Jan’s Shaker Lemon Pie

Adapted from Spinach Tiger

Jan loves pie. Miriam loves pie. Eilene loves pie. Guess what Jan is making to go with my Easter lamb for dinner.


Jan’s Shaker Lemon Pie

Jan’s Shaker Lemon Pie

A Shaker lemon pie is basically lemon custard; eggs, lemon and sugar. Meyer lemons are generally sweeter and their peels are less bitter than other varieties of lemons. Still it is a good idea to process your lemons and give them an overnight soak to allow the bitter compounds to break down into the more flavorful compounds that taste like lemons.

Almost all of the recipes that Jan found for this pie used way too much sugar. Some used one cup of sugar per lemon. That is not pie; that is candy.

Today Jan decided to make her own crust, instead of buying a shell. If you do this you must start the crust the night before so it can chill overnight. This dough freezes well, so she doubled the recipe, so that she would have dough ready for suture pies.

Note: Pie cruse adapted from an Add a Pinch recipe.

After Dinner Note: This pie has an almost medicinal level of lemon. It was not too sweet, but not too tart. The rinds were a bit tough and I made a change to step 8 below.

Jan’s Shaker Lemon Pie



4-6 ice cubes (8-10 Tbs. water when melted)
1 Tbs. Grand Marnier

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup butter


4 Eureka lemons
3/4 cup white sugar
½ cup Karl’s Orange Infused Sugar

4 eggs
1 Tbs. Grand Marnier
4 Tbs. melted butter
1 Tbs. corn starch
¼ tsp. salt


1. The day before you plan to bake your pie, put the ice cubes and Grand Marnier in a small cup and let them melt until the cubes are almost gone.

2. Combine the flour and the salt in a large bowl and cut in the shortening and butter into the flour with a pastry blender, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

3. Stir in the Grand Marnier ice water a bit at a time until the dough forms a ball.

4. Knead the dough 2-3 times to fully blend the ingredients and divide into four balls.

5. Wrap the balls separately in plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator.

Tip: If you are not making two pies, freeze two of the balls for a later date.

6. Use a mandoline to slice the lemons into thin rounds, removing the pips as you go.

Tip: Checking the open end of the lemon and digging out any pips gives you a more even cut.

Note: if you do not own a mandoline, cut both ends off the lemons. Cut the fruit in half, pole to pole and then slice them as thinly as you can. Cutting the fruit into half moons is safer for your fingers.

7. Mix the cut lemons into sugar. Cover them with plastic and set them on the counter overnight.

8. Put the lemons and sugar in a small pot and bring it to a simmer. Cook covered for 20 minutes and then let it cook.

Note: This is a change from what we did. Unlike the Meyers lemon peels which were very tender, the Eureka lemons have a tougher, chewier rind. Cooking them slightly would help. You might also use only a few rinds and just the pulp of most of the lemons.

9. Add the four eggs to bowl and whisk in the liqueur.

10. Whisk in the melted butter, salt, and corn starch.

11. Pick out the prettiest and largest slices of lemon. Set them aside.

12. Gently fold in the rest of the lemon/sugar mixture into the egg mixture. Mix them thoroughly.

13. Pour the filling into unbaked pie shell.

14. Lay the selected lemon slices over the pie in a decorative pattern.

15. Bake at 375° F for 40-45 minutes.

Tip: Do not over bake, just until the top is set and has stopped jiggling when shaken gently.

16. Cool completely before serving and cut at the table.

Tip: Store in the refrigerator, if not eaten within two hours.


Filed under Desserts & Treats, Pies & Tarts, Vegetarian

2 responses to “Jan’s Shaker Lemon Pie

  1. I made a Shaker Lemon Pie once, a long time ago, but this version sounds like it would be much better. Thanks for the tip on reducing the bitterness – that was a problem with my old recipe. -Janet

  2. Pingback: Karl’s Barbecued Greek Lamb Korma | Jabberwocky Stew

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