What Lemon Chiffon Can Tell

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A single slice of cloud-swirled lemon chiffon pie can tell so many stories.

Of a young girl and her longed-for Girl Scout cooking badge, learning to carefully separate yolks from whites without getting bits of shell in the ribbony bubbling mix.

Stirring a large wooden spoon… constantly… oh so constantly… to keep the curd from scorching… or curdling

Tempering the buttery lemon goodness with egg yolk so as not to end up with scrambled bits.

Beating whites to silky-fluffed peaks and gently folding in until the color turned pastel-pillowy soft and luscious.

Shaping crushed graham crackers and melted butter into a delectable crust, pre-baking so ready to fill, chill and stock photo : A vintage wooden rolling pin, pie plate with raw pie crust in it, cut crust and flour on a baking mat.set. Or other times, rolling pastry (and cinnamon sugar pinwheels from leftovers) instead…

Carrying the proud result to the table hours later, like a trophy on a scalloped platter, and meeting Mom’s smile.  accomplishment beaming as my banner.

***

Of the 100 degree summer day the electricity went out with a sudden click… AT THE VERY MOMENT… two of these pie beauties were sliding into the no longer working fridge… and the roast of our company dinner hadn’t even gone beyond the browning stage.

Frantic calls to Mom’s best friend now moved two miles away from our neighborhood, up on the hill…Tennis shoes running, car doors slamming and all of us scurrying, hands hurrying to carry everything to this other house to ready for this night.

Melted faces and frazzled hair.  Standing fans blowing the warm air around, and setting the table with candlelight.

Greeting old friends over a dinner made possible by the open-armed, willingly-shared stove and refrigerator of newer friends… and laughter and remember-whens and pass-me-another-piece-of that-scrumptilious pie… to Mom’s rosy smile!

Watching years melt away along with dinner as the adults played cards and the kids settled into old camaraderie that sometimes took an hour or two to begin and then…  Aw, do they HAVE to leave nows… coming…much…too…fast.

Hearing Mom’s gladness that we had a little leftover for tomorrow savor…because she never could seem to enjoy a meal like that in the moments after working all day to prepare… too jumbled up with making things special…

***

Or on rare occasion, listening, dreaming, from our cooped up bedroom, feeling so shut away from the grownup party, wanting and wishing we could hide beneath the table…snitch a piece of mouthwatering dessert… Of making mom promise promise promise to save us a piece… a BIG one… while laughter and silliness and fun danced around the dining room and taunted us… as the clock ticked away to midnight…

And… of still more…

Coming home from school to find not pie, but the nearly good as lush filling poured like lemon froth into nubby crystal parfait glasses as a refreshing treat… just because.

***

And as I think of all of these…our long ago stories… I remember…

Our cups… or pie plates… running over with love and friendships old and new, people we knew we could count on, pray with, cry and laugh with…

Taking brave new steps and mastering new badges of honor…

Knowing the joy of creating with our hands and hearts…

Discovering God’s smile  in harried moments and serene…

Learning to laugh at circumstances seemingly going awry…

And how I now know

How just a fragrance of a memory can bring a loved one close again, right there with you.

Mmm…. yes.

So many stories sing… in… one...sliceof…lemon heaven on a plate.

.

© Pam Depoyan

decorative line

And because one of you asked…

Here is my mom’s delectable recipe… for Lemon CHIFFON Pie

(written in her you know how to make this style)

MIX:  1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, 5 heaping tablespoons cornstarch

POUR: Over the above, whisking in a little at a time till smooth, 2 1/2 cups of hot water – then stirring continually over med low heat until thick.

BEAT: 4 egg yolks and set aside.

ADD: 1/2 cube of butter till incorporated through.  Remove from heat. Take a spoonful of the mixture and stir slowly into the beaten egg yolks to temper them.  Then stir the tempered egg yolks into the entire mixture, slowly, cooking 1/2 minute longer on low heat.  (If you should see any eggy bits in it, or to be on the ‘safe’ side, you can strain it.)

ADD: Grated lemon zest of one lemon, 8 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, cook and stir 1 1/2 minutes longer.  Take off heat and let it cool.

WHILE IT COOLS:  Beat the 4 egg whites until peaks are stiff.  Gently fold the lemon mixture into the whites until thoroughly mixed, but being careful to keep it fluffy and light.

POUR into a pre-baked pie shell (regular pastry or graham cracker crust, homemade if possible) and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.  When ready, it will be set, like a mousse, and not runny.

Enjoy!

Linking with On Your Heart Tuesdays,

and with WLWW, Walk with Him Wednesday

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I will also be linking this up with Ann Kroeker for Food on Fridays.

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* Close up of beautiful lemon chiffon orchids blooms, Credit: rakratchada torsap / Alamy / Imageselect

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About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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22 Responses to What Lemon Chiffon Can Tell

  1. Diane says:

    Not only have I never attempted Lemon Chiffon, I don’t think I’ve eaten it.

    What am I missing?! If it tates anything like you write, I’ve really missed out!

    • I don’t think many people have. I couldn’t find one single photo of it online, or even a recipe (although the photo I used is close to how it looks, I think this photo may be cheesecake though which is a completely different texture). I really don’t like lemon meringue pie much…but Chiffon is just much more frothy and light. It was my favorite growing up. Don’t make it much anymore because of watching sugar 😦 But nice for a once in a “lemon” moon treat! I guess you might say it is more like a mousse but even lighter than that in texture. Someone on another blog the other day featured a pineapple chiffon, but it was more like jello with whipped cream. I told her I’d post this when she asked. 🙂

  2. lolitavalle says:

    That’s a favorite here in our country. Most bakeshops offer them but I too have fond memories of the very sensitive bake. The egg whites has to be like Pam said “cloud-swirled.” The lemon rind smells so heavenly.

