New Quilt top and Lemon Pie

I bought another quilt top (1890 -1910)   It is red and green and in great shape.  There is some fading in the fabrics but nothing that I feel detracts for the overall.  I will have to be sure to give myself time to get this one done by Christmas.  Here are some pictures (click to enlarge)

I spent a good bit of the day in the garden.  It was a very hard winter and there was a lot of dieback to prune out.  The roses were hit hard and a few of the huge climbing roses had to be cut down to only a few feet.  I hope we don’t have a winter like that again soon.

I also made a Shaker Lemon Pie today.


The story goes that the Shakers did not want to waste anything they bought  and lemons had to be purchased.  They didn’t want any of the lemon to go into the trash so the pie contains the entire lemon peel and all.

It reminds me of marmalade and I think it is great.


Traditional Shaker Lemon Pie
2 lemons

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

Double crust pie dough (recipe below)

Slice the lemons as thin as you can and remove any seeds.  place the lemon slices in a bowl and mix with the sugar and let stand at room temperature over night.

The next day

beat the 4 eggs and blend into the lemon and sugar mixture

pour into pie crust

top with second crust and seal the edges. Cut a few slits in the top crust, brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar

bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes lower oven temperature to 375 and bake an additional 25 minutes…pie is done when a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean.

I am one who doesn’t believe in power tools for pie crust.   Pie crust made in a food processor will never be as light and tender as it is when made by hand. The food processor makes it much too easy to over mix and form a tough dough.  It only takes me 10 min to mix up a pie dough and roll it out…it takes longer for me to get out the food processor and then clean it when I am done.   The other thing about pie crust that if made correctly there is no need to refrigerate it unless you don’t plan to use it right away.   If you watch the TV cooks make it (in the food processor) they form it into a ball and then refrigerate several hours, and then roll it out and then refrigerate it again before baking.  This is not a necessary step  unless your kitchen is extremely hot.

People have been taught by TV cooks to be afraid of making pie crust  and that is a shame because it is easy….that being said you can use a purchased crust and I won’t report you to the pie police or Martha Stewart.  My recipe uses butter…years ago I always used Crisco because the know it all nutritionists at the time told us that butter is so bad for you.  They actually recommended vegetable shortening as a healthy alternative. Many years later we find out that trans fats in vegetable shortening and margarine were much more harmful than the real butter ever could be.  I must add that the most flakey crust is made with lard…. but I’m not sure everyone is ready for that yet….and butter does give great flavor.

Pie Crust

1 cup butter (cold and cut into cubes)

add 1/2 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups flour

cold water

measure flour into a mixing bowl add the butter cubes and with a pastry blender cut the butter into the flour until the butter is in small pieces the size of small peas.

sprinkle on 4 tablespoons of cold water and using a fork mix in the water, add more water one tablespoon at a time until the dough just begins to come together but is still somewhat crumbly.   Be very careful not to over mix the dough, over mixing develops gluten and makes a tough dough.

Turn the mix out onto a floured surface and knead a few times to form a ball of dough…cut the ball in half….form the halves into discs roll out one for the bottom crust on a floured surface. Use your pie pan as a measure to see if it is rolled out enough. The dough should be a few inches larger than the pie pan.   Line the pie pan with the dough…fill and then roll out the top crust…place the top curst on the pie and cut off excess, seal the edges and bake according to recipe

I am done with he outside work for the day so I think it is time to relax and quilt!

Happy quilting




19 thoughts on “New Quilt top and Lemon Pie

  1. janet6139 says:

    Oh my Tim this looks absolutely delicious! I use half lard and half butter for pastry. If it wasn’t Mothers’ Day I would make this today ;-)))

    • timquilts says:

      Wow! I will have to give the half and half a try….great Idea…thanks!

      • Kristen says:

        That’s what I use — half and half. I also use the Jeffrey Steingarten method of, once the fats are cut into medium bits, using my fingers to finish the job, picking up the bit and rubbing them into the flour until the mixture is a mix of bit sizes, from really small to actual pea-size. The slight unevenness in the sizes promotes flakiness.

  2. katechiconi says:

    There are some very beautiful red fabrics in that quilt, and it would make a perfect Christmas project, wouldn’t it?

  3. Diane says:

    We too had a horrible winter here in central Iowa. Every day I go out and trim, cut back, or replace trees, Bush’s, and perennials. So sad. its finally warmed up enough that I turned the furnace of yesterday. The wind blows incessantly. Since we are out in the country the field have a cement like crust that becomes sand like when the wind blows like this and cuts all the emerging plants including our crops.all we can do is stand and watch another years crop get beat to hell.

  4. mehitabel says:

    I had some “real” Shaker lemon pie at Canterbury Shaker Village a few years back–really delicious and refreshing on a hot day. Thinking of it reminds me of that beautiful setting with big white buildings and greenery all around. Quite a contrast to my sun-baked, parched surrounduings! It will be fun to see what you do with the quilt, too!

  5. Kristen says:

    That quilt top is extraordinary, I’ve never seen one even similar to it from that era — those fabrics are exceptional. Um, you can tell I like it.

  6. Barbara Wellman says:

    Thank you! I love that someone else uses butter and not the imitation junk! Love butter and lard crust. I’m glad I’m no longer the only person I know who thinks from scratch it not a death sentence. Have a great weekend and keep the beautiful quilts coming.

  7. Sara says:

    Baker and quilter! Too many talents, I thought maybe the brownie was a fluke, but then the pie! I am a believer! 🙂

  8. Kathi Schaffer says:

    Oh, Tim!!! This post brought back so many sweet old memories! I learned to make pie crust from my German grandmother who came to this country from Austria when she was 16. She started out as a maid but worked her way up the “Downstairs” ladder until she became the cook. Like the ladies above, she used (and, of course, I do now also) 1/2 butter (for the flavor) and 1/2 lard or Crisco ( for flakiness) but she also added egg. Her dough tasted almost like a rich buttery, but flaky cookie. And like you, she never refrigerated her dough ; it was mixed (by hand of course — there were no food processors at the turn of the century) and rolled it right out. I do sometimes chill my dough, but usually only if I’m actually doing the baking the next day.
    Mastering Gramma’s crust was a sort of right of passage; there was no recipe, her granddaughters had to learned by watching her and learning what the dough was supposed to “feel like” at any point in the process). Just as I felt I was “getting the touch”, I moved to the Albany area and was so close to many Shaker communities ( Albany, Watervliet, Hancock, etc) . That was when I first learned about Shaker Lemon pie. I made it often for my Dad – a huge marmalade lover. He often said it just didn’t get better than Shaker Lemon Pie.
    Thanks for a sweet reminder of some lovely times.

    • timquilts says:

      …I can just see your Grandma making crust and you at her side watching and learning….wonderful too that you were able to make a favorite pie for your Dad. I think that food can be a real family tie and bring people together …just wonderful that you have such great memories…and thanks for sharing them!….


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