Lemon pie & Waitress

At the week-end, he and I went to see a preview of "Waitress".
I L I K E D it, made me cry and laugh simultaneously. I defy any woman out there not to recognise a little bit of her own life in Jenna's. And before you think that it is a "girly film", I need to tell you that he liked it too. The director, Adrienne Shelly, adds her original voice to a time-immemorial subject.
In short, it is a slice of Jenna's life, she invents pie-recipes which are named after the events in her life. The filming of the food is luscious, only problem which has troubled me since Sunday, the tag line: "if life were as simple as pie".
Now I ask you : "is pie simple?", if it was, would not the name be universal, we would have no need words such as cheesecake, tarte, quiche, tourte.
Is a "tarte tatin" a pie? can't even establish with certainty that cake is not a pie, since some cakes seems to be pie and some are not.
So what is a pie? I've dived in the "American pie council" official site to find out. Pies have been around since about 2000 BC, Pharaohs ate pies, it took its time to arrive to our shores, as it landed in the 12th century. That is quiet a trip and when it did it was in a "coffyn", after 14 centuries that makes sense.
Pie had crust on top, when it took its top off was it still pie? It is all very confusing. And if you have got an answer, I would love to hear it.
In the meantime here is :

Tarte au citron/Lemon Pie :
Make one tart/ prep 25 minutes/ cooking time 30 minutes
It is better to use a metal tin, there is a "scientific" reason why which has got to do with water but more to the point a metal tin gets the pastry crispy, lovely.

for the pastry:
125g plain flour
pinch of salt
55g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
Mix by hand all the ingredients in a bowl until you get a ball of dough, leave it to rest until you are ready to pour the filling in.

for the filling:
150g sugar
150g unsalted melted butter
3 eggs
2 lemons


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  • To make the filling, whisk the caster sugar to the eggs until it is smooth and white.

  • Add the juice of 1 lemon, the zest and mix.

  • Melt the butter slowly and add it to the mixture (if you feel virtuous halve the amount of butter)

  • Taste and add the rest of the lemon if necessary

  • Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface, the thinner the nicer.

  • Line a normal (26 cm)size tart tin with the pastry

  • Carefully pour the filling mix into the case and bake for around 30 minutes until the filling is set

  • Keep an eye on it during the last 10 minutes allowing it to brown just a little
    Let the tart cool at room temperature

If you like Meringue, cover the cooked tarte with meringue mixture made with 2 white eggs whisked until hard, 100g of sugar, bake again on low oven till the meringue colours slightly

Waitress is out on the 10th August, more info about the film : "Waitress"

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