Meyer Lemon Shaker Pie
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A friend of mine baked a pie for Easter, and texted me, “I made a pie and it didn’t turn out.” I was imaging all sorts of baking disasters, but what I didn’t realize is that she made a lemon Shaker pie and it’s not a texture or taste most of us are used to. But she was wrong. I tried the pie. I loved the pie. I mean I LOVED the pie. It was oh so tart, and yet sweet, and lemony to the max. She didn’t put a top crust on it, allowing the lemon peels and lemon curd to form a crust on its own.
This recipe works with Meyer Lemons or regular lemons, as a pie or as a tart.
What is a Shaker pie?
I don’t expect you to know. I only just discovered this a few weeks ago myself. The Shakers are those folks who made sensible furniture, known for simplicity and quality. The story goes that lemons were a luxury, and not to be wasted, thus a shaker lemon pie uses the entire lemon, except the seeds. The zest, the juicy insides, and yes, the pith. Makes you pucker and shake your head doesn’t it? But, one bite and you might be as enamored as I’ve become.
Lemons are zested and sliced very thin and then covered with sugar for several hours. The longer the lemons sit in the sugar, the better, because it takes away the bitterness of the pith. My friend allowed for overnight for her second pie and liked that the best. You could just rub this all over your body for an incredible spa treatment too.
Once left standing for several hours, you get this lemony, sugary nearly candied mixture ready to go into the pie.
The regular lemon pie was outstanding. The Meyer lemon pie was outstanding, but just a bit sweeter in that tangerine taste way (or Meyer lemon taste way).
Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, and a bit floral. Feel free to substitute and use regular lemons. Whatever you choose, make sure to buy organic, as you are using all the zest, and look for lemons without a lot of thick pith. You can trim some of that off (or all of it off) before you slice the lemons.
There you have it. A gorgeous crunchy lemony pie. I could work on making the crust look a bit prettier, but it’s my delicious buttery crust that takes this pie over the top.
Pie Crust Recipe
See a Video how to make perfect pie crust here.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour ( plus 1 teaspoon for later)
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- Mix salt and flour together. Cut butter into small pieces. Freeze both for a 15 minutes minutes, as butter softens immediately upon cutting. If using food processor, put flour mixture in bowl and freeze blade.
- Lay small pieces of butter evenly over flour and mix for 20 seconds at a time, stopping as soon as dough is shaggy. Stream in cold water. If using kitchen aid type mixer, use paddle attachment on low setting for one minute max.
- Stream in cold water on sides of bowl. Mix on low, just until incorporated. Form into disc , wrap in plastic at least one hour. I rest my dough overnight, but this is not a must.
- Take dough out 30 minutes before rolling to soften.
- Roll out dough, evenly, not too thick, less than 1/4” thick and in all directions to make a circle. Do not stretch dough, because it will shrink back. Patch any cracks or holes. Use fork to make indentations.
Meyer Lemon Shaker Pie
- Pie dough for one crust pie.
- 2 cups of sugar
- 3 organic Meyer lemons can use regular lemons
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Prepare lemons and sugar will sit overnight in refrigerator.
- Cut tips of lemons off. Zest into bowl. If the pith is thick, cut it off. You can trim some of it or all of it. I take most of the pith off.
- Slice very thin with mandolin or sharp knife.(Freeze lemons for 10 minutes if using a knife).
- Mix zest into sugar with your hands. Add in lemon slices. Cover with plastic and put in refrigerator overnight.
- Prepare pie dough. (see notes)
- Add four eggs to food processor. Add in vanilla. Mix.
- Add lemon/sugar mixture, flour, salt, melted butter. Mix.
- Pour into unbaked pie shell.
- Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Do not over bake. Bake just until the top is set.
- Cool completely before cutting. Store in refrigerator.
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I could take a slice or two…lemony goodness…
Lemon is my chocolate so this would have to be a must for me!!!
I’ve never heard of a shaker pie! I love love a fresh, tangy lemon pie though, so I’m sure I’d love it.
So cool. I love Meyer Lemons and hate to waste even one little bit of their deliciousness. I just score a huge bag of Meyers from a friend yesterday and they are begging to be used for some sort of wonderful treat. Shaker Pie here we come.
have i ever told you about my crazy love of citrus? i must drink, no joke, a gallon of lemony water every single day. i love citrus on my veggies, in sorbets, in desserts, in pasta … pretty much anywhere. this pie sounds beyond divine to me. will have to try it soon!
I know I would love this pie too. GREG
I’ve got about 10 lemons in the fridge that would be perfect for this. Thanks Angela! 😀
I loved learning about this pie. Now I really need to bake one!
I love Shaker Lemon Pie! I first had it years ago at the restaurant at Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, Ky. The one they made was absolutely beautiful, with lemons sliced paper thin and stacked perfectly on top of each other. I’ve never tried making one at home, but that may have to change soon.
Wow, this looks delicious. I adore lemon.
I am not familiar with this pie, but I like the idea of putting the lemons…peel and pulp in the pie. Meyer Lemons have very edible skin and pulp, unlike other lemons so what a fantastic recipe. I will definitely add this to my recipe file. Sorry to have missed a few postings…I have been in Chicago on shoots but back home and trying to catch up.
Ooh my mouth is watering just reading about this. It look perfect.
Yup, never heard of Shaker pie — but after reading your post, I sure would like to try a slice. So interesting.
Thank you for bring a little Spring dessert into my life! Always love anything with a lemon.
LOL.. “rub it all over your body for an incredible spa treatment too”.. I just pictured myself doing this and then having my husband or daughter walk in.. Im sure they would think I had lost it all!! But I bet you’re right, it would make for a great exfoliant and would so be worth the funny looks I would possibly get from the family! Kinda like the kitty litter (clean) masque.
I just had a salad with strawberries, almonds and blue cheese.. would that slice of pie defeat the purpose of my salad?!? That’s it.. I need to come to your house, the food you make and post looks absolutely wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing.. :O)
Kiki, I’m serious. This would be so good for the skin and oh the smell of Meyer lemons.