My dad and I have always had a really amazing bond. We get along really well and he is one of my best friends. There are about 1,000 memories I could share about him. One of my favorites was that he would let me stay up so late with him on the weekends and watch bad movies on TV. Also, he always showed up to my sporting events, no matter how far he had to travel to get there and he has always LOVED Mizzou football. He played football at Mizzou and we have heard so many stories, met his former coaches and many of his former teammates who are still his friends (Just check out the amazing picture below of him and some teammates- he is on the far left). Growing up in a family of 4 girls, you might not think that football played a big role in our lives. You would be wrong. We watched a lot of football growing up, talked a lot of football and always cheered for Mizzou. Every year or so we would make it back to Columbia, Missouri to watch a football game. As we got older, my dad would take us to see his friends and work colleagues at their various tailgates. For the longest time, I thought I knew what it was like to tailgate at a college football game. I went to college at Emory University, which did not have a football team, so these were my only tailgating experiences. When I decided to get my masters degree at Mizzou, my dad was super excited that I would be attending his alma mater. I was really fortunate to have some friends from high school who were attending graduate school at Mizzou as well. My first weekend as a grad student when there was a home game, I was prepared for the very grown-up, formal, fancy tailgating world that I had experienced previously with my family. I WAS SO WRONG!
Student tailgating is such a very different world. It was so much fun, sometimes too much fun, but I made lifelong friends tailgating. My husband and I became friends tailgating. One year we had a full formal Thanksgiving at our tailgate. We would host student bands to play at our tailgate. My husband smoked a pig at a tailgate. My sister Abbi also came to Mizzou for Veterinary school. She and I lived together and she became a huge part of our tailgating group. We would come back after we all graduated and stay with her, tailgate with her, drive her nuts and then head back to St. Louis. She was a champ for always letting us come back and crash. One of the other great things about my friends from Mizzou, is that all of our parents would come to our tailgates too. It was a great way to meet everyone and hang out in a really relaxed atmosphere. My dad would frequently come to our tailgates and grab a beer with everyone, stay for a good round of Thunderstruck, and then go to all of his other friends’ fancy and grownup tailgates. After a little while, our whole family started coming to games again. Our Christmas card picture one year was even from a tailgate. Needless to say, this very, very long intro to this recipe is to tell you that tailgating can be an amazing way to make friends and spend time with your family. Also, I found this amazing recipe for Lemonade Pie in the Southern Living, The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook. Finally, my dad is not a fan of chocolate, so anytime I make a recipe that is chocolate free, I alway think that it would be something he would love, but never as much as he loves Mizzou football…I hope you love it too.
This is one of the simplest recipes that I have made in a long time. It is a no bake recipe. The ingredients for the pie are easy to find at the grocery store. You need, 10 ounces of evaporated milk, 2 boxes of instant lemon pudding that are 3.4 ounces each, 24 ounces (3 bricks) of softened cream cheese, 1 can of partially thawed frozen lemonade concentrate and 1 ready made graham cracker crust. The recipe calls for a 9 ounce one, but I only found a 6 ounce crust.
First thing you will do, in a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk and the pudding mixes. Whisk for 2 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken up. Note, this is less moisture than the box calls for to make the pudding, but it works great for the pie. Next, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer. I used my hand mixer, but if you are using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment. Once it is soft and fluffy, add in the lemonade concentrate and beat it until it is smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Then, add in the thickened pudding. Beat the whole mixture again until it is all smooth. Again, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed well.
