Flip open her new cookbook, Magnolia Table, and you'll quickly find that Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines can navigate her way around the kitchen just as expertly as she does a construction site or wall of shiplap. Her homey—yet elegant—lemon pie does away with a finicky pastry crust and instead asks you to simply press graham cracker crumbs into a pie dish, while the filling replaces a typically complicated custard with a mixture you can beat together in just one bowl. It's the ideal dessert for gathering around the table—even one that wasn't designed by Gaines herself.
Lemon PieExcerpted from 'Magnolia Table,' by Joanna Gaines. Reprinted with permission from William Morrow, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Yield: One 9-inch pie
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 1½ hours cooling time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes, plus 1½ hours cooling time
Vegetable oil spray
1½ cups crushed graham crackers (from about 27 squares)
⅓ cup sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
3 cups sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
⅔ cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)
Pinch of sea salt
Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grated lemon zest
1. To make the lemon pie: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with vegetable oil.
2. In a large bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers and ⅓ cup of the sugar and stir to blend. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press the cracker mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie plate. Bake until firm, about 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer), beat the condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt on medium speed for 4 minutes.
4. Pour the mixture into the baked pie crust. Return to the oven and bake until the center is set when the pan is gently nudged, about 10 minutes.
5. Cool the pie on a rack for 30 minutes. Place in the refrigerator until set, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
6. Just before serving, make the whipped cream topping: In a medium bowl, with a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla on high speed until fluffy and the cream holds a soft peak when you pull the beater out of the bowl.
7. Spread the cream on the cooled pie. Garnish with fresh lemon slices, a sprinkle of lemon zest, and mint sprigs.
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