August 15: (Julia Child's B'day!) Lemon Meringue Pie Day
August 16: Bratwurst Day, Rum Day
August 17: Vanilla Custard Day
August 18: Soft Ice Cream Day
August 19: Potato Day, Hot & Spicy Food Day
August 20: Lemonade Day, Chocolate Pecan Pie Day, Bacon Lover's Day
August 21: Pecan Torte Day
Today's recipe comes with an opportunity for storytelling. It just so happens that I have three generations of rather humorous and disastrous Pie Incidents involving my grandmother, my mother and myself. I included those anecdotes in the family cookbook, and will share them here, too, as examples of the sort of stories you can collect and share (if the people are willing, and no one's feelings are hurt doing so).
The Pie Incidents
“The last time Mother made her lemon pie was a very memorable one. She had made the pie for Mike for his birthday, since that was his favorite. Donna sat down with her piece and took a bite. You could see her trying not to make a face. She bravely took another bite, saying nothing.
“Mike was not so subtle. ‘Mom,’ he shouted into the kitchen, ‘what did you do to this pie?’ Mother tasted it, and immediately realized that she’d forgotten the sugar. She was mortified.” (told by Sharon B.)
“Grandma is not the only member of the family to do odd things to pies. A neighbor, whose favorite pie is cherry, was treated to Mom’s own version of it. She bought canned cherries, but accidentally bought cherries that hadn’t been pitted. Jim said it was the ‘best pie he’d ever had,’ as he spit out cherry stones.
“Perhaps it runs in the family. I made a sweet potato pie for a friend who’d joined us for one Thanksgiving dinner. I asked if there was anything special I could cook for him, since he was alone for the holiday. His request was sweet potato pie.
“I didn’t have a recipe, so I got one from a book. It called for bourbon in the filling, and I had to substitute whiskey from one of those tiny airplane bottles. It baked, and baked, and baked, and ever got quite done. After it had been baking well over an hour, I took it out, thinking that was the way it was supposed to be. It wasn’t.
“We each took a bite, and the alcohol, which was supposed to cook out, had not. It was just awful! I felt awful. And Mom wonders why I don’t like to make pies…” (told by Wendy W.)
Lemon Cream Pie
1 2.9 oz. package lemon cook and serve pudding
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. water
3 eggs, separated carefully
1 baked and cooled 9” pie crust
1/3 C. sugar
Directions: Stir mix, 1/2 C. sugar, 1/4 C. water and 2 egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Stir in 2 additional cups of water. Stirring constantly with a wire whisk, cook on medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Cook 5 minutes, stirring twice. Pour into the cooked and cooled piecrust. To make the meringue: Beat three egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Gradually add 1/3 C. sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread over filling, sealing to the edge of the crust. Bake at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Cool at room temperature at least 4 hours before serving.