Thursday, July 3, 2008

Elizabeth's May Pie - Creamy Lemon Cheesecake Pie

I KNOW! By the title, wouldn't you think this was going to be super tasty?!? Well, it was just so-so, and a disappointing edition to the Year of Pies.

The background:

I didn't make my May pie until the end of the month. While I was at the grocery store on the 28th, I realized that I hadn't made my monthly pie (lots of things on my mind that month---I usually don't forget my pie!) and I decided that I should take a pie to an event I had going that very night. I called Ann on the cell phone and said, "What should I make?" I don't remember if it was her idea or my idea to look at the backs of packages for pie recipes, but I do know it was specifically her idea to look at the back of ready-made pie crusts. Excellent suggestion!

I looked at pie crust packages and wasn't in love with the offerings, so I still looked at the back of flour bags, chocolate chip bags, baking powder containers, graham cracker crumb boxes, etc. Well, it seems that America is afraid of pies! I found lots of recipes for "bars" that could be converted into a pie recipe, but I just decided to return to the pie crusts anyway.

I memorized the name of the recipe on the back of the Keebler pie crust package, but when I went to find it on the Keebler site (because of course I didn't buy the nasty ready-made crust), it wasn't there! I remembered most of the ingredients, so I found it elsewhere on the internet. (Oh boy, is Matthew going to love the details of this post or what!)

The HEEElarious thing to me about it, is that I found the recipe on a blog called, "Pie is the New Toast." What a fabulous title!! What possibilities for greatness, right? No, instead it is a lame personal blog about someone's back pain, and sleep problems, and stress. Not a single pie recipe was posted except for this one. (She'll probably google her site name and find my comment, so for her sake let me say this: Jennifer, your blog is not lame to you, I'm sure. But it is a personal blog about your own issues, and those are always lame to people who don't know you. Sorry. Now, GIVE UP THAT GREAT TITLE!!)

I made the pie. It was just a standard cheesecake filling, and it didn't taste lemony as I poured it into the crust, despite the name.

Then....... I baked it 45 minutes too long. Or was it 30 minutes too long. I can't remember, but it was CRAZY long. I was talking to Matthew on the phone and I forgot about it. He was telling a story and suddenly I said, "Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!" and ran down the stairs to rescue my pie from ashes in the oven. Luckily there weren't any actual ashes. No, it was still very edible, but cracked and dry.

I covered it entirely with sliced strawberries that I just happened to have in the fridge (all the cracks looked too ugly to serve it like that!), and then I made a glaze with raspberry jam, lemon juice, and water. It looked pretty but it tasted boring.

Hardly anyone ate it at the event that I took it to. I arrived quite late (another conflicting event, for which the pie would have been inappropriate) so most people had already eaten, PLUS it was a "mom's night out" which is a bad event for pie. Moms aren't into sweets as much as you'd imagine. I think it's too many PBJs for the kids at lunchtime that takes the edge off of the sweet tooth. Besides, young moms are usually skinny and trying to remain so. I didn't imagine it would be gobbled up in that crowd, so I didn't take it personally when it wasn't. People commented on it being pretty, but only 2 people even tried a piece. Bad forum for pie.

I acknowledge that I screwed up this pie by overcooking it. However, the question remains: would this have been an excellent pie had I not cooked it too long? I don't think so. It was just a cheesecake in a pie crust, and a mediocre cheesecake at that. No water bath, no sour cream topping. Just boring. Sure, I'd like to taste it when it's not overcooked, but not enough to make it again. I have other fabulous cheesecake recipes for that.

The Pie
(Don't knock yourself out)

Creamy Lemon Cheesecake Pie

Makes 6 Servings

1 lb cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fresh grated lemon peel
2 eggs
1 9-inch graham cracker crust (homemade, of course!)

Beat cream cheese in bowl (if you have an electric mixer use that) until creamy.

Add sugar; beat until well-blended

Add sour cream, lemon juice and lemon peel, mix well.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.

Pour batter into pie shell, bake at 325F for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.