I found the most wonderful recipe for this week’s Russian Grand Prix, ‘Limonnik’, a lemon pie that isn’t too sweet or too sour.
Like Goldilocks said: “It’s just right!”
The recipe itself is very simple. It’s vegetarian because it doesn’t use eggs, and by replacing the butter with vegan margarine it lends itself for any vegans out there.
I borrowed the recipe from the ‘Russia Beyond‘ website:
- 200g butter
- 3 cups (approx 330g) wholegrain or wheat flour – I used plain flour
- 3/4 cup (125-150ml) room temperature water
- 1 tablespoon Dry Yeast
- 1 teaspoon Caster Sugar (or brown sugar)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon starch
- 1 or 2 lemons
- 1 cup (approx 225g) caster sugar
- Dissolve the sugar in room temperature water and add the yeast
- Mix and let the yeast leaven for 15 minutes until it froths
- Meanwhile, start preparing the dough
- Place the soft butter and the pinch of salt into sifted flour
- Rub the butter and flour until crumbs are formed
- Make a crater with the crumbs and pour the leavened yeast inside
- Carefully knead the dough but not for long – shortcrust dough needs quick kneading
- Make a ball out of it, and then place the dough into a bowl
- Cover with a towel and let sit for 40 minutes. During this time, it should double in size
- Whilst the dough is rising, make the sweet filing
- Boil the lemon(s) for one minute and then pour cold water over them – this will remove the peel’s bitterness
- Slice the fruit, remove the pits
- Mix the slices in a mincer or blender
- Before placing the filling onto the dough, add sugar to the lemon and mix – this will prevent the lemon from cooling, and the filling will be more compact
- Separate the dough into two parts, one larger than the other – roughly 2/3 to 1/3
- Roll out the bigger part and place it into a baking pan lined with greasproof paper
- You can make the edges with your hands and cut out the redundant dough
- Then sprinkle the starch over the cake so that it doesn’t allow the dough to absorb the filling
- With a spoon, place the lemon filling onto the cake, distributing it evenly over the baking pan
- Roll out the second part of the dough and cover the pie
- Tuck in the edges
- With a fork, puncture the top part of the pie so the steam can rise through them
- Bake the pie for 30-35 minutes in a pre-heated oven (180 C / 350 F / Gas Mark 4 / 160 C (Fan)
- When the pie cools, cut into squares, which can be sprinkled with sugar icing. The filling becomes soft, with a slightly sour taste, like lemon jelly.
The only issue I had, is when it came to using the yeast. As you know, if you’ve been following my Bake Offs, my track record with yeast isn’t the best.
Now this recipe calls for dried yeast to be added to the water and sugar BUT the instructions on my tin of ‘dried active yeast’ specifically stated not to add to liquid, but to add to the dry ingredients and then add the water.
So that’s what I did, but the pastry didn’t rise like it was supposed to. Or at least not like I could see anyway.
So what is it with yeast? And why can’t I ever seem to have any success with yeast recipes?
Although to be fair, the lack of yeast action didn’t detract from the lushness of the ‘limonnik’.
It was very, very tasty and I can thoroughly recommend making it to munch on during the race on Sunday!!
Here’s how I got on:
Will you be giving this a go?
Let me know in the comments.
The F1 Bake Off will return in two week’s time for the Japanese Grand Prix.