Shaker Lemon Pie

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My mother occasionally makes this, and it’s very divisive. People who love sour things adore it. Everyone else loathes it.

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I love this pie. It is a combination of tart and sweet and is fairly easy to make at home if you have the equipment or ability to slice the lemons really thin. It’s the reason I go to Shaker Village now and then as well.

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Can you share the recipe? My Meyer lemon tree is bursting with fruit still

Esquire Magazine ran a one-page piece about Shaker Lemon Pie in the early 1980s. The secret is to slice the lemon (you only need one) while listening to Aaron Copeland’s Appalachian Spring. If you don’t finish slicing until the last bars are played, you have sliced it thin enough.

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Due to events beyond my control I ended up with many more lemons than I could possibly normally use before they went bad, but then I remembered this gastro entry. I’d never really baked before, and the edges burned a little bit, but I think it came out pretty good.

  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cups (440 g) sugar
  • 3 ~4 eggs (depends on how juicy the lemons are. I tend to play it safe and go with four )
    1/2 tsp salt
    pie crust

wash lemons and slice the lemons as thin as you can. Mix the sliced lemons, sugar and salt in a non-reactive bowl and let the lemons macerate for at least 4 hours, over night is better though if you can give it a whole day that’s even better.
Lightly Pre-brown a pie shell in a pan.
pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F)
Whisk the eggs then mix into lemon mixture. Put this mixture into the pie shell and bake for about 25 minutes until set.
Eat hot or cold.


Awesome! Thank you for the recipe!

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The first (and last) time I ever made this pie… I had never actually tasted one before. I was expecting something tangy and sweet, like a lemon custard. I spent all day on it, and then tried it… and was convinced I’d gone horribly wrong somewhere!! I couldn’t finish it and I was too embarrassed to serve it to anyone else. A friend later told me I’d done it right, it just tastes that way. Guess I’m not a fan lol!

I’m glad I helped inspire you to try something new. Hoped you liked it.

I personally like this pie. But it does seem to be one of those things where people either really like it or don’t at all. The bitterness of course is because of the rind and seeds. So the thinner you slice it and the longer it macerates the better but there is always going to be some of the bitterness from the rind. Now you could Zest (and use) and then cut the peel off the lemon before you make it but then it’s not a true shaker pie.


I make this occasionally. It’s delicious. The photos in this post are terrible! It is a beautiful piece. Here is the recipe I use: Little Compton Mornings: Lemons: $1.97 a bag

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