    Remember my post about my big sister-in-law? She was a big role model to me then….. so I watched and tinkered with her during vacations from Nursing Boarding School when she was in college and I was a high schooler. Everything she like doing I was in…. no matter how messy they were…. as pots and pans and bowls become sticky with batter.

    They really are something, Pam….. memories and how even one single slice of the heavenly goody, it can provoke thought to pen and keys to blog.

    I love this so much, I hang on to every line…… so full of savory, sweet smelling and magical condiments…… enough to make a fancy bake.

    Ha ha ha….. yes so fovoritish.

    • You make me smile, Lolita! I’m really surprised to hear your bake shops have this one! The only thing I found online was something they called lemon chiffon, but it was covered in mounds of whipped cream (ugh) or meringue. I’m glad I made you taste it in your mind! 🙂 That’s about the only way I’m “tasting” a lot of goodies lately. Ha. Oh well, I do love the memories and once in awhile I treat myself. Haven’t made this in a few years though. I like that my story brought back some of your own memory fun with your sister in law. 🙂

      Isn’t that photo of the orchid gorgeous?! It’s just the right color of the pie. I’ve never seen a yellow orchid before. But I’m thinking you probably have a lot of these beauties where you are.

  3. Diane says:

    I wonder if it is a southern pie?

    • Not that I know of, Diane. I thought it might be from a classic Betty Crocker cookbook my mom used, but I just looked and their recipe is completely different. I think I remember her saying she got it from a girlfriend, but that woman wasn’t from the south. Most southern cooking I’ve watched on TV is filled with way too much butter and rich, rich ingredients, so I don’t think so… but you never know! 🙂

      • Diane… I was just thinking about some Lemon Yoplait Whips yogurt I used to buy. Too much sugar, so I prefer other healthier yogurt now, but it has a flavor that reminded me of this pie… No where near as delicious of course, but satisfying for that lemon chiffon mousse taste 🙂

  4. nsdastockton says:

    You brought back some memories for me. The adults would get together and play Yahoo, Scrabble or othe board games. The food was always good but We had to clean up. I remember us kids getting some pillow cases ( we were bored) and sliding down the stairs while waiting for dessert! Got in trouble for that ’cause some one got hurt, I believe. Still, I smile!

  5. Pam,

    This sounds delicious! And what special memories too…

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

  6. lolitavalle says:

    Take a look at this one, Pam.

    http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/2008/11/lemon-lavender-chiffon-cake.html

    Our Lemon Chiffon cakes looks like this much….. We love it with icing or without.

    BTW,
    That was my step-sister, no my sister-in-law. The I blogged about the wedding.

  7. Betty Draper says:

    Pam, I love lemon pie but have not made one in years. It’s breakfast time as I type this but all I can think about your lemon pie. My husband would rather have pie then cake for his birthday. We have no birthday this week but I think we will celebrate anyway with lemon pie.

    How sweet to have such good memories wrapped around lemon pie. I try to make all my kids special foods when we are together for I want to build great memories as your posted about. Blessing.

    • Thank you, Betty! I was just taking a lunch break and watching a cooking show I love called French Cooking at Home. The young host was cooking what she called “grandmotherly foods” and she said, “there is something so heartwarming about those slow cooked and baked foods…the scent of them cooking in your kitchen can even bring back the ones you remember with them, bring her back into your kitchen.” That made me smile, for that’s exactly what I wrote here. The lovely scent of fresh lemon brings my mom close… and also my grandmother, as I remember her squeezing lemon into her chicken broth, or grating zest for her many pastries. Yes, make him a chiffon lemon pie… 🙂 (any day is good to celebrate!) and if you use this recipe, let me know what you think…

  8. lolitavalle says:

    Awww….. Ok, that is the difference that I did not take note. Only shows I’m not a baker. Ha ha ha. In that case, I haven’t meet this myself in my whole life…… mine are all cakes.

    Thanks for the correction, Pam. Someone told me also that Pecan Pies are great. Where do Pecans grow, Texas and the where else?

    • lolitavalle says:

      Pam, I want to share to you this comment on a recipe of Lemon Chiffon Pie,

      “Chiffon Pie, with its light, billowy filling, can’t help but bring to mind the sheer, silky fabric it’s named for. Soft, mousse-like lemon filling; crunchy, gingery crust — a super combo.”

      Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Lemon-Chiffon-Pie-with-Gingersnap-Crust-235364#ixzz22LPJRIQ2

      I love her “billowy filling” much like your words…. huhummn…..

      But this has a different crust from your Mom’s recipe. Anyway, I was just learning further but I could never bake. I am only good at tasting. Ha ha ha..

      • Yes… I love that description. Perfect. But the recipe is a gelatin one again. This one from my mom is so much lighter than gelatin. Thanks, Lolita. Well… I’m good at tasting too… ha ha. Yesterday, I came across a way to make one chocolate chip cookie in a microwave cup – someone blogged it on one of the linkups. OOOhhh… now that is tempting.

  9. Your memories fill my mind with joy while whetting my taste buds for the lemon chiffon pie. I’ve made several lemon meringue pies–and sweated over the egg white topping. My husband loves anything lemon so I think I will try your lemon chiffon pie. We’ll have to have company to make it taste the same.

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