Citrus Shaker Pies

And now, a pair of citrus shakers from last weekend’s baking project. Yet another one of those birthdays rolled around, and so to celebrate I made two different kinds of pies, with two different kinds of crusts and two different kinds or citrus. April is birthday month around my household; there’s almost a birthday and a birthday cake for every week. It was nice to get back to making pies for a while, and for my own birthday, I couldn’t think of anything I wanted more than something citrus-y.

The cheerful yellow number is a lime shaker with an all butter crust, while the lovely green goodie is a honey and calamansi shaker with a salted shortbread crust. Both are flavorful and bright, the calamansi shaker being a little brighter and sweeter, while the lime shaker is stronger and carries just a bit of bitterness from its rind. They may be had plain or dressed up with some white chocolate whip cream or rich vanilla ice cream.

As for turning a year older, well, I haven’t put much thought into it. I’m 31 years old now, and despite all the “Wala ka na sa kalendaryo!” (“You’re falling off the calendar!”) jokes I’ve had to endure from various relatives, I feel okay. Then again I don’t think I’ve ever been uncomfortable with the idea of getting older; I simply see it as a way of turning into the cranky old lady I was destined to be. But that’s not for a while. So far, this year has been a good, a little busy and fun. I welcome the rest of it. Especially if it gives me more reasons to keep baking.

Lime Shaker Pie with All-Butter Bottom Crust

For the bottom crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
1/2 cup / one stick of butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
4-5 tbs ice cold water
1 tbs lemon juice or vinegar

For the citrus filling:
4 limes
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup / 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Prep your citrus. Wash limes well. Fully zest and remove all the rind around all the limes. Use a mandoline, slicer or a sharp knife to slice the limes very thinly. Remove seeds and discard the ends. Combine lime slices, zest, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Stir well and make sure all lime slices are coated. Cover and allow to sit (at room temperature) for at least one hour to overnight.

Make your bottom crust. Combine butter (cubed for easier handling) and mix in 2/3rds of the flour, salt, sugar and water. Work until no dry flour remains and the dough is clumpy. Add vinegar or lemon juice. Sprinkle the remaining flour and work until all the flour is incorporated. Roll into ball. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Roll and place in two well-greased and floured 5×2 pie pans or a 9×2 inch pie pan. Trim and crimp edges. Put aside the dough that you trim off for shaping if you want to create small butter crust pieces for your topping. Lightly brush your crust with egg. Preheat oven to 176ºC/350ºF. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside to cool before using.

Make the filling. whisk together eggs, flour and butter until well-blended. Stir mixture into the lime and sugar.

Assemble and bake! Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Fill crust/s with the lime mixture. Bake for another 40 to 50 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust a deeper golden brown. Transfer the pie/s to a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Honey+Calamansi Shaker Pie with Salted Shortbead Crust

For the crust:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter plus 1 tbsp, cut into 1 inch cubes
2/3 cup powdered sugar

Filling:
1/4 cup calamansi juice
10 whole calamansi peels
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
5 tbsp honey
4 large eggs
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Make your shortbread crust. Lightly grease two 5×2 inch pie pans or a 9×2 inch pie pan. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt in a bowl and set aside. Combine butter (cubed for easier handling), powdered sugar and flour mixture. Work until mixture looks pebbly. The dough won’t come together completely. Dump the dough into prepared pan/s. Press evenly onto the bottom and sides. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 176ºC/350ºF. Bake crust until edges for 20-25 minutes or until crust has just started to brown.

Make your filling. Combine juice, whole calamansi peels, sugar and honey in a blender. Blend well. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, flour, cornstarch and salt. Make sure there are no lumps. Stir in calamansi juice mixture. Whisk until smooth.

Assemble and bake! Preheat oven to 176ºC/350ºF. Fill crust/s with filling. Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until filling is set. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

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