Sour Cream Lemon Pie

Happy Pi Day!

piPie

Thoughts Before Baking:

As you see above, today is Pi day so I decided to make a pie. I’ve been wanting to make a lemon pie, but was looking for something other than lemon meringue, as I’m not a huge fan of meringue. So I looked around on pinterest until I found this one. I had never had it before, but thought why not test it out?

The recipe comes from allrecipes.com for the crust and Bunny’s Warm Oven for the pie filling.

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Graham Cracker Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of Finely Ground Graham Crackers (~9 crackers)
  • 1/3 Cup of White Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons of Butter, Melted

Directions:

  1. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter.
  2. Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie pan.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 mins. Cool.

 

Sour Cream Lemon Pie Filling

Ingredients:

  • One 9 inch Pie Shell Baked, or 9 inch Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 3.5 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 Cup of Lemon Juice
  • 3 Egg Yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1/4 Cup of Butter
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
  • Whipped Cream for Garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, beaten egg yolks, and milk in a heavy duty metal saucepan.
  2. Stir.
  3. Cook the ingredients on medium heat, stirring constantly, until filling thickens. This takes about 10 mins.
  4. The filling will thicken and then boil. As soon as it boils remove from heat and add the butter.
  5. Stir until butter is well incorporated.
  6. Let it cool for 10 mins in the pan and then add the sour cream.
  7. Stir until incorporated.
  8. Pour filling into baked pie shell.
  9. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
  10. Garnish with whipped cream and serve.

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Thoughts After Reading:

The graham cracker crust didn’t come out right, it just fell apart. I think the next time I make it I would do a regular crust.

The filling was amazing, it was very thick and rich. Although I felt the whipped cream on top was overkill and it was better without.

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For more lemon recipes, go to Lemon Meringue Chiffon Cake

For more pies, go to With the 4th of July Comes Apple Pie

For more holiday posts, go to Cocoa M&M Cookies

For more pinterest recipes, go to Mozzarella Tomato Toast

For more desserts, go to Apple Orchard Bars

Lemon Meringue Chiffon Cake

lemon

So the title recipe of this book is Lemon Meringue Pie, something I was planning on making. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do that recipe or any other from Lemon Meringue Pie Murderso instead I decided to use this delicious recipe.

Thoughts Before Baking:

This recipe comes from a 1971 Betty Crocker cookbook. One year my sister and I made dinner and dessert for my mother’s birthday, and when I asked what cake she wanted, she said this one.

lemoncake

The picture looked great, and as I love lemon cake too, I thought this would be a winner.

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Ingredients:

Cake:

  • Betty Crocker Lemon Cake Mix

Lemon Filling:

  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Can (6 oz) Frozen Lemonade Concentrate, Thawed
  • 4 Egg Yolks, slightly Beaten

Meringue

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Grated Lemon Peel
  • 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

Directions:

Cake:

  1. Bake the lemon cake according to package directions.
  2. Split the batter to make three layers.

Filling:

  1. In a medium saucepan mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Add enough water to the lemonade concentrate to measure 2 cups.
  3. Gradually stir the lemonade into the sugar mixture.
  4. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
  5. Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Stir the remaining half into the hot mixture in saucepan.
  6. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
  7. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat; and cool completely.
  8. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the lemon filling, setting it aside.
  9. Use the rest of the lemon filling to fill the layers.

Meringue:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Beat the 4 egg whites until foamy.
  3. Beat in 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time as you continue to beat until stiff and glossy. Do not under beat
  4. Fold in 1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  5. Frost the sides and top of cake with the meringue.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown.
  7. Thin reserved filling with hot water, and spoon over cake allowing some to drizzle down the side.

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Thoughts After Baking:

This recipe is long, complicated, hot, and quite a lot of work. But you know what? It is all worth it. This cake is so delicious, once a piece passes your lips you will forget how tired you are. And how many dishes you need to wash.

