It’s February in SF and I am cold.
I know there are people out there who are living in climates that are dealing with real winters. Real winters that involve shoveling snow. Real winters involving snow chains and parkas and negative degrees.
It’s about 55 degrees in San Francisco and I’m cold. I sit in my house and rock my animal knit hat. Not ashamed, just cold. (Thanks Jason H. for my KnitWit!)
On the other hand, the hubby LOVES this weather. He rocks the SF uniform that involves jeans, a t-shirt, and Northface fleece. He can still sleep in a t-shirt, while I opt to rock the Northface fleece IN BED… because I’m that cold. Yes, I am a wuss. A wuss in a knitted giraffe hat. Again, not ashamed.
A Little Bit of Summer in Winter
When I think of summer, I think of lemons. I think it’s because lemons are in a lovely, happy shade of yellow. They’re… er, round like the sun? No? Sweet or tart like summer? No? Okay, well anyway lemons make me think of summer.
So… why not add a bit of summer in the midst of the cold? Why not make some lemon ice box pie? Just typing pie makes me happy and warm. Even though I did just write “ice box” and that doesn’t really lead one to think of warmth.
There’s a bunch of recipes out there that are variations of this, but this has been my tried and true. I credit Ms. Lynne R., a former co-worker and lovely friend, for sharing this recipe with me.
Lemon Ice Box Pie (with Vanilla Wafer Crust!)
WARNING: You will be making crust AND meringue! I swear, this is easy!
Make sure you have time… the crust needs to be refrigerated overnight. Also, after the pie is baked (15 min.), it’s another 5 hours to chill. It’s easy, but will definitely take some time!
- 3/4 cup real lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
- 1 can Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
- 4 eggs, separated (toss out 1 yolk)
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 6 Tbl of white sugar
- 3/4 box of Nabisco Vanilla Wafers (*if you don’t have time to make the crust, feel free to use a pre-made graham cracker crust)
1. THE CRUST: Put the wafers in a zip-lock bag and start crushing them with a rolling pin. We usually do a few wafers at a time. Roll them out or use the back of the roller. Crush them well!
3. Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat. Once melted, add the butter to the wafers. Stir until the wafers are well coated. Pour into a pie pan. Shape it into a crust and then refrigerate overnight. Bye-bye pie, see you tomorrow!
4. THE FILLING: Separate your eggs. Keep the egg whites in a bowl. Beat the egg yolks in another bowl and set aside.
10. Once the meringue is “peaky”, carefully place the meringue on top of the filling with large spoonfuls or use a cake knife to shape peaks. Meringue is a finicky friend. Some days you’ll have great peaks… today was not a peaky day…
It’s easy. It’s lemony. It’s a little bit of summer during your winter.
P.S. Don’t forget Pi(e) Approximation Day (March 17th) is coming… Great time to try a new pie recipe! 😀