Home of Economy-Herald pie recipes: Brenda Kovar institutes fresh citrus into her ‘Best Lemon Pie’ – Grand Forks Herald

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Brenda Kovar is a resident of East Grand Forks, but winters in Arizona. In the desert, citrus trees are common in residential yards, so it’s only natural that Kovar — an avid home baker with decades of experience — incorporates tart lemons grown on site into her recipes.

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Brenda Kovar, of East Grand Forks.

Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

“Lemons are plentiful, so I made a lot of lemon pies in Arizona,” she said when interviewed by the Grand Forks Herald before the Home of Economy-Herald Pie Bake-off earlier. This year.

Sure enough, she scored a lemon pie in the first round of the tournament and it was a good pie. He used lard in the crust – a practice that always caught the eye of the tournament’s four judges – and a tangy, sweet citrus filling.

Here is her recipe for the “best lemon pie”. During the holiday season, the Herald will publish recipes for the 30 pies entered into this year’s Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.

Recipes will be published in print, electronic and online form and will be compiled on the Herald’s website.

Baker: Brenda Kovar

Hometown: Great East Fork

Business sponsor: blue moose


1 cup flour

Pinch of salt

⅓ cup lard

1 to 3 tablespoons of water


Mix the ingredients together. Roll up larger than pie plate and set in bottom of pie plate, forming sides to top of pie plate. Can scallop or use any decorative technique.


1-¼ cup sugar

6 tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups cold water

3 egg yolks (keep the egg whites)

⅓ cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons of butter

2 teaspoons of vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon extract


Combine sugar and cornstarch in a large glass bowl. Add cold water and stir well. In a glass measuring cup, beat egg yolks and lemon juice with a fork. Add to the water/sugar mixture. Microwave on high power for 5 minutes. Stir with a metal whisk or a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove and stir in butter, vinegar and lemon extract. Stir until the butter melts. Pour into a cooled 9-inch pie crust (recipe above).


3 egg whites

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


Beat first three ingredients until fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, and continue beating until stiff. Stir in vanilla. Pour over hot pie filling. Cook for 10 minutes at 400°.

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