A flash back to the 50’s, this Sunshine pie was the best ever dessert coming out of our home kitchen.
Those were the days when low fat wasn’t in our vocabulary of course. That aside, savoring an indulgence now and again is after all Â the spice of life is it not!
I’ve transcribed my mother’s hand written recipe which was given to her by her friend Marie Persons who was in the horse business who also happened to be a wonderful chef as well as a home cook. She prepared copious meals that even impressed a young lad like me. The recipe has since been passed down over time and is still a favorite family recipe with many fond memories of when it was served for various occasions to everyone’s great delight.Â
“Sunshine” Lemon Cheese PieÂ makes one 12 inch pie
For the crust:
- 20 Graham crackers or sugar biscuits (I used Digestive biscuits)
- 6 tablespoons/3 oz butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Crush the crackers in a bowl. Add the melted butter and sugar and stir until completely combined.
Press the cracker crust mixture into the pie plate and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For the pie filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 organic egg
- Â½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
preheat the oven to 350f/180c
Cut the softened cream cheese into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl combine the egg, sugar and flour and whisk until smooth.
Add the egg mixture to the cream cheese and whisk together until completely smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and whisk until incorporated.
Place the milk and butter in a small sauce pan and warm over low heat until the butter is just melted. Whisk the milk and butter mixture and add it to the cream cheese mixture. Whisk until the filling is completely smooth and creamy.
Remove the chilled pie crust from the refrigerator and pour the pie filling into the crust. Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 1 hour. The filling will appear loose, but it will firm up as the filling cools.
Preheat the oven to 400f/200c
For the topping:
- 2 cups sour cream
- Â½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine the sour cream sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until completely smooth. Pour the topping mixture over the surface of the pie and gently giggle the pie plate to even out the surface.
Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the refrigerator for several hours before serving.
- Candied lemon peel (optional)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1Â½ cups water
Using a vegetable peeler remove the zest from a fresh lemon from stem to stern. Be sure to avoid peeling too deeply as you do not want any white pith included with the zest.
Using a very sharp knife slice the zest into very thin strips. Then divide the strips in half.
Place the zest in a small sauce pan and add the sugar and water. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a low boil and cook, swirling the pan from time to time, until the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup and the zest is softened and translucent.
Transfer the zest to a plate lined with parchment, separating the zest as much as possible. Set aside to cool completely.
When ready to serve remove the pie from the refrigerator and decorate the surface of the pie with the candied lemon zest.