Monday, March 21, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Lemon Black Bottom Pie

Lemon and chocolate . . .  most people would pretty confidently say that this would not be the best flavor combination. It's not something I would have ever tried until I tasted a slice of the lemon black bottom pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds. A slice of that pie was like pure high calorie heaven. Pie is of course notoriously unhealthy. Don't kid yourself - more butter and calories are in a slice of pie than a cupcake any date of the week. At any rate, I had no recipe to go on, so I tried my very best to recreate the delicious pie. Here's how I did it. It was superb, but still a slice below the one at Four & Twenty Blackbirds.

I made a standard pie crust. I've experimented a lot, and used some canola oil to make the crust flake a bit more than my standard apple pie crust. The best way to do this would have been adding some lard instead, but I don't do lard, so the crust uses mostly butter with a bit of canola. Then I made a chocolate cream for a thin layer for the brown bottom, topped with a lemon curd for the lemon pie portion. Yum! Tart but sweet with a thin layer of chocolate. Trust me, it works! Just be sure to share with some friends.

Sasha's Lemon Black Bottom Pie
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1/4 cup ice water, or very cold water
3 oz canola oil

Chocolate Layer
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
2.5 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 tsp cornstarch

Lemon Filling
4 large eggs
2 large eegg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 stick of butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp cornstarch

To make the crust, beat the butter into the flour and salt in your mixture, until it is well combined. Slowly add the canola oil and cold water and combine until it just forms a dough. Wrap with plastic wrap and allow to chill for one hour. Roll the dough and following typical pie making etiquette,  lay out in a pie dish. Bake using ceramic pie weights to weigh it down at 375 for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Make the chocolate brown bottom by bringing the cream to a simmer over low-medium heat. Stir in the chocolate until melted and well combined. Remove from heat and beat in the egg yolks. Add the cornstarch (mix with a tiny bit of water first), and stir well over medium heat until it thickens into a custard. Spread across the pie in a thin later, using either a pastry brush or a spoon. Allow to chill for about 15 minutes, while you make the lemon filling.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice and a pinch of salt until smooth. Add the butter, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add in the cornstarch to thicken. It should form a loose pudding after about 10 minutes. Filter through a sieve and allow to cool to room temperature. Fill the pie and refrigerate until firm, for at least three hours.  The recipe for the lemon curd portion was very loosely adapted from this recipe, with my own variations to get it the way I wanted it to go with the chocolate and pie crust.

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