Monday, March 11, 2013

MMMm Lemon

We saw this on a rerun of Cook's Country on PBS Hubby is in love with this pie. Totally!!! I do one thing a bit different though. I found the lemons are still bitter unless you use more water and time. I all enough water to cover in a large pot, let set about 30 min. then boil for about 30 minutes. Turns out wonderful! Enjoy!!

Shaker Lemon Pie


Most Shaker lemon pie recipes mix lemon slices—peel and all—with sugar and eggs to form a custardy filling. But unless we macerated the lemon slices for 24 hours, the pie turned out bitter. We wanted to speed up this recipe for modern times, so we found a few tricks to create bright lemon flavor in our pie recipe while tempering the bitterness of the pith. First, we squeezed the seeded lemon slices and reserved the juice for the filling. We simmered the slices and then added them to the filling with the uncooked juice for bright lemon flavor without any macerating time. We wanted our pie to have a smooth filling, so we squeezed the lemon slices in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any seeds or pulp that would mar the filling’s texture. Our Shaker Lemon Pie spends a generous 40 minutes in the oven, which can cause the heat-sensitive eggs in the filling to curdle. To avoid this problem, we used a bit of cornstarch to stabilize the eggs and ensure a smooth filling.

Shaker Lemon Pie

You will need 6 tablespoons of lemon juice for this recipe. Have an extra lemon on hand in case the 3 sliced lemons do not yield enough juice.

Serves 8.  

1     double-crust pie dough

3     large lemons , sliced thin and seeded (see note)
1 3/4     cups sugar
1/8     teaspoon salt
1     tablespoon cornstarch
4     large eggs
1     tablespoon heavy cream

      1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 dough round and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

      2. Squeeze lemon slices in fine-mesh strainer set over bowl; reserve juice (you should have 6 tablespoons). Bring drained slices and 2 cups water to boil in saucepan, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slices are softened, about 5 minutes. Drain well and discard liquid. Combine softened lemon slices, sugar, salt, and 1/4 cup reserved lemon juice in bowl; stir until sugar dissolves.

      3. Whisk cornstarch and remaining lemon juice in large bowl. Whisk eggs into cornstarch mixture,  then slowly stir in lemon slice mixture until combined. Pour into chilled pie shell. Brush edges of dough with 1 teaspoon cream and top with remaining dough round. Seal, crimp edges, and brush top of dough with remaining cream. Using paring knife, cut 4 vents in top of dough.

      4. Bake until light golden, about 20 minutes, then decrease oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour. Serve. (Pie can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for 2 days.)


The Slice is Right We found that using a knife to evenly cut the lemons into paper-thin slices was a difficult and time-consuming task. We had better results with a mandoline (or V-slicer), which produced perfectly thin slices in no time at all. If you don’t have a mandoline, we did find another piece of kitchen equipment that will make the process easier—the freezer. Popping the lemons into the freezer for about 30 minutes firms them up for better hand-slicing, which is best accomplished with a serrated knife.


Building Bold, Not Bitter, Lemon Flavor Using sliced whole lemons, pith and all, can produce an overwhelmingly bitter filling. We found a few tricks to create bright lemon flavor while tempering the bitterness of the pith.

1. Squeeze the seeded lemon slices and reserve the juice for the filling.

2. Simmer the slices to mellow the bitterness of the pith and then add them to the filling with the uncooked juice.


  1. I couldn't read this post at first until I highlighted all the boxes! The yellow writing against the white doesn't help!
    It sounds a gorgeous pie and I love lemon meringue but it must have plenty of lemon flavouring! Whether I shall get around to making this though is another thing as it sounds fiddly if scrumptious :)
    Lynn x

    1. Thanks Lynn, sorry (red face) I had no idea it did that! I hope this is better. LOL Thanks for letting me know. It is worth the fuss believe me..