This old-fashioned pie is made with thinly sliced whole lemons—peels and all. The recipe originated in Shaker communities in areas where the South meets New England and the Midwest. Shaker cooks considered lemons an important part of a healthy diet, even though they were expensive and hard to come by, so they devised this pie to make use of every bit of the fruit. The Charleston, West Virginia, Junior League included this Shaker Lemon Pie in its 1974 Mountain Measures cookbook, and it’s been a favorite of bakers ever since. This citrus dessert is incredibly easy to make, with only four ingredients and 15 minutes of hands-on time. You let the lemon slices and sugar sit in a shallow bowl together for at least four hours, overnight if you’d like, to get the lemon slices good and juicy. To make it even easier, line a pie plate with a storebought refrigerated piecrust. We love serving this pie warm right out of the oven, and it goes too perfectly with some homemade vanilla ice cream! This pie makes a great addition to any Sunday family meal.
2 lemons (about 9 oz. each), sliced paper thin (rind and all)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 (14.1-oz.) pkg. refrigerated piecrusts (such as Pillsbury)
Vanilla ice cream, optional
How to Make It
Combine lemon slices and sugar in a shallow bowl; let stand until lemon slices are juicy, 4 hours or overnight. Remove any seeds that float to the surface.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Stir eggs into lemon mixture thoroughly.
Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 piecrust. Pour lemon mixture into shell. Cover with top crust, and crimp edges. Cut decorative steam vents in top crust.
Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. Without removing pie from oven, reduce temperature to 350°F. Bake until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cover piecrust edges with aluminum foil, if becoming too brown. Serve pie warm or at room temperature. Top slices with vanilla ice cream, if desired.