

For the pastry case I cheated and used Jus-Rol. I do love their motto: “Pastry to be proud of” because to me that really does suggest that you wouldn’t admit to not making it yourself. So when someone eats a bit of your pie and says, “Ooh, lovely pastry,” should your response be: “Oh, thanks, I’m very proud of it!” ?

pastry to be proud of 

I blind baked my pastry (15 minutes with the beans in and 5 minutes without) worked perfectly with the pre-made pastry. I’m getting lazy in my old age and am now going to keep my eyes peeled at the supermarket for those pre-cooked pasty cases. Do they still make those? Haven’t seen them for ages. It takes long enough to make the lemon filling and meringue, I’d have to take the afternoon off to make the pastry too!

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Actually, I personally really like making pastry from scratch and my mum taught me how. She showed me how to run a cold tap of water over my upturned wrists to keep my hands cool… But most of the time in the modern world when you have a day job and a million other commitments, the Jus-Rol is definitely pastry to be proud of.

 The filling was a little runny so in the Cooking With Joan Crawford book I’m making a note that folks might want to add a little more cornstarch.  But as lemon pies go, I thought it was yummy

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