Amish Lemon sponge pie is an amazing dessert that is very popular in the Amish Country. I love creamy pies and this tops the list for its silkiness and tartness.
In my culinary creativity, lemons are my go-to because of the distinct twist they bring to any dish. Let me give you a little background of this unique recipe.
Recreation of Amish Vintage Recipes
Whenever we would go to Amish farm markets, I would head straight to the ‘bookshop’. I am an avid collector of recipe books, this has earned me a large collection of recipe books, some written as early as the 18th century when they had a typewriter only.
My passion for culinary art makes me study a lot of food history and I am proud of knowing who invented a certain recipe, how it became famous, and how it has transformed over the course of time.
After the Civil War in our country, and the people began to settle down in their homes, farmers began to plant many crops for export.
Some planted lemons for export and business that became lucrative. Meyer lemon plantations began to increase in number in various parts of the United States. The home cooks having settled down began experimenting, most ingredients were now available as peace reigned in the country.
Probably bored of non-fruit pie such as the shoofly molasses pie, (there was no way of getting fresh fruit during the wars), the home cooks must have gladly made other pies, delicious fruity pies. Supply of fresh fruits was restored after being interrupted and that was when fruit pies became popular.
Lemon trees, lemon fruit.
My neighbor's tree keeps dropping lemons right into our yard and the old granny gladly allows us to pick them. It is always a pleasure to deliver a big slice of Amish Lemon Sponge Pie to her.
Lemon is a loaded fruit, it is rich in Vitamin C and mainly used in the treatment of flues. It is loved by chefs because of its intense tangy flavor. Lemon juice and lemon zest will always proudly announce their presence when included in any dish or baked good.
An Amish Lemon sponge pie is the dessert of my choice. I love to eat it after a meaty meal. I would easily pick a lemon sponge pie as compared to a sugar pie for dessert. If you reduce the sugar, this classic tangy pie is excellent for anyone counting calories.
Why An Amish Recipe
Amish recipes have become very popular in the recent past. The Amish are great cooks and can make amazing dishes using simple ingredients and steps.
The Amish are known for selling very attractive vintage items. Whenever you visit Amish Country, you will not fail to be an owner of something unique and outstanding.
I recreated this recipe from my vintage Amish and Mennonite recipe books that I bought in an Amish Farm Market.
How do I know my Amish Lemon Sponge Pie is ready?
After baking the pie for the recommended time, the center will have a slight jiggle. The crust will have a beautiful brown hue.
How best can I store my Amish Lemon Sponge pie?
This pie is easier to store as compared to the lemon meringue pie. Keep it refrigerated while wrapped with plastic wrap. Do not leave any leftover slices on your counter because the filling contains dairy.
The Amish Lemon pie can stay in the refrigerator for 4 days. This exquisite pie freezes easily and can stay in the freezer for up to 2 months.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL AMISH LEMON SPONGE PIE
- The recipe requires the separation of egg whites and egg yolks. To achieve perfect peaks, be careful not to introduce any egg yolk into the egg whites.
- If you want a beautiful pie with no cracks, keep your hands off the door until the timer goes off. If you open the door before time, a stream of cool air will enter the oven chamber. This makes the pie cool and ultimately cracks on the top.
- Always measure your ingredients accurately. When measuring ingredients such as flour, scoop and level with a bread knife. Use clear utensils when measuring liquid ingredients.
- Learn your oven, the wrong temperature can throw off your crust. Use an oven thermometer to monitor the optimal baking temperature recommended in the recipe.
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Let's delve deep and study the ingredients that make this decadent recipe. I happen to be very talkative, you know. I hope not to bore you with lots of stories.
Food science is fun, it's good to know why you add a certain ingredient to your pie. I will be brief I promise. Do not scroll down hehe ..it's not that boring, right?
9-inch unbaked pie crust
You can make your homemade pie shell or buy a store-bought one. It depends if you have the time. We have a great recipe that yields a flaky delicious crust.
Egg whites are beaten to form stiff peaks, egg whites do not contain any fat and transform into a cloudy delicate mass. Beat the eggs with the whisk attachment on high speed. The beaten egg whites are folded into the custard-like mixture.
Egg yolks are rich in fat and protein. They are mixed together with other ingredients to form the soft creamy filling.
Butter contains fat that adds moisture to the filling. It has a distinct milk flavor .. if you’re using salted butter, omit the salt. I wouldn’t substitute butter with another ingredient.
Sugar brings a tone of sweetness into the creamy filling. You can use healthier sweeteners such as honey, stevia, or light blackstrap molasses.
All-purpose flour thickens the pie filling, making it creamy in texture.
Lemon juice has a distinct citrus, fruity, and almost bitter flavor. It gives the pie filling a characteristic taste that lingers in your taste buds.
Though optional, I wouldn't fail to add some lemon zest to the pie-filling mixture. Grate the outer lemon peel, do not grate in the white flesh. The white flesh has a bitter and unpleasant taste.
Whole milk adds moisture to the recipe as well as a sweet milky flavor. When mixed with flour and baked it yields a silky creamy filling that melts in your mouth.
Though easy to leave out, salt compliments the other ingredients on the sweet side of things.
Hand-held electric mixer
The whisk attachment beats the egg whites to white and fluffy. This appliance is very helpful, beating the egg whites with a fork must be a daunting task.
Mixing bowls are needed for mixing the dry and wet ingredients.
A rubber spatula folds the egg whites into the other ingredients gently without breaking the structure.
You will need a pie plate to bake your pie. Glass pie dishes are most suitable because you can be able to see the bottom of the crust.
Measuring spoons and cups
Though our grannies were experts in eyeballing, I highly recommend the use of measuring equipment. Too much of one ingredient will compromise the deliciousness of our Amish Lemon Sponge Pie.
Am glad you have read up to this point. Your Amish Lemon Sponge Pie will be on point!
HOMEMADE PIE CRUST RECIPE
- ¼ cup cold butter
- ¼ cup lard
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup Ice cold water
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
How to make Homemade Pie Crust
- When using a food processor, pulse the flour with the cold butter and lard until the mixture appears like sand. You can use a hand pastry blender or your fingers to mix the flour and the butter.
- Add a tablespoon at a time of ice-cold water and vinegar into the flour and butter mixture.
- Turn over the mixture on a clean surface and form a ball with your hands. Work fast to form a ball, and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- Roll it into a round disc, and line up the pie plate. Let the pie dough rest in the fridge as you preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Assemble the Amish Lemon Sponge Pie as described above.
Amish Lemon Sponge Pie
- 4 Eggs whites
- 4 Egg yolks
- 2 tablespoon Softened butter
- 1 ½ tablespoon Sugar
- 1 ¼ cup Whole milk
- 1 teaspoon Teaspoon salt
- Juice from 2 medium-sized
- Lemon zest from 2 lemons
- Make your pie crust ( See our homemade pie crust recipe ) and place this in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, egg yolks, and flour.
- Pour milk and mix until there are no lumps in the mixture. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites till white, fluffy, and with soft peaks.
- Fold the egg white gently into the egg yolk and milk mixture. Be careful not to destroy all the sponginess as you mix the two mixtures.
- Bake the Amish Lemon Sponge Pie for 15 minutes at 350 F then reduce the temperature to 350 F, and bake the pie for 30 minutes.
- Check for readiness - jingle test - the center should jingle slightly at the center. The Amish Lemon Sponge Pie will become firmer as it cools.
- Once the pie has completely cooled. Refrigerate the pie overnight or for 12 hours.
- Slice the Amish Lemon sponge pie. Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream or whipping cream.