Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 35 mins

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

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.


Most Helpful

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.

Paolo Presta September 09, 2009

No review, just a note: I think it depends on the kind of lemons yo use in the preparation of this pie as to how bitter it is. Meyer lemons have nice thin skins and very little pith. They make a great shaker pie. The commercially popular Eureka lemons have a lot of bitter pith that affects the flavor of everything it touches.

East Wind Goddess March 03, 2008

I made this for my class this weekend and was afraid after reading the review...but everyone RAVED about it and the whole thing was devoured in minutes. Not a crumb was left behind. I initially got the recipe from Martha Stewart's web site, which is basically the same but doubled. What I did was use 2 lemons with skin on, and 2 without skin. I cut them as thin as I possibly could (if you own one of those slicer gimmicks from williams sonoma it would make this part much easier). I let them soak in the sugar at room temp for a few hours till they were juicy and runny. I want to note that the filling is not like lemon mirangue pie filling, or a lemon curd kind of filling. It is thicker, more like a quiche consistancy but is not eggy in flavor. So if you are looking for pudding-ish, this is not it. What this reminds me of is my mom's Polish Mazurek which is a kind of tart made with whole oranges. But I like this recipe much better as it is less bitter but the lemon rinds add a wonderful flavor. I do think you need to use 1/2 the rinds, unless you are very keen on the rind flavor. But like I said, everyone loved it and it was GONE. I also got emails raving about it with requests to make more. This would also be wonderful with a shortbread crust. I will no doubt be re-making this one.

Ilona #2 May 14, 2007

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