What is lemon pie?
Lemon pie is a classic dessert that consists of a crisp, buttery crust filled with a tangy and creamy lemon filling. In various lemon pie recipe, the filling is usually made with a combination of fresh lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and butter, mixing with condensed milk, cornstarch, or gelatin to create a thick and smooth texture. Once the filling has cooled, pour it into the pre-baked crust and chilled until firm.
There is some modifications to offer a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors. This lemon pie recipe includes less sugar and lemon juices, and uses gelatin (similar to cheesecake) for the filling to bring a glow and smooth surface for the pie and ready for decoration with anything, not just whipped cream or meringue which requires a lot of unhealthy sugars.
- 170g (1 ½ cups) sweet graham cracker crumbs
- 100g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 40g (2 ¾ tbsp) lemon juice
- 5g (1 tsp) Lemon Zest
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 Egg yolks
- 50g (3 ½ tbsp) butter
- 50g (3 ½ tbsp) sugar
- 1 Gelatin sheet (2g – ½ tsp)
- 4ml (1 tsp) Limoncello (Lemon Liquor) (optional)
- 60g (1/4 cup) cornstarch
Topping 1: whipped cream (optional)
- 240ml (1 cup) whipping cream
- 15g (1 tbsp) sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Topping 2: Swiss meringue (optional)
- 2 egg whites
- 140g (3/4 cup) sugar
- To start making the crust, melt the butter until it turns into a liquid. You can do this easily and quickly using a microwave.
- Next, crush the graham crackers into small crumbs. A helpful tip is to place them in a zip-top bag, leaving a small hole for air to escape, and then use a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs, stirring well until the mixture is moist and evenly mixed.
- Transfer the mixture into a 22cm (8 inches) mold or pie plate and press it firmly and evenly into the bottom and wall of the mold. Be sure to pack it tightly to create an even layer. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake the crust for 10 minutes. This will help the crust hold together and provide a delicious base for your lemon pie.
- Before starting, take the butter out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, and soak the gelatin sheet in water before moving to the next steps. After around 10 minutes, remove the gelatin sheet from the water.
- This recipe requires one large lemon. Wash the lemon, squeeze out all the lemon juice, and grate the lemon zest into a small bowl.
- In a separate large bowl, mix 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, and sugar together. Microwave the lemon juice bowl above for 30 seconds, then pour it into the egg mixture. Sift the mixture twice for the smoothest texture, then heat it up to 83°C (182°F) to pasteurize it. Stir continuously to ensure that the mixture doesn't overcook. Add the gelatin sheet to the mixture and stir until it melts completely. Turn off the heat.
- Allow the mixture to cool down to 40°C (104°F), then add limoncello (optional) and mashed room-temperature butter. Whisk until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Pour the final mixture onto the baked crust and refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours.
- Whipped Cream
Add whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla to a bowl. Beat the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks.
- Swiss Meringue
Use a double boiler (or place a bowl on top of a pot, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the bottom of the pot) to heat a mixture of eggs and sugar over low heat. Beat it gently using a whisk until it dissolves completely and reaches a temperature of 140-160°F (60-70°C) for pasteurization. Remove the mixture from heat and whisk using a hand mixer or stand mixer until it forms stiff peaks.
Decorate the pie with your preferred topping using your favorite piping tips. Add some more fruit and lemon slices to finish off the look.
- Don't overheat lemon juice, warm lemon juice is okay. Also, don't overheat egg mixture or else the mixture will be cooked.
- The amount of sugar can be adjusted following your taste. If you are on diet, you can skip the toppings and replace by fruits.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 10g
Tips to have the best lemon pie
- Use fresh lemon juice. To get the best flavor and texture, use freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest.
- Remember to pre-bake the crust. it is to ensure the pie stays crisp and flaky. This will also prevent the crust from getting soggy while adding the filling.
- Don’t overcook the filling. Be careful not to overcook the lemon filling, as the eggs can become cooked which makes the filling thick and broken.
- Use room temperature eggs and unsalted butter. Room temperature eggs and butter mix better with the other ingredients, resulting in creamier filling. Unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt in the filling.
- Garnish with whipped cream or meringue. Lemon pie is often served with whipped cream or meringue to balance the tartness of the filling. Make sure to whip the cream or egg whites until stiff peaks form for the best texture and flavor. In case of using fruits as topping, select berry, melon or pear.