• This simple recipe mixes lemon slices—peel and all—with sugar and eggs to form a custardy filling. But unless you macerate the lemon slices for 24 hours, the pie turns out bitter. Could we speed up this recipe for modern times? Here’s what we discovered: shopping list
  • Test Kitchen Discoveries shopping list
  • Use our recipe for Double-Crust Pie Dough or use one 15-ounce box of Pillsbury Ready to Roll pie crust. shopping list
  • We found a few tricks to create bright lemon flavor while tempering the bitterness of the pith: Squeeze the seeded lemon slices and reserve the juice for the filling. Simmer the slices and then add them to the filling with the uncooked juice for bright lemon flavor without any macerating time. shopping list
  • Remember to squeeze the lemon slices in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any seeds or pulp that would mar the otherwise smooth filling. shopping list
  • The 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, a tablespoon of cornstarch stabilizes the eggs and ensures a smooth filling. shopping list
  • Have an extra lemon on hand in case the three sliced lemons do not yield the necessary 6 tablespoons of juice. shopping list
  • The Slice is Right shopping list
  • 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. shopping list

How to make it

  • 1 double-crust pie dough (see note)
  • 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, 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.)

Reviews & Comments 1

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    " It was excellent "
    momo_55grandma ate it and said...
    great trip down memory lane-remember mama makin shaker pies yum yum! high5
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