Shaker Lemon Pie

READY IN: 55mins
Recipe by Nana Lee

Prep time does not include refrigeration time. Source: New Yorker Magazine, March 1988 Article: Best Pies in the Eastern United States

Top Review by Paolo Presta

I visited Shakertown, Kentucky and spoke with the last surviving Shaker Woman left there. She suggested that I try the Shaker cafe there and she encouraged me to try this lemon pie. I asked about it and she told me that making it was simple. Slicing paper thin two whole lemons adding the sugar to the lemons stir and leave in a crock over night. I followed her advice and had this pie at the cafe and loved it despite it's stringy lemons. I always let the lemons marry in the sugar for 8 hours and then ground the lemons in the food processor before moving ahead with this recipe. The pie turns out beautifully. As one person noted here that lemons can often be bitter and I've had that happen. I don't mind the bitterness but many do. If you can find thin rind lemons that might help. The Shakers in Kentucky received lemons while they were on their way up river from down South. The boats stopped there to take on what was then the first packaged seeds for sale. The lemons of those days did not have thick skins that are required today for transport. Make this pie but be thoughtful about it.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 (9 inch) pie crusts (see note)
  • 2 large lemons, with very thin skins
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 cups sugar


  1. NOTE: I use prepared pie shells from the frozen foods section of market. For a top crust I use Pillsbury prepared crusts. They are now rolled instead of folded -- no creases!
  2. Slice lemons as thin as paper, rind and all. Combine with sugar, mix well.
  3. Let stand 2 hours or preferably refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Add beaten eggs to lemon mix, mix well.
  6. Turn into 9-inch pie shell, arranging slices evenly.
  7. Cover with top crust.
  8. Cut several slits near center.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375º F and bake 20 minutes more or until silver knife comes out clean.

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