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Lemon Pies

About Lemon Pies

Lemon Pie
There are many kinds of lemon pies, including lemon meringue pie, lemon cream pie, a lemon buttermilk pie and chess pie, and lemon sponge pie.

Lemon pie is a great dessert because the tartness of the lemon cuts down on the sweetness, making for flavors that are perfectly balanced.  Following is a discussion of different types of easy lemon pies and some suggestions for making them.

Lemon meringue pie is, of course, the lemon pie favorite, and you can make a very easy version using pre-made pie crust and a pudding and pie filling mix.  Prepare the mix according to the package (Rawleigh’s lemon dessert mix is a good choice because it’s smooth and creamy even though it’s nonfat), pour it into the pre-made pie crust, and then the only work you have to do is to whip the meringues. 

Lemon meringue pie
The most famous of the lemon pies is - Lemon Meringue Pie. History has shown that lemon flavored custards, puddings and pies have been enjoyed since Medieval times. Renaissance European cooks use to whisk there egg-whites into several dishes, it was not until the 17th century that they perfected meringue. Lemon meringue pie, as we know it today, is a 19th century product.
Frozen lemon pie
Is the easiest lemon pie to make.  All you need is one can of frozen lemonade concentrate, one tub of thawed Cool Whip,  1 can of sweetened condensed milk, and a graham cracker crust pie shell.  Whip the lemonade, Cool Whip and condensed milk in the blender, pour into the pie crust, and freeze it.  This lemon pie needs to be thawed for about 15 minutes before serving or it will be too hard to eat.  You can also add one can of crushed pineapple to the mixture for a little added sweetness if the tartness is too much for you.

Lemon chess pie
Is a lemon pie you may not have tried yet, but it’s delicious.  Lemon chess pie is made with a filling of four eggs, 1 ½ cups sugar, ½ cup melted butter, two tablespoons cornmeal, the juice from one lemon and 1 tablespoon lemon peel.  Mix all of the ingredients together and pour them into an unbaked pie shell.  Bake for 35 minutes at 325 degrees.

Lemon cherry cheesecake pie
Is a more involved recipe, but it makes for a delicious dessert.  Basically, you do the same thing as for the frozen lemon pie, but add one cup of cottage cheese and one envelope of unflavored gelatin and cut down the lemonade concentrate to half a can.  When the pie is frozen, top it with one can of cherry pie filling and you’ll have a delicious pie that tastes just like cheesecake.

Lemon
"Lemon The fruit of Citrus medica, a tree whose original home may have been in the north of India. It only reached the Mediterranean towards the end of the 1st century AD, when the Romans discovered a direct sea route from the southern end of the Red Sea to India. Tolkowsky...adduces complex arguments in favor of this view (as against the earlier view that the lemon did not arrive until the 10th century), and refers to frescos found at Pompeii (and therefore prior to AD 70) which show what he regards as indisputably lemons; also a mosaic pavement probably from Tusculum...of about 100 AD in which a lemon is shown with an orange and a citron. Thus the fruit which can reasonably be regarded as the most important for European cookery was a comparatively late arrival. Nor was its use in cookery, as an acid element, appreciated at once. Nor, indeed, was there a Latin word for lemon. It seems likely that in classical Rome the fruit was treated as a curiosity and a decoration, and that lemon trees were not grown in Italy until later. The Arabs seem to have been largely responsible for the spread of lemon cultivation in the Mediterranean region...Arab traders also spread the lemon eastward to China...During the Middle Ages lemons were rare and expensive in N. Europe, and available only to the rich...Lemons reached the New World...in 1493, when Columbus, on his second voyage, established a settlement on Haiti."
Cooking with Lemons
Lemons were known to the ancient cooks. Their acid flavor was appreciated and incorporated into many dishes such as Pies. These fruits were expensive and usually preserved (dried) then used in cakes reserved for special occasions. They were mainly used in fruitcakes, great bride's cakes,and Gallette du Roi. The lemon cakes we know today trace their roots to Medieval European cooks. Cakes, cookies, puddings, cheesecakes, tarts, jellies, and other sweet desserts often incorporated orange flavoring. Lemon recipes followed, often as a simple ingredient substitution for oranges.
About lemons in 19th century America
"Legend has it that Columbus brought lemon seeds to Florida, and Spanish friars grew the fruit in California, where it flourished in the middle of the nineteenth century--especially in Eureka (possibly first cultivated in California or brought from Sicily)...In 1874 James W. Parkinson, writing of American dishes at the Philadelphia Centennial, noted that "citron"...a lemon-like fruit, had "lately been transplanted in California..." In 1934 Irvin Swartzberg of Chicago began selling gallon bottles of fresh lemon juice to bars and restaurants, and, after perfecting a method of concentrating the juice with water, sold the product in the market under the name Puritan-ReaLemon."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 182)