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The Seattle Times | Pacific Northwest
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Letters to the Editor

Lemon Ice Box Pie | Have another slice

But what do you do with the whites?

I made the pie you wrote about in your article on July 1, the Best-Damn Lemon Ice Box Pie on Earth (Taste, "High on Pie"). However, the recipe did not say if I was supposed to use the egg whites, and, if so, when did I add them. Or was I supposed to discard them, as I did when I made mine? In re-reading the recipe several times, and conferring with a fellow lemon-pie enthusiast, we decided that you meant to discard the egg whites, but then the pie turned out more like a tart (though good) and only filled up the 9-inch pie shell half way. Now I am thinking that you meant for me to add the egg whites as well.

Can you please confirm this for us? Several of us are dying to know. . . . I will pass the info on to all my girlfriends. Your article has been a big topic of discussion for several days now.

— Dianne Best, Woodinville

Which pie was that in the picture?

You did not mention in the recipe anything about the egg whites so I did not use them. I'm serving this for my sister's birthday on Saturday, so I hope there was nothing missing from the recipe. What recipe did you use for the photo that accompanied the article?

— Penny Dorsey, Bellevue

So, what's an icebox?

It truly was the "Best-Damn-Lemon-Icebox-Pie-on Earth!" I brought it over to my mom's house and she said, "I saw that, cut it out and wanted to make it, too!" Everyone loved it, and my brother-in-law and nephew each had to have another piece. However, I had to explain to my nephew what an "icebox" was. (By the way, explaining an icebox to my nephew wasn't as embarrassing as explaining what a record player was!)

— Geraldine Shu, Seattle

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And the answers are . . .

Dear Dianne and Penny and Geraldine and the many, many other new pie-making friends we at Pacific Northwest have met:

That recipe does bake down compact, Dianne. And, you are all correct: Do not use the whites. It's an old recipe, and that is the way it was written. You can freeze the whites for future use, if you like. But this is a yolks-only recipe.

Penny, the recipe used for the pie in the photograph is the one mentioned within the story: One regular container Cool Whip (8 ounces), one small can (6 ounces) or one-half large can (12 ounces) lemonade and one can condensed milk. That one is my particular favorite. Do try that one if you can bear to buy Cool Whip. (You could go to a store not in your neighborhood during the early hours of the day, so as not to be seen.)

I add a little yellow food coloring to brighten it a bit and then sprinkle grated lemon peel over the top (makes it look like I worked harder).

Also, we have this late-breaking lemon-pie update: Penny reports that "Best Damn" was such a success she made it a second time, for her mother's 94th birthday luncheon.

— May your slice always be the biggest, Rebecca Teagarden

READERS' PIES

Cool Lime Pie

4 or 5 limes

1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened

1 ready-to-use graham cracker crust (6 ounces)

½ cup heavy whipping cream

Lime-peel slivers for garnish

1. From limes, finely grate 4 teaspoons peel and squeeze 2/3 cup juice. In large bowl using a wire whisk, stir undiluted condensed milk, lime peel and lime juice until blended.

2. Whisk ice cream into condensed-milk mixture until evenly blended.

3. Pour ice cream mixture into pie crust. Freeze at least 6 hours or until firm. If not serving pie same day, wrap and freeze up to one week.

4. To serve, uncover pie and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat cream to stiff peaks. Top each serving of pie with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with lime-peel slivers.

— Geraldine Shu, Seattle

Strawberry Pie

1 package strawberry Jell-O

1 ¼ cups water

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 cup whipping cream

1. Prepare Jell-O according to package directions using the water; chill. Fold in whipped cream and berries. Chill 4 to 6 hours.

Tang Pie

1 pint sour cream (or IMO sour-cream substitute)

1 can condensed milk

½ cup Tang orange drink mix

Beat sour cream until smooth. Add condensed milk and mix. Add Tang and stir. Pour into pie crust and chill.

— Leslie Aungst, Renton

Key Lime Pie

1 pound cream cheese, softened

¾ cup fresh lime juice

1 can condensed milk

1 teaspoon grated lime rind

1 cup Cool Whip

1 cup confectioners' sugar

8 lime slices for garnish

1. In a food processor or with a mixer blend cream cheese, lime juice and condensed milk until smooth. Add grated lime rind and mix until combined. Pour filling into pie shell.

2. Using mixer, beat Cool Whip with confectioners' sugar until it forms soft peaks and spread evenly over filling. Arrange lime slices on top of pie.

3. Chill pie, loosely covered, at least 6 hours.

— Jerry Clarke, Bellevue

From Taste, July 1

Best-Damn-Lemon-Ice-Box-Pie-On-Earth

Serves 8

3 egg yolks, room temperature (discard whites or save for another use)

½ cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat the egg yolks well.

3. Add the lemon juice and zest to the yolks. Add the sweetened condensed milk. Mix well. Pour into the crust.

4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Cool.

5. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

— Carrie May Jones, retired home demonstration agent, Somerville, Tenn.

Lemony Icebox Pie

Serves 8

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk

½ cup fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine the cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla in a large bowl.

2. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate overnight.

— From www.emerils.com

Easiest Lemon Icebox Pie Ever

1 can condensed milk

1 small can (6 ounces) frozen lemonade

1 (8 ounces) container Cool Whip

1. Mix all ingredients. Pour into crust. Chill.

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