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For more cakes, go to Strawberry Shortcake

For more desserts, go to Pumpkin Rice Krispies

For more recipes, go to Dinomite’s Fluffy Bites

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder

Lemon Meringue Murder (Hannah Swenson #4) by Joanne Fluke

So before I even start reviewing this piece, I thought I would point out something I noticed on the back cover:

In her third top-of-the line culinary cozy…” –Publishers Weekly

Third? Third? I guess Publishers Weekly doesn’t know how to count. This is the fourth book. It goes 1)Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

1.5) Candy for Christmas

2) Strawberry Shortcake Murder

3) Blueberry Muffin Murder

4) Lemon Meringue Murder

BacktothefutureThinkMcFlyStupid

So now to the review!

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So the winter blues have been kissed good-bye, as we now enter the summer months with the upcoming 4th of July.

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Hannah is getting ready to wear her summer slacks, when she finds out that she cannot fit in them.

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That means only one thing, a DIET

Diet

In happier news, Norman calls to let Hannah know that he bought a house! Or rather he bought the perfect land from Rhonda Scharf to build their dream house.

Wedding

While Norman is building the house they designed together, he doesn’t ask her to marry him. This tiny nugget becomes a huge part of the plot as Hannah wonders why Norman hasn’t asked her, but yet at the same time doesn’t want to be asked as she doesn’t want to get married. You know what I have to say on that?

movingOnsherlocknotinterested

Come on Hannah, Norman knows you better than you know yourself and can tell you would say no. Hearing you go on and on about it is completely boring.

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In fact I find the whole Norman-Hannah-Mike love triangle completely dumb and am over it. Please end it. I mean it is clear that Hannah and Mike are only physical and won’t work long term; just choose Norman and put us readers out of their misery.

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Later Jed and Freddy stop by Hannah’s shop. Freddy is a developmentally disabled adult and Jed is his cousin. Freddy’s parents died and Jed has been helping take care of him ever since. The two form a handyman service, one of their regular customers being The Cookie Jar. Along with being paid, Hannah always gives them some treats.

cookies

Hannah notices that Jed seems to be spending quite a bit lately. Wonder where he is getting all the dough?

HMMM

The next day Mike returns from a trip and is mad that Norman is building a house for Hannah and that Norman proposed. All I can say Mike, if you weren’t such a rover maybe you would have the sense to ask Hannah yourself.

But the problem is, you just can’t give up other girls. But Hannah still likes this dude, and assures him she is engagement free. Mike is pleased and tells her “I don’t want to change anything. Everything’s great just the way it is.” Great for who? You. And with that attitude you can’t blame Norman for being a man and trying to move the relationship forward. But enough on that stupid drama.

movingOnsherlocknotinterested

Oh yeah, so in this mystery Hannah says that her pies are something she changes up every week. Pie? Funny that was never mentioned in the previous books. And it won’t be mentioned again, until Key Lime Murder.

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So Norman, Delores Swenson (Hannah’s mom), and Hannah head out to the Rhonda’s house so Delores can pick over any pieces she wants for her antique shop before the wrecking balls destroy it.

When they get into the house they discover one of Hannah’s pies covered in ants. She also notices two takeout containers with osso buco. And inside the house are two wineglasses and a Chianti bottle. Sounds like someone had a party.

While Hannah and Norman are clearing things upstairs, Delores heads down to the basement and discovers a dead body, Rhonda’s.

AAAAHHHHH

So Hannah reassures everyone that she will not be investigating.

notbelievingyouyeahright

Whatever Hannah, you know you can’t help but put your nose into everything.

So while Hannah is “determined” to stay out of it, Delores wants to investigate, and urges Hannah to join her team.

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Hannah tracks down who purchased her pies, three going to Claire who owns the boutique next to The Cookie Jar. There she discovers that Claire gave Rhonda one of her pies, and that Claire is dating the Reverend.

movingOnsherlocknotinterested

Later, after catering and other duties, Hannah returns to The Cookie Jar where she runs into Jed and Freddy, looking to get paid for their hard work. Through some very clunky, (and bad), exposition, we find out that Jed used to be in prison. He was supposedly only an outside contractor, and received a huge check which allows him to buy all these things he has been purchasing lately.

coincidenceithinknot

Hannah and Mike meet up that evening for dinner. They talk about the case which then leads into a discussion on Freddy and Jed. Hannah doesn’t like Jed as he introduces “ideas Freddy can’t handle.” Like buying a new truck or getting interested in girls.

