Cooking Classes


Shaker Lemon Pie

Citrus is in season during the winter months although lemons and oranges are available year round. Out of season fruit comes from farther away. At the moment citrus in Canadian grocery stores is coming from Florida and California.

This traditional pie is a favourite in the Shaker community. An interesting piece of trivia here "shaker your plate" means eat every last crumb. Waste nothing.

This pie is tart like marmalade. Macerate the lemon slices in sugar at room temperature overnight.

I often make pastry in my food processor. It is quick and easy. This butter pastry is the perfect match to the tartness of the lemons.
Form into two disks and then chill for an hour or more.
The juice of the lemons is drawn out by the sugar. The lemons are zested before slicing and the zest is also in the filling. Then add the egg mixture to complete making the filling.

Pour into pastry shell. Top with the second crust and crimp. It's ready to bake.
This pie is very tart but will mellow out if served the day after baking. And the crust is still fresh.

Shaker Lemon Pie
The Meyer lemon is native to China and is a cross between a lemon and an orange. The result is a sweeter and less acidic fruit. This sweet tart marmalade-like pie mellows after a day or two. 

2 c. sugar (500 mL)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt (1 mL)
2 Meyer lemons, zested and thinly sliced, seeds discarded
4 eggs
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted (60 mL)
3 tbsp. flour (45 mL)

1 3/4 c. flour, plus more (415 mL)
3/4 c. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled 175 mL
2 tbsp. vegetable shortening (30 mL)
1 tsp. kosher salt (5 mL)
4 tbsp. ice cold water (60 mL)

Toss sugar, salt and lemon zest and slices in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Pulse flour, cold butter, shortening and salt in a food processor into pea-size crumbles. Add water and pulse until dough forms. Divide dough in half and make two flattened balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill one hour.

Heat oven to 425 F (220 C). Whisk eggs in a bowl until frothy. Whisk in melted butter and three tablespoons (45 mL) flour. Stir into reserved lemon mixture. On a lightly floured surface, roll one disk of dough into a round and fit into a nine inch (23 cm) pie plate. Trim edges using a knife, leaving one inch (2.5 cm) dough overhanging edge of plate. Pour in filling. Roll remaining disk dough into a round and place over top of pie. Trim and crimp edges and cut steam vents in the top crust. Bake until crust is beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 F (175 C) and bake until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.


  1. I made a Shaker Lemon Pie once, using regular lemons, and my menfolk found it way too tart. I've always meant to try it again; since the recipe I found didn't mention Meyer lemons, maybe I'll see if I can hunt some of those down.

    1. I found that the tartness left after sitting for a day or two and the pastry was still great. But I have heard that about regular lemons.

  2. I am so making this. I LOVE tart so this is right up my alley. I've made a lemon tart before that was 1 crust but not too... very decadent! I just made orange and meyer lemon marmalade and loved it... the bitter is great with all that sugar too. Thanks for the great recipe

    1. I am definitely making this again. It is such a surprise of a pie for a dinner party.

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