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  • Writer's pictureTarah Cantrell

THE Most Unique Lemon Pie Recipe!

When I say "lemon pie", what comes to mind? For me it had to be lemon meringue pie until just recently. But today I'd like to share a completely different lemon pie, the Shaker Lemon Pie. This pie is unlike anything I've ever encountered. Watch my YouTube video for more information on my experiments with this very unique recipe for a citrus pie that is closer in resemblance to apple pie than the chiffon or meringues that we grew up eating.

Be sure to share this strange but delightful recipe with your friends and loved ones. If you make it, be sure to let me know how it turned out or use #craftyvintagelady on social media to share your own lovely pies!

At first glance this recipe looks daunting, but it's not dissimilar to most two-crust pies. I've also done my best to break up the steps for you so that the process is as manageable as possible. Keep reading for my own take on Shaker Lemon Pie, down below.

Shaker Lemon Pie the Old Fashioned Way

Yield: one 9-inch pie

Active Time: 30-60 minutes

Cook Time: 40-65 minutes

Set Time: 4 hours-2 days

Filling Ingredients:

2 lemons (+ one more if decorating with lemon slices, optional**)

1-2 cups of sugar to taste

salt to taste

4 eggs + 1 egg, separated and mixed with water for wash

Crust Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup + 1/4 cup shortening

salt to taste

at least 1/4 cup ice cold water


chef's knife

chopping board

2 mixing bowls

measuring cups

mixing spoon

bowl coverings (plastic wrap is fine)



rolling pin

pie pan

baking sheet (optional)

parchment or foil pie weights or dried beans*

ramekins or bowls

pastry brush

knife or pie cutter


Part 1: Filling and Crust Preparation

(This part must be done at least two hours in advance of baking but may be done up to two days in advance of baking and serving.)

  1. Cut lemons and remove seeds. If you have a food processor pulp the lemons, peels and all.** If you don't have a processor, chop up the lemons into bite-sized or smaller pieces.

  2. Place lemon pulp, salt and sugar into the first mixing bowl.

  3. Mix the sugar and lemons together until lemons are fully dredged.

  4. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight so that the lemons become macerated.

  5. Add flour, salt and shortening to the second bowl.

  6. Using a fork, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture begins to resemble breadcrumbs.

  7. Add ice water by the tablespoonful, only just enough that the breadcrumbs come together to form a ball.

  8. Divide the ball into almost-halves, one part slightly bigger than the other.

  9. Form both parts into discs.

  10. Wrap both discs in plastic wrap or other airtight wrapping.

  11. Place the discs in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.***

Part 2: Par-bake and Assemble

(This part must be done at least three hours before serving the pie.)

  1. Line the pie pan with shortening, butter or oil of your choice.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 290 Celsius.

  3. Remove the larger of the crusts from the refrigerator and unwrap on a floured surface.***

  4. Roll the crust out so that there is at least an inch of crust left on all sides of the pie pan.

  5. Carefully lift the crust into the pie pan, shaping it so that there is no air between crust and pan.

  6. Trim the edges of the crust so that there is none left hanging over the edge of the pie pan.

  7. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork to prevent bubbling.

  8. Line the crust with foil or parchment and pour pie weights inside. Be sure to cover the entire surface area of the pie.

  9. Par-bake the pie crust for 15-20 minutes or until the edge is no longer maleable but instead holds its shape firmly.

  10. While the bottom crust par-bakes, remove the lemon mixture from the refrigerator.

  11. Mix the lemon filling so that the sugar is evenly incorporated throughout.

  12. Add four eggs and blend until they are fully incorporated into the lemon and sugar mixture. Sit aside.

  13. Remove the bottom crust from the refrigerator and unwrap on a flour-dusted surface.

  14. Roll out the top crust so that it is at least an inch wider on each side of the pie pan.

  15. Remove the pie from the oven.

  16. Brush inside of crust with egg white wash.

  17. Bake the bottom crust five more minutes or until the egg wash is no longer liquid.

  18. Remove the pie weights and parchment or foil.

  19. Carefully pour the lemon mixture into the pan, spreading or tapping as necessary to ensure for an even custard filling.

  20. Top the pie with the top crust, incorporating any decorative elements, such as lemon slices, at this time. If not decorating, cut slits into the crust or insert a pie vent to ensure steam can escape.

  21. Crimp or shape the edges of the crust.

Part 3: Bake and Set

(To ensure proper setting, please begin this portion at least 2 hours before serving the pie.)

  1. Brush the top of the pie including edges with the egg yolk wash.

  2. Cover the edges or top crust with foil to prevent burning.

  3. Increase the heat to 425 degrees F/220 C.

  4. Bake the pie for 15 minutes.

  5. Decrease the heat back to 375 F/290 C.

  6. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until pie feels and appears slightly jiggly and top crust has browned sufficiently.

  7. Allow pie to set for at least two hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

  8. Serve cold.

  9. If you have leftover pastry, it can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for another 24 hours and put to good use as leftover pastry tarts.


*Never attempt to eat dried beans after they have been used as baking weights. Instead, keep them and continue to use them as baking weights in the future!

**If you plan to decorate the top of your pie with lemon slices, slice the third lemon into thin rounds and macerate along with the pulp, as described in step three.

***Unbaked pie crusts can be frozen if necessary. For best results, thaw crust for at least 20 minutes before rolling out.

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