Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2-20-2013 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
I had a slice of this incredible pie when I visited Nancy Silverton's Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, one of my very favorite restaurants. Not too tart, and with just the right amount of sweet, this creamy and refreshing lemon pie is topped with real whipped cream, drizzled with tangy dessert sauce and decorated with sugared lemon rind. This recipe is adapted from Nancy Silverton's "The Mozza Cookbook."
We found that the sauce in the original recipe turned out sticky and gummy when it cooled, and didn't flow like a sauce. We fixed it by adding heavy cream, and now it has the ideal consistency.
Champagne Vinegar Sauce:
1 whole vanilla bean
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup heavy cream; *NOTE Our Recipe Fix
Lemon Gelato Pie:
1. Spoon the softened Lemon Gelato into the prepared graham cracker pie crust and use an offset spatula or rubber spatula to create a wavy surface. Place the pie in the freezer for several hours or overnight, to freeze completely.
Champagne Vinegar Sauce:
1. Fill a bowl with ice water and set a smaller bowl inside. Set a fine mesh strainer in the smaller bowl. Set aside.
2. Use a small sharp knife to split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the pulp and the seeds.
3. Combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil without stirring.
4. Dip a pastry brush in water and brush down the sides of the pan to remove the sugar crystals.
Dip the pastry brush in fresh water every time before you use it.
5. Add the vailla bean scrapings and the bean to the saucepan with the sugar.
6. Continue to cook the sugar without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan occasionally and swirling the pan so the sugar cooks evenly, until the sugar begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
7. Then gently stir the sugar and cook it, stirring, until the caramel is translucent and amber colored.
8. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. The mixture will splatter and may seize and harden.
NOTE: Return the saucepan to medium-high heat and boil the sugar and vinegar until the sauce melts if it has seized, and then thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
9. Turn off the heat and add the butter a few pieces at a time, whisking gently, until all of the butter is incorporated.
10. Stir in the cream.
11. Pour the sauce through the strainer into the bowl set in the ice.
12. Remove and discard the vanilla bean and whisk the sauce occasionally to prevent the butter from separating, until the sauce cools and is syrupy.
Use the sauce, or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to several weeks. Reheat the sauce over low heat and cool it until it is syrupy before serving.
To serve the pie, use a large knife dipped in hot water to cut it into 6 or 8 equal wedges. Spoon 1 tablespoon or more of the champagne vinegar sauce on the bottom of each place and use the back of a spoon to spread it into a circle about 5 inches in diameter. Place a pie wedge in the center of each plate and spoon another tablespoon of the sauce on top of each slice. Spoon 2 tablespoons of whipped cream on top of the sauce and top each slice with three pieces of candied lemon peel.
Pie and photo in Los Angeles at Nancy Silverton's Mozza Restaurant by Sarah Phillips © Sarah Phillips, CraftyBaking.com