I’m trying really hard to be healthy, y’all, I really am. I’ve been going to the gym six times a week, playing volleyball and starting tennis, and trying my best to eat healthy and avoid saturated fat and excess sugar. Pretty good, right?
But sometimes, temptation falls right into your lap. I knew Valentine’s Day was going to be tough last month, but I figured I could avoid all the chocolate if I really tried. What I was not expecting, however, was for my man to get me the spring edition of Joanna Gaines’ magazine as a V-Day present.
Now, while this has resulted in a number of good things – including my undying love for him and an inspiration to clean out and simplify our closet – it’s also resulted in the ultimate evil: having dessert laying around the house.
The last time I made one of Joanna’s recipes was for my very first blog post, and it’s still one of my most popular posts. It’s no wonder – that apple pie is freakin’ good! So when I saw that she had put her lemon pie recipe in the magazine, I just knew I had to try it.
I’ve never made a custard pie before, but I kind of knew what I was doing. By that I mean that I’ve been marathoning The Great British Baking Show, and they made custard pies on one episode, so I was basically a pro. I knew that it was pretty easy to mess up, and that Mary Berry herself would probably be disappointed in me. It was daunting.
Nevertheless, I persisted.
Not only did I try it, I baked my own crust. If you read my apple pie recipe, you know how lazy and poor I can be sometimes. This means that you’ll very rarely find me making things like pie crusts from scratch. However, this pie called for a graham cracker crust (which is so much easier than a pastry crust), and I had some graham crackers that were about to go stale, so I figured I’d try it. Not only did it work, but the whole pie was so much easier than I expected! Joanna Gaines is basically the Ina Garten alternative that we’ve all been longing for. She’s got the perfectly curated life with the fancy-sounding recipes, but they’re actually not hard to make at all. Really if you’ve got some patience and are attentive to detail, you’ll be able to make this in no time.
The key to this pie is getting the amounts of ingredients right. Too much liquid, and the custard won’t set. Too little, and it’ll be a solid mess. Too much lemon can overpower it, but since the lemon is the only real flavor, you definitely don’t want too little. By the time you’re finished, the final product is the result of the perfect blending of all the ingredients. It’s definitely a creation to be proud of!
I definitely recommend giving this pie a shot, especially today – it’s pi(e) day! (March 14th, or 3.14 if you’re not familiar.) You could check your local pizza and pie shops to see if they’re offering any specials to celebrate, OR you could unleash your inner Joanna Gaines and make this pie. Personally, I’m going to do both. If you haven’t picked up a copy of the spring Magnolia Journal yet, run out and get it right now so you can read it while you eat pie instead of working on your summer body. Shhh…I won’t tell, since I’ll be right there with you!
Joanna Gaines' Lemon Pie
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 20-25)
- 6 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
For the filling
- 3 cups sweetened condensed milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Stir well to combine, then press into the bottom of a 9-inch round pie dish. Bake for 8 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, combine the filling ingredients in another bowl and beat on medium speed for 4-5 minutes. Pour into the prepared pie crust and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the stovetop for 30 minutes, then chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Top with whipped cream once cool, and enjoy!
- You can find the original of this recipe in the spring issue of Magnolia Journal. It's also on Joanna Gaines' blog, but getting the magazine is definitely worth it!