Shaker Lemon Pie Recipe

This Shaker Lemon Pie Recipe is made up of thinly sliced lemons cut until they are almost transparent and soaked in sugar for a tangy finish.

| September 2012

Whether you want to try your hand at Apple Pie or Chicken Fat and Pea Pie, How to Build a Better Pie (Quarry Books, 2012) by Millicent Souris provides the tips for flaky crusts, toppers and all things in between. Learn the skills, practice the techniques, master the recipes and build yourself a better pie. The following recipe is excerpted from Chapter 5, “Nuts, Chocolate, and Other Decadent Staple Pies.” 

How to Build a Better Pie Recipes:

Shaker Lemon Pie Recipe
Lamb Neck Pie Recipe 
Apple Pie Recipe
Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
Cheddar Cheese Pie Crust Recipe 

The food, furniture, and gentle fanaticism of the Shakers hold a place in my heart. Originating in England as Quakers, they were named as such for the manner in which they prayed: They shook. Led by a woman called Ann Lee, they split from the Quakers and England, moved to the United States, and set themselves up in farming communities based on gender equality.

They invented many great things: the broom as we know it, the clothespin, the circular saw, and a giant rotating oven with a capacity for sixty pies. Like many agrarian societies they ate with gusto, their version of work hard, play hard, and really utilized what the season offered.

I’ve had my eye on this pie for a while, intrigued by a pie so ballsy to use sliced lemons but wondering how it would really taste. I’ve always found the recipe’s instructions a bit paltry. I’ve tested it, and this version should give you a tangy pie somewhere between a custard and a curd. The lemon slices become soft and edible, and the ones on top end up with a candied quality. And it’s pretty. Real pretty.

It’s important to prebake the crust. Eggs are an important part of this recipe to create the creaminess, but in my experience with eggs they do not participate well with temperatures over 375°F (190°C, gas mark 5). This is a tangy pie; you can’t keep lemon down forever, and a little goes a long way. You need thinly sliced lemons, so they’re almost transparent.

12/9/2015 7:14:46 PM

I know this article was posted three years ago, but I just found it and made the recipe today. I ended up with about two cups extra of the eggs and brown sugar mixture after I poured it over the sliced lemons. The recipe didn't say what to do with all the lemon juice left in the bowl after soaking in sugar overnight, but it did say to just add "whatever is left in the bowl" to the egg mixture. Now I have too much liquid, and the pie probably won't set. What should I have done? It didn't say anything about draining the lemons before layering into the crust. I'd like to make this again, but I need some clarification, please.

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