Canaille - French. trickster, prankster, mischievous.
You want easy? I mean, my kids can cook it without supervision easy. This pie has been a lifesaver for me numerous times. You can prep it in 5 minutes and then throw it in the oven for 45 minutes, and you're done. While it's baking, take a shower, and all get dolled up for the night. This isn’t just any dessert; it's a dessert that everyone will rave about and beg you for the recipe. Don’t give it to them! You will ruin the mirage as that person who can do everything. Imagine those ladies snickering in the corner about how you must be on something, because "how can she work and then show up looking like it took hours for her to get ready all with a home-baked dessert in her hand." This pie will enrage your haters. As the great Keith Frank says...
This pie is sweet and sour like the child I make it for. My Evye is my very spirited one and the definition of what we Cajuns call canaille (commonly used to describe a child who is precocious and mischievous). Oh, my Evye came into this world exactly as she lives it - full tilt! We thought we would have hours at the hospital till she made her debut. Evye had other plans. I didn't even really have to push. The doctor ran up and caught her with only a second to spare. They wrapped her up and placed her in the thing that looks like the chicken warmer at Popeye's. I noticed this young nurse calling over the elder nurse and telling her that the baby was following her. The elder nurse told her this was impossible and proceeded to walk around the baby warmer. The whole time Evye's eyes followed her. That nurse looked at the other nurse and said, “babies shouldn't do that - pray over this one.” She shook her head and left the room. I never saw her again. I finally got settled in the recovery room, and as I was gently nodding off to sleep, the door swung open and in came a nurse with my sweet newborn girl. I was informed that Evye was to stay with me because she was disturbing the other babies in the nursery. In short, she had been 86’ed from the nursery. I swear when I looked down at that sweet little face I saw a twinkle in her eye and the beginning of the sly smile Evye is now famous for.
I’m sure for most parents this may have been disturbing and her giant spirit would be a little scary to deal with. But, I knew who she was the day she was born - she was me, but better. We bonded immediately. I knew Evye would only let me do things for her till her physical deterrents faded and she could be free. She started walking at 9 months and running by 10. She weaned and potty trained herself. She stopped asking for help completely by the time she was one. If she needed something she was damn well going to find a way to get it. Now Evye is tiny. Almost always the smallest in her class. For some kids, this would make them less confident. Not Evye. She figured out that this kept her at baby status longer and boy did she take advantage of all these grown-ups thinking she was just this sweet, tiny, weak, little thing. I remember watching her notice someone with something she wanted. She would toddle over and flash a big ole grin and just stare at the item she desired. The adult would always say "oh do you want this? Here honey, have it.” Even if it was a toy that their older child was playing with. Then she would slowly turn and look at me and that twinkle in the eye would appear and that sly grin would spread across her face. I knew then - oh lord watch out world. She’s coming and we may all be in trouble.
I could write stories about Evye all day. The time the lady at Wal-Mart said “Hey lady, your baby is naked” and all I saw was a tiny butt and pink converse run by. Or the time she sold out of girl scout cookies by yelling “Support female businesses" and "do you just hate children” to all passersby. Her antics are endless. So I’ll end this with these words. Evye is sly, precocious and way too smart for her own good but beneath all that she is a caring, sweet, soul. She doesn’t like to show it but I can see it when she feels anyone she loves is hurt or threatened. The fire in her eyes lets you know. She may be a handful but she would take down anyone who hurt her people. Just like this pie, she can be sweet and sour but everyone is happy to see her because she brings a little bit of happiness everywhere she goes.
Now the recipe, when I found this I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t make it for months because I didn’t believe it could be true. I was wrong y’all - dead wrong. I evaded the question about how to make this pie for years. I didn’t want my secret getting out. I loved holding the power of looking like the Cajun Martha Stewart. Okay, Cajun Martha Stewart maybe too far. I have been known to fry chicken in an old cut up t-shirt and two left foot mocassins (hey, they were on clearance, and can you really tell with moccasins?), I am pretty certain the Martha would not approve of such behavior.
The ingredients are literally just 5. Lemons, butter, sugar, eggs, and a pie shell. I only have two points with the ingredients. Try if you can to get a juicy lemon. Now if that's an impossibility you will have to get more than one to get the juice you need to liquefy the ingredients. Also, try to get a thinner skinned lemon. If you get a lemon with too much pith (the white part) it will make the pie bitter. The pie shell in this recipe is store bought because I wanted to make this as simple as possible. Of course, if you have the time or energy a homemade crust it would take this pie to the next level. Homemade crusts actually don’t take that long but if your not an experienced baker don’t worry about it. I mean if anybody complains about the store bought crust just rip that pie out of their hands and in your loudest soup nazi voice yell “No pie for you!”
Okay, let's get to pie making. Here is the hardest part. Slice the ends of the lemon and cut into 8 pieces. Now, this is the most important part - remove all the seeds. Take your time here. I use a toothpick and just pluck them out.If you notice at this point that the pith is very thick you will have to take the extra step of removing as much as you can. I have only had to do this once.
Place lemon pieces in the blender and liquefy them. This is where you may need some extra lemon juice or in a pinch, a tiny bit of water to help the process along.
Once they are liquefied add the room temp butter, sugar and eggs. Blend till everything is blended. Pour into your pie shell and place on the middle rack in the preheated 350 degree oven.
Bake for 45-50 minutes. I check at about the 35 minute mark if the top is browning to fast I gently cover the pie with some foil to slow down the process.
Check to see if its springy to the touch, light touch here. If you push too hard your finger will be covered by molten lemon lava. Yummy but painful. Remove from the oven and let it cool so it will set. About 15-20 minutes.
That's it, you're done. I like to put it in the fridge to really set it so it slices easy. Serve with powdered sugar or whip cream if you want to be extra fancy.
1 lemon, washed
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter at room temp
1 pie shell
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Remove ends of lemon and cut into 8 pieces
Remove all seeds from lemon pieces
Put lemon in the blender and liquefy. Add additional lemon juice or water to help liquefy, if necessary. Some lemons don’t have very much juice in them.
Add sugar, eggs, and butter. Blend till thoroughly combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pie shell
Place in oven on middle rack and bake for 45-50 minutes. (I check around 35 minutes and if the top is browning too fast I loosely cover with foil.
Once done, remove from oven and let cool till set. About 15-20 minutes. Once cool I like to place in the fridge till it's time to serve to really set it so it slices easier.
Slice and serve. Top with powdered sugar or whipped cream if you so desire.