Micah A. Leal
Active Time:
1 Hour 10 Mins
Total Time:
5 Hours 5 Mins
Yield:
1 (9-inch) pie

A chiffon pie is simply a custard or curd that is set with gelatin and combined with whipped egg whites so that the pie filling is extra airy and almost weightless. Compared to its lemon meringue cousin, this Lemon Chiffon Pie is much less tart, much less dense, and one hundred times gentler on the palate and the stomach. Known for its delicate texture and undramatic look, this pie bespeaks old-school Southern class and charm. A store-bought crust works just as fine for this recipe, but we recommend using our Single-Crust Pie Pastry Dough recipe because it’s easy to make, buttery, and flaky—everything you want as a base for a lemon chiffon pie. We also recommend dumping the lemon whipped cream right in the middle of the pie because it shows off the beautiful pale yellow of the filling and it adds extra height and texture to an otherwise simple looking pie.

How to Make It

Step 1

Roll pie dough to a 1/8-inch thick circle and place inside a greased 9-inch metal tart pan or pie pan. Cut excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under itself, creating a thicker ring of crust around the pie’s edge. Crimp edge. Take a sheet of aluminum foil and grease it liberally with butter. Place the buttered surface inside the pie shell, allowing the pie dough to come in direct contact with the aluminum foil. Freeze crust for 1 hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake crust with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and use a spoon to press down any areas that have puffed up. Return to oven for an additional 13-15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown all over. Set aside to cool.

Step 2

Place gelatin in 3 Tbsp. water and stir to combine; set aside. Zest all 3 lemons into a small bowl; set aside. Juice each lemon until you have 1/3 cup juice with no seeds; set aside. Over a double boiler, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2/3 cup water, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25-30 minutes. Whisk in gelatin mixture until completely dissolved. Add half of the lemon zest and refrigerate for 30 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes, until consistency has slightly thickened and mixture has cooled completely.

Step 3

Beat egg whites on medium-high until soft peaks form. Slowly stream in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white mixture into chilled lemon mixture in 3 additions, waiting until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Pour filling into pie crust and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours or overnight.

Step 4

Whip cream with powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Add half of remaining lemon zest and mix to combine. Scoop whipped cream onto the center of the pie and spread it slightly around, leaving much of the lemon chiffon surface exposed. Sprinkle the entire pie with remaining lemon zest and serve.