This pie is based on a recipe from the North Union Shaker Village in Ohio from the 1840s. It is enhanced by the use of Meyer lemons, which are only available in the fleeting winter months.
Flaky Whole Wheat Pie Dough
Adapted from Viking and Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Pie and Pastry Bible
The most important part of this recipe is to keep everything as cold as possible. Freeze your ingredients, bowls, blades, and utensils in order to ensure that nothing melts the butter.
Flaky Whole Wheat Pie Dough Ingredients:
½ C. all-purpose flour
½ C. whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 C. unbleached pastry flour, plus additional for rolling
¼ tsp. fine salt
8 Tbsp. butter, cut in ¼-inch pieces
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3-5 Tbsp. ice water
Silicone rolling mat
Flaky Whole Wheat Pie Dough Procedure:
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flours and salt and pulse to incorporate.
2. Add the butter to the mixture and fluff them with a fork in order to coat all surfaces.
3. Pulse 12 to 15 times until the mixture resembles coarse meal with small peas.
4. Add the vinegar and 3 tablespoons of the water and pulse a few times. Pinch the dough between your fingers to see if it holds together. If it does not, add water half a tablespoon at a time, pulse a few times and check until it does.
5. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Pull up the sides of the wrap and force all the particles together.
6. Press the dough into a disk with the heels of your hands to make one cohesive piece. Refrigerate for at least one hour prior to rolling.
This dough can be made a day ahead or frozen in disks for up to three months.
Meyer Lemon Shaker Pie Ingredients:
1 recipe Flaky Whole Wheat Pie Dough
4 Meyer lemons, sliced paper-thin or grated
2 C. granulated sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar (or Sugar in the Raw)
Meyer Lemon Shaker Pie Procedure:
1. Slice or grate the lemons as thin as paper, rind and all. Place in a glass bowl and pour the sugar over them. Mix well, cover, and let stand out at room temperature for at least two hours, with optimum results at 24 hours.
2. Line a pie plate with the pastry crust. Beat the eggs together in a bowl until frothy.
3. Arrange the slices of lemons in the shell, alternating with the macerated sugar, in layers. Sprinkle additional sugar on top. Pour the beaten eggs over the lemons and their juice after they have been arranged.
4. At this point you may add a top crust with steam vents, or just keep open as I do.
5. Brush the crust with the heavy cream and then sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, and then bake at 400 degrees until the custard is nicely set.