Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Bevy of lemon sponge pies edition

Yvonne Welt of York shared this photo taken in 1979 of a former Jay's Market at Mount Rose Avenue and Haines Road, where Ollie's is today. Her son Steven worked at the store and is seen with a cart at right.
Yvonne Welt of York shared this photo taken in 1979 of a former Jay’s Market at Mount Rose Avenue and Haines Road, where Ollie’s is today. Her son Steven worked at the store and is seen with a cart at right. Only in York County readers had been looking for the Jay’s lemon sponge pie recipe, and today, we might just have it!

What’s inside

1. Long-awaited lemon sponge pie recipes
2. Pennsylvania Dutch church service Sunday

1. You know how sometimes you seek out a recipe for the lemon sponge pie served at the former Jay’s restaurant for a friend, and you get more than 10 lemon sponge pie recipes, all yummy-sounding?

Yes, I am the proud owner of recipes to keep me sponging for months!

I have two in particular that I want to highlight because they come from Jay’s, as requested, then a set of several more that are local family lemon sponge pies that readers wanted to share! I hope you’ll pick your favorite and give it a try! I will note that I personally need more guidance than some of these recipes provide, NOT being much of a baker, but I’m sharing them as they were given to me, and hopefully you can find a kitchen expert to help you take it from there!

From Harry Kauffman of Mount Wolf, Jay’s Market Bakery Manager

7 lbs. sugar
1 lb. cake flour
1 lb. 4 oz. milk powder
8 oz. lemon powder
1/2 oz. salt
8 oz. melted butter
1 lb. 4 oz. whole eggs
8 lb. 12 0z. water
1 lb. 14 oz. egg whites (whip dry and fold)

Bake the whole works at 375 degrees; makes 10 to 12 pies.

From Carol Weaver of West Manchester Township, whose mother’s brother, Raymond Klinedinst, was a baker at the Jay’s in East York and on Maryland Avenue

1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
Dash of salt
Juice and rind of one lemon (grated)
2 level Tbsp. flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Stir sugar and butter till creamy. Add flour, salt, lemon juice and grated rind. Add beaten egg yolks. Add milk and stir well. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Don’t pre-bake the pastry shell.

So those lemon sponge recipes came from people related to the former Jay’s, and I was thrilled to get them. But I have several more, too,

Sheri Smith shared her family's recipe for lemon sponge pie - possibly not the one made at the Jay's restaurant, but one she receives many requests for.
Sheri Smith shared her family’s recipe for lemon sponge pie – possibly not the one made at the Jay’s restaurant, but one she receives many requests for.

From commenter Rosemary

Juice and zest of two lemons
2 cups sugar
6 Tbsp. flour
6 egg yolks
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. soft butter
3 cups milk
6 stiffly beaten egg whites

Prepare pie dough and refrigerate. Combine first 6 ingredients and beat with mixer until well combined and fluffy. Add milk and stir until thoroughly mixed. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Roll dough and line 3 medium pie pans. Turn on oven to 425 degrees. Fold beaten egg whites into lemony liquid until well mixed. Pour liquid into pie shells. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 325 degrees and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes until top is lightly browned and filling is just set.

From Vicki Baker

2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs, separated
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. grated peel from 2 lemons (grated lemon zest)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice from 2 lemons
2 unbaked pie shells

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat the egg yolks, flour, salt, milk, grated zest, and lemon juice into the creamed mixture. In clean bowl with clean beaters beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold the egg whites into the filling. Pour into 2 unbaked pie shells. Bake in 425-degree oven for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 25 minutes longer or until top is golden. A silver knife in the center should come out clean. Remove from oven and cool on rack.

From Daisy H. Orr of Stewartstown

Yolks of 2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. butter
Juice and rind of one lemon

Mix well. Beat egg whites and fold in mixture. Bake in unbaked 9-inch pie shell at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 35 minutes. (“Family favorite for over 50 years,” Daisy notes.)

From Doris J. Pugh of Manchester

Juice of 1 lemon and rind
1 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
Yolk of 2 eggs (set whites aside)
Butter (size of a walnut)

Mix sugar and butter to cream, add flour, then lemon and rind, yolk of 2 eggs. Add 1 cup milk and beaten egg whites last. Mix well before adding frothy egg whites. Pour into 9-inch pie shell. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make 35 to 40 minutes or until set and slightly brown on top.

From Carol Lichtenwalner of New Freedom

1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 cup milk
Juice and rind of 1 lemon

Mix and add beaten egg whites last. Bake at 375 degrees 10 minutes and then 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

From Mary J. Fetrow of Conewago Township

2 large eggs, separated
5 Tbsp. flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. out from egg whites
2 Tbsp. melted butter
Rind and juice from 1 lemon
1 cup milk

Beat egg whites in small bowl until stiff. Gradually add 4 tsp. sugar. Mix remaining sugar, flour together in large bowl; add egg yolks, melted butter, lemon juice and grated rind. Beat until smooth. Add milk slowly. Fold in egg whites into mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes in one 8-inch pastry crust. When finished top of pie should be nice and brown.

From Elsie Delp of Manchester Township

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Rind of one lemon
1 cup milk
5 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Unbaked pie shell

Blend butter, flour, sugar, egg yolks and lemon juice and rind together with milk. Last, fold in whites. Pour in 8- or 9-inch pie plate or metal pie pan. Bake in 450-degree oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

2. This isn’t an “Ask Joan,” it’s more of a “Joan tells.” Readers of this blog might be interested in attending a Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsylvania German) church service, or Gottesdienscht, taking place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at Zoar Lutheran Church, 560 Freeport Road, Lebanon. Der Breddicher (the sermon-bringer) will be Donald Breininger, and light refreshments will follow.

Any questions, feel free to call 717-933-5511 or email Many thanks to the Pennsylvania Dutch Heritage Group for including this in their regular newsletter so that I could in turn let readers know about it!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, but I will feature three each week and answer as many as possible!

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