Shaker Lemon Pie
This simple recipe mixes lemon slices, sugar, and eggs to form a custardy filling. But unless you macerate the lemon slices for 24 hours, the pie turns out bitter. Could we speed up this recipe for modern times?
Why This Recipe Works
Most Shaker lemon pie recipes mix lemon slices—peel and all—with sugar and eggs to form a custardy filling. But unless we macerated the lemon slices for 24 hours, the pie turned out bitter. We wanted to speed up this recipe for modern times, so we found a few tricks to create bright lemon flavor in our pie recipe while tempering the bitterness of the pith. First, we squeezed the seeded lemon slices and reserved the juice for the filling. We simmered the slices and then added them to the filling with the uncooked juice for bright lemon flavor without any macerating time. We wanted our pie to have a smooth filling, so we squeezed the lemon slices in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any seeds or pulp that would mar the filling’s texture. Our Shaker Lemon Pie spends a generous 40 minutes in the oven, which can cause the heat-sensitive eggs in the filling to curdle. To avoid this problem, we used a bit of cornstarch to stabilize the eggs and ensure a smooth filling.
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