But what about summer? What pie represents that season?
Think lemon. The woman who created America's first cooking school, Elizabeth Goodfellow, gave us the ideal treat for summer. she invented the lemon meringue pie. Capturing the best of a glass of lemonade on a hot day, the pie is bright and has an airy topping.
Goodfellow operated a pastry shop in Philadelphia. One of her signature desserts was a rich lemon pudding. Its recipe called for only egg yolks. Goodfellow poured the pudding into a crust and added the whipped whites after it cooled. In that way, she was able to use the entire egg.
One of her famous students, Eliza Leslie, popularized the meringue topping with her widely read 1847 cookbook. In The Lady's Receipt-Book: A Useful Companion For Large Or Small Families, Leslie advised women that a covering of meringue improved any baked pudding. (As the back of receipts were commonly used to write down recipes, the term receipt was widely used rather than our modern word.)
By the 1860s, this was one of the more common pies served at the White House. Abraham Lincoln loved the meringue topping and asked often for it. At the time, the pie was known by several names. Lemon cream pie and iced lemon pie being two of the more common names.
I've spent the summer thinking about lemon pie. It was the theme of a book I wrote in June and July. Two kinds of lemon pie: one with meringue and one that uses the whole egg in its filling. Light versus solid.
The contrast is at the heart of my hero's problem. He wanted one woman, sweet and flirty, but ends up married to another, a serious, down-to-earth lady. Will he see past the fluff that attracts him to realize what he really needs in life?
Excerpt from Lemon Pie by Lucinda:
“It’s not a lemon pie. Where’s the meringue?”
“But, it’s not that kind of lemon pie. This is a lemon custard.”
Running his hands over his face, Ty groaned. “Not only did I get the wrong girl, but the pie’s all wrong.”
Lucy stilled her hands, not wanting to reach for the pie server. The sharpened point, used to pry out any reluctant crust, might tempt her to use it on her companion.
The one thing she could do right—bake—and he rejected it!
“Shall I put the pie away and ignore you? That way you won’t need to suffer with the wrong pie or the wrong girl.” Cold ice froze her sentence in the air between them.
Ty shook his head. “Nope. I want my dessert. Might as well eat what I bought.” He eyed the pie warily. “But why not a lemon meringue pie like everyone else makes?”
With determination, Lucy mentally shrugged away the urge to be angry. Could the man not hear how insulting he sounded? Why did she want to please him even after he said what he did?
“I guess my family’s different. Like I am, that is.”
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One is Lucinda Kay. She hates the name and goes by Lucy. The other is Lucinda Kilbourne. Another Lucinda K.
If a person wasn’t listening closely, he could become confused. Wink! Wink!
Lucy never uses her real name. Reverend Caldwell surprises her when he calls her by that name at the pie auction. She's even more surprised when Ty Goodson bids on her pie. He's never shown her a bit of interest, and whoever wins her pie will have to share a lunch with her.
What follows is a series of misadventures and a night spent in a cave. That night alone with each other leads them into a forced marriage—a shotgun marriage with Ty’s father holding the gun.
How will Lucy win the love of a man who longs for a different Lucinda? And what about the thieves Ty and Lucy witnessed burying something? Will they return?