This lemon pastry cream pie is a true Italian classic and a real treat. I used Maestro Massari’s skim shortcrust and the recipe for pastry cream that is suitable for baking. The pie itself is delicate, dense, sweet at the right point. Garnished with sour fruit such as blueberries, strawberries or raspberries that go perfectly with lemon pastry cream.
Lemon shortcrust pastry
Place flour, sugar, lemon zest and soft butter in a kitchen robot with blade attachment and blend until you get a sand-like texture. Otherwise grate cold butter on a grater with wide holes and incorporate it with your hands into the flour mix.
Add egg and work briefly until all the ingredients are combined. Wrap in plastic wrap, or if you try to save the Earth from the futile plastic, place it in a small container with a lid, and place the pastry in the refrigerator for a minimum of half an hour. I let it rest for 3 hours.
Instructions for lemon pastry cream perfect for baking
Heat milk together with lemon peel over low heat. Remove the white part from the peel otherwise the cream will become bitter.
Once the milk is hot, turn off the heat and leave to infuse for at least half an hour.
In a bowl suitable for cooking over water bath mix eggs, cornstarch and sugar then set aside.
Heat the milk again. Pour it into the egg mixture through a sieve and discard the lemon peel. Mix and place the bowl over a pan filled with boiling water to cook the cream over water bath.
The container with the egg mixture must not touch the surface of the boiling water. At the beginning stir often to ensure that there are no lumbs and towards the end of cooking stir continuously using the whisk. Cook over the water bath until the cream becomes thick and shiny. It takes some time so be patient.
If you are having some hard times to get your cream thick that’s because it doesn’t get enough temperature. That happens when the bowl that you are using is too small and there is not enough heat in the bottom or because it is too wide and the cream surface is too big to get hot evenly. If you have this problem just place a lid over the bowl with the mixture for 15 – 30 seconds for a couple of times. That will rise the temperature of the cream and it will get thick but be careful this method can cause lumps so remember to whisk every time.
This type of cream should be cool down quickly to make sure no lumps appear. Prepare a container full of lukewarm water (to avoid thermal shock) which then you will replace by very cold water. To make the job easier, I simply used the kitchen sink filled with water.
Move the bowl in lukewarm water and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Mix and only now add vanilla extract. Change the cooling water into very cold water and let your custard rest until it is completely cold. Meanwhile, remember to cover the surface of the cream with the plastic wrap to avoid creating the dense part.
This lemon custard should be used immediately otherwise it should be stored in the refrigerator and used during short period of time.
Instructions lemon pastry cream pie
Take the pastry from the refrigerator. Cut one third and set aside to create the decorations.
Meanwhile, roll the dough to a thickness of about 3 mm helping yourself with some flour if necessary. Roll up the rolling pin and move over a round tart pan about 22 cm wide. Use your fingertips to make it stick to the pan and cut out the excess dough.
Prick the bottom with a fork and add cold pastry cream.
Roll out the rest of the remaining pasrty dough and make decorations to your liking.
Bake your lemon pastry cream pie in a preheated oven at 180 °C. First bake in the lower part of the oven for 20 minutes, then move the pan into the central shelf and continue cooking for another 8 minutes or so.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving, decorate with fresh fruit and a few mint leaves. This lemon pastry cream pie must be kept in the refrigerator.
lot of love. B.
p.s. If you love pastry cream maybe you should also try my Coffee custard pie.