Lemon Chiffon Pie with Pretzel Crust

I feel like I shouldn’t even have to write something to try to convince you to make this pie. The name and picture should be doing all the work for me. But if you still need more convincing, here we go…

I was recently looking around online for recommendations for a new cookbook since, believe it or not, I was getting bored with my collection. I came across a post of the top 10 cookbooks of the year and read a review about “Best of the Best: Volume 14“, part of a series of books. The books are published by Food & Wine magazine and are a collection of a handful of recipes from the top 25 cookbooks of the year. I was very intrigued. I ordered Volume 14 and love it…so I ordered volumes 8 and 11 too! I really liked seeing recipes from great chefs that I had never even heard of and getting to try a wide variety of recipes.

This pie caught my eye because of the pretzel crust. I had never heard of it used in a dessert like this before. I am also a big fan of lemons. For a while there I was drinking multiple glasses of lemonade a day, which may have been a sign of some sort of serious deficiency. The crust works really well here and the filling reminded me of the lemon flavored push pops from back in the day.


For the Crust:

  • 3 1/2 cups of salted mini pretzels
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

For the Filling:

  • 1 packet of unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) of ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 1 tablespoon of finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 egg whites

To make the crust:

Spray cooking oil to coat a 9 inch pie plate. Combine the pretzels and sugar in a food processor and process until the pretzels are medium-fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and process briefly until the crumbs are evenly moist. Mold the crumbs into the pie plate, being sure to get as high up on the sides as you can.

To make the filling:

Pour 1/3 of the lemon juice in the bottom of a blender and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat the remaining lemon juice in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until it is almost boiling. Pour the hot lemon juice over the gelatin/lemon mixture in the blender and let sit for 2 more minutes. Cover and blend for 1 minute until the gelatin is dissolved.

Add the ricotta, 3/4 a cup of sugar, and the salt to the blender and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and stir in the lemon zest. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to thicken, stirring often.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the egg whites and mix on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Continue to beat while gradually sprinkling in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added, turn the mixer to high until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the whites into the lemon mixture. Once mixed, fold in the remaining egg whites until well blended.

Pour the filling into the crust and allow it to mound in the center. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled and set, at least 4 hours.

Source: The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge / Best of the Best: Volume 8

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