While the pie is chilling, I used the peel of 2 lemons to make some candied peel. This recipe would work for any other citrus peel for other recipes too. First, I used a vegetable peeler to take very thin slices of peel off the lemon, doing my best to not get the white pith, which is bitter. Then, I sliced those peels into very thin strips. Next, I put the peel in a pot with 1 cup of cold water and put the pot on the stove. As soon as it boiled, I strained out the peel and dumped out the water. I repeated the process 3 times total. After the last time, I added 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water to the pot and put it back on the stove. I whisked the sugar and water together until the sugar dissolved and the water began to boil. I put the peel strips back into the syrup and reduced the heat to a simmer. I let the sugar and peel simmer for about 10 minutes. I placed my strainer over a jar and poured the syrup into the jar to save and use later for summer cocktails. I placed the strained peel into a bowl of granulated sugar and made sure each piece was covered individually. I took each piece out and shook off the extra sugar and placed them on a piece of parchment paper to dry. There were some extra small pieces of peel in the sugar, so I used my mortar and pestle to grind the peel into some the sugar to make some lemon sugar.
Right before I took the pie out of the freezer, I made some fresh whipped cream. I used a high sided, medium sized bowl and added 1 cup of cold whipping cream and 3 tablespoons of my lemon sugar. You could also use any type of sugar you prefer (powdered, granulated, brown…). I used my hand mixer with the whisk attachment and whipped the cream until it had medium peaks. I wanted something firmer then soft peaks but wanted to be sure not to over whip it into butter. Then I spread the whipped cream over most of the pie and topped it with the candied lemon peel.
I wasn’t exactly sure if this pie should be served frozen or room temperature. So, I of course had to taste test it both ways! I think I prefer the more frozen texture, it feels like a perfect cooling summer treat, but it was equally delicious room temperature. The texture softened up really nicely and was a silky smooth pie where the frozen slice was more like a soft serve ice cream pie. I gave away all of my extra slices to my friends and everyone said that they loved this pie! It was rich and zingy without feeling too sweet. One of my friends said that he thinks lemon pie can often feel over worked and have a bad mouth feel but that this one was perfect. If you are looking for a dessert for summer or for one of those fancy, grown up tailgates, this is a perfect crowd pleasing treat to make and share with friends!
Recipe: Lemonade Pie
- 10 ounces evaporated milk
- 2 – 3.4 ounces instant lemon pudding
- 24 ounces (3 bricks) softened cream cheese
- 1 – 12 ounce can of partially thawed lemonade concentrate
- 1 – 9 ounce (or 6 ounce if that is all you can find) ready-made graham cracker pie crust
- Candied Peel
- 2 lemons
- 3 cups of water divided for boiling the peel
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for coating
- Whipped Cream
- 1 cup of very cold whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons lemon sugar or other sugar of choice
- Whisk together the pudding mix and evaporated milk in a bowl for 2 minutes and set aside.
- Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer or whisk attachment of a stand mixer until it is fluffy. Add in the lemonade and beat until it is blended. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the thickened pudding mixture and beat until it is blended.
- Pour the filling into the crust and freeze for 4 hours.
- Prepare the candied peel. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the rind of the lemon, do your best to not get any of the white pith. Slice the peels into very thing strips.
- Place the peel in a pot with 1 cup of cold water and bring to a boil. Drain off the water as soon as it boils. Add the peel and 1 cup of cold water back to the pot and boil again. Drain off the water as soon as it boils. Add the peel and 1 cup of water back to pot and boil. again. Drain off the water as soon as it boils.
- Add 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water to the pot and whisk until the sugar dissolves into the water and the syrup boils. Add the peel to the syrup and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the peel is very flexible and translucent.
- Strain the lemon syrup into a container to save for making summer cocktails or adding to iced tea.
- Place the peel in the 1/2 cup of sugar and toss to coat all the sides. Shake the extra sugar off the peel and place the slices onto a piece of parchment paper to dry. Place any small piece of peel and some of the extra sugar in a mortar and pestle and grind the peel into the sugar to make some lemon sugar.
- To make the whipped cream, pour the very cold whipping cream into a medium bowl and sweeten with the lemon sugar. Using the whisk attachment on a hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk until it is past soft peaks and holds it shape but be careful not to over whip it into butter.
- Spread the whipped cream over most of the top of the pie and sprinkle candied peel on top.
- You can place the pie back in the freezer and serve it cold or allow it to come to room temperature before slicing and serving.
This recipe is adapted from Southern Living The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook