This Lemony Sumac Pie Is the No-Bake Dessert You've Been Waiting For

Pastry chef Paola Velez makes the recipe–which has a Ritz cracker crust!–on this week’s episode of Pastries with Paola.

Summer isn't usually prime time for baking—after all, turning on your oven means heating up your kitchen. Luckily, there are plenty of wonderful no-bake desserts out there, including the Lemony Sumac Pie with Ritz Cracker Crust that stars in this week's episode of Pastries with Paola. The crust, a simple mixture of Ritz crackers and butter, requires no heat at all, while the lemon and sumac filling comes together on the stovetop. Once you combine the two, all that's left to do is let it chill in the fridge until a gloriously golden, fragrant pie emerges.

Want to make it at home? Read on for Paola's step-by-step method and follow along with the video above.

Start with the Crust

For this component of the pie, you'll only need two ingredients: unsalted butter, and of course, Ritz crackers. Pulse the crackers in a food processor on low speed until they become fine crumbs, and then stream in the melted butter while the processor runs.

Once the mixture is well combined, get it into a plastic wrap-lined 9-inch pie dish (more on that in a minute), and use the flat bottom of a dry measuring cup to press the crust into an even layer. Just take care not to press too hard, or you'll risk breaking the structure of your crust. Place it in the fridge, covered with more plastic wrap, to chill while you get started on the filling.

Make the Lemon Sumac Filling

The first step for making this filling is blooming (or hydrating) the powdered gelatin in pineapple juice. The gelatin will help the filling set, and the pineapple juice gives it flavor, which is why Paola prefers it to water here.

Combine the unsalted butter, lemon zest, sumac, fresh lemon juice, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium non-reactive saucepan and heat the mixture over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and the mixture has just started to simmer, turn off the heat. Whisk some of the hot liquid into the beaten eggs/egg yolks in a bowl off the heat to temper them, slowly incorporating it until everything is combined. (This helps prevent the eggs from scrambling while you cook.) Then, get the egg mixture back in the saucepan, turn the heat back on to medium, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, whisking constantly, until the curd becomes very thick, and big, slow bubbles form.

At this point, take the pan off the heat, keep whisking, and pour in the gelatin mixture, ensuring it's fully incorporated. Then, strain the pie filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl so the remaining mixture is smooth.

Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee

Assemble the Pie

Take the filling and pour it into the prepared pie crust. Then, get it into the fridge for at least four hours, or ideally up to overnight, so it has time to chill and set.

Chill and Slice

After the pie has chilled, you're ready to serve. Cut a generous slice and use the plastic wrap at the bottom of the pie dish to help lift that slice out. Then, add on your fresh fruit garnishes. In the video, Paola uses pineapple, kiwi, strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry, and papaya.

Stay tuned for our next episode of Pastries with Paola featuring Tropical Mendiants.

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