People who love sausage and people who believe in justice should never watch either of them being made. — Otto von Bismarck
Sometimes it’s best not to know what you’re eating. I wouldn’t be a calamari convert had I been able to read the menu that sunny day in Greece. Having stumbled upon wonderful foods with suspect ingredients, I’m all for bucking the trend to name dishes with long, convoluted descriptions. It’s time to adopt cryptic titles and leave a little mystery in the meals we serve our fussy loved ones.
It won’t kill them, and I’m living proof. For years my devious mother served lapin stew. Wisely, she stopped when we began French lessons in school. But had we so much as suspected we were eating rabbit – or Peter Rabbit to our juvenile minds — her lapin dinners would have been as successful as Dad’s venture into green eggs.
Segueing neatly to a recipe, my grandfather had a hate on for condensed milk. Being stationed overseas during World War II, this gooey tinned affair was the only option for coffee or tea, and he grew to loathe it. When he returned from the war, my grandmother quietly decided what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him, and continued to make his favorite lemon pie. Its main ingredient, of course, was condensed milk.
Note: This recipe calls for CONDENSED milk, not evaporated milk. Even though they both come in a can, evaporated milk won’t work. Trust me, it’s been tried and the results weren’t pretty.
Don’t Ask Lemon Pie
- 8″ baked pastry shell
- 15 oz can sweetened condensed milk (low fat is fine)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon rind
- 2 egg yolks
- Combine condensed milk, lemon juice, rind and yolks.
- Pour filling into baked pie shell.
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 2 egg whites
- 4 tbsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Whip whites with cream of tartar, adding sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Whip until stiff peaks form.
- Pile meringue on top of pie and bake 15 minutes at 325F. The meringue should be golden.
- Make with lime juice and rind for a Key Lime Pie.
- Make with a graham crust instead of pastry.
- For Lemon Snow Parfait: Omit crust. Gently fold meringue into pie filling. Layer lemon filling in a dish with lemon wafers or graham crackers. Refrigerate overnight.