Oh no Hannah, the horror! Freddy likes a new truck and will be riding around in it. Next thing you know he will be getting involved in drugs and end up in jail.

seriously

 And girls? Developmentally disabled people can get married and do regularly. Obviously Fluke doesn’t know anyone developmentally disabled. Although we really know why this is introduced, Fluke wants to establish Jed as the villian and killer.

seriously

SPOILER, you say? As soon as they announced Jed used to be in jail it is clear that he is being set up as the murderer. Totally obvious.

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Hannah then goes on the trail of the osso buco, trying to find out who Rhonda’s boyfriend was. One person who ordered take out was the Reverend, Hannah goes over to talk to Claire and finds out that he brought dinner for their night out. She also is told by Claire that Claire wants to be the Reverend’s wife. The only thing stopping her? She doesn’t know how to read sheet music or play the organ.

really?

Now it is things like this that really makes me question whether Fluke is living in the present time. This book is published in 2003, not 1962. Most churches do not have an organ anymore, they have switched to pianos or keyboards. And if they do have an organist, they hire someone. It is not a requirement for a minister’s wife. And how should I know such things? From experience, I’m a minister’s daughter.

Icannotstandmorons_Laura

Hannah does manage to track down Rhonda’s boyfriend, figuring out that it is the high school principal. He apparently went there to break it off, not staying very long and Rhonda very much alive when he left. So it it wasn’t the boyfriend? Then who is the murderer.

Freddy comes by The Cookie Jar the next day. He drops off a surprise for Jed, that he “lost” in the trash. Hannah agrees to hold it, once again being clunky thrown in.

its-so-obvious-captain-obvious

As Hannah is investigating, another mystery crops up. Old bills from a bank robbery about 30 years ago have resurfaced. Who could be behind it? Is it connected to Rhonda’s death?

Hannah returns to Rhonda’s old house and takes some photographs in the basement. When they look at them again they discover that there is something wrong with the jam jars. They are not organized as they should be, with the jam on the wrong shelves. That means someone was over there and there must be something important there.

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There is also this moment when Andrea is planning on making red, white, & blue jello; but in the end can’t as they don’t make blue jello. I distinctly remember eating it when I was a child, and when I looked it up blue jello was invented in 1992. Andrea totally should have been able to buy it.

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Hannah gets caught up in a storm and finds herself at Beatrice’s and Ted’s apartment complex, the place that Rhonda rented from. Hannah comes in to call and let her family know she is safe. Beatrice offers to give her Rhonda’s clothes. Hannah uses that time to snoop and discovers a letter to Rhonda’s great-aunt.

The letter is from a prison inmate, Speedy. He talks about a treasure hunt they would go on and her peach jam.

suspicious Hmm

The 4th of July comes and everything seems great. That is until they find a bludgeoned Freddy. Luckily they get him to the hospital in time. There Freddy is in a coma, but will be brought out. Jed is disheartened, and Hannah tries to cheer him up telling him about Freddy’s surprise.

Hannah heads to the bakery the next morning to work on some dough. As she does she starts thinking about the note, Rhonda, etc and puts it all together. Speedy hid the money in Rhonda’s house, the one that used to belong to her aunt. Rhonda found it when she was cleaning things out. From there Jed found it and is the murderer as he he is spending a ton of money.

gotthis

To me that seems like an awfully big leap.

thatwasclose

Jed comes to get the “surprise”, but Hannah manages to beat him to it. He then locks her in her cooler. He admits it all, just as Hannah figured it out. Hannah tries to get out, becoming some super electrician and figuring the right wire to cut that will make someone investigate. How does she know such complex things?

What?

At least when Nancy Drew did it, she always explained where she got such knowledge from, and how she has done it before. Not just a casual conversation with her father 20 years ago.

seriously

In the end Lisa and Herb get engaged and Hannah discovers she switched pants with Andrea. She never had to diet after all.

oopsmybad

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Thoughts After Reading:

As you can tell I didn’t really care for this mystery. There were a lot of plot pieces left out, such as how Jed figured out about the money. And some things didn’t make any sense. To be completely honest, to me it seemed like a slapped together, overly complicated mystery.

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For more Hannah Swenson mysteries, go to Blueberry Muffin Murder

For more midwestern mysteries, go to Thorns of Rosewood

For more reviews, go to The Princess Plot