Lemon and Guava Chiffon

In the 80’s my friend Pat and I used to have lunch at a restaurant in the Portland NW Industrial area called Junie’s. My understanding is that many years previous it was on Broadway, downtown. Anyway, they had two items on the menu that I adored: the Hungarian mushroom soup and the lemon chiffon pie. Each time I had that pie I asked the server what I would have to do to get that recipe and she politely said “sorry, not a chance”. It was their own take on the RIO lemon chiffon pie, for which there are many variations. One day I went for lunch and asked again and the server said they were closing after many years and she photocopied the recipe from their book and gave it to me. I have made this recipe many times over the years and it is always creamy and delicious, just as I remember it at Junie’s. Here’s an easy to follow revision of Junie’s original recipe. Also, there is a variation of my own–guava Chiffon (a nod to my home state). Enjoy! Oh, and here’s a PDF version.

Original Lemon Version

Ingredients:
1 baked and cooled pie shell
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
4 eggs, separated
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 ½ cups heavy cream

Process:
1. Make your favorite pie crust, blind-bake it and set it aside to completely cool.
2. In the upper vessel of a double-boiler, NOT over heat, soften 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin and ½ cup granulated sugar in ¼ cup water. This should take about 5 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl slightly beat 4 egg yolks.
4. Whisk the egg yolks, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice into the gelatin mixture and cook in the double boiler for about 5 minutes, stirring the whole time. The mixture is finished when it coats a metal spoon.
5. Put the upper vessel of the double boiler into an ice bath and stir in the lemon rind.
6. Chill, stirring often, until it is thick as a raw egg white.
7. Whip the 4 egg whites with ½ cup sugar until stiff peaks are formed. Set aside.
8. Whip 1 ½ cups heavy cream until stiff.
9. Fold the whipped egg whites into the lemon mixture then fold in the whipped cream.
10. Pour into the cool pie crust and refrigerate.
This pie is at its best after being refrigerated for at least 4 hours.

Guava Variation

Ingredients:
1 baked and cooled pie shell
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
½ cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup water
4 eggs, separated
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups frozen guava juice concentrate (thawed)
1 ½ cups heavy cream

Process:
1. Make your favorite pie crust, blind-bake it and set it aside to completely cool.
2. In the upper vessel of a double-boiler, NOT over heat, soften 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar in ¼ cup water. This should take about 5 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl slightly beat 4 egg yolks.
4. Whisk the egg yolks, ½ teaspoon salt into the gelatin mixture and cook in the double boiler for about 5 minutes, stirring the whole time. The mixture is finished when it coats a metal spoon.
5. Put the upper vessel of the double boiler into an ice bath and stir in the guava juice concentrate.
6. Chill, stirring often, until it is thick as a raw egg white.
7. Whip the 4 egg whites with ½ cup sugar until stiff peaks are formed. Set aside.
8. Whip 1 ½ cups heavy cream until stiff.
9. Fold the whipped egg whites into the lemon mixture then fold in the whipped cream.
10. Pour into the cool pie crust and refrigerate.

Optional: This pie is a light salmon color, which might freak some people out. You can add a couple of drops of red food dye at step 5 if you really need to. Personally, I’m ok with the color.
This pie is at its best after being refrigerated for at least 4 hours.

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