How to Make Lemon Pie

Three Parts:Making the PastryMaking the FillingBaking the Pie and Serving

A flavorsome lemon pie, filled with large plump lemons and enhanced by vanilla sugar and sweet pastry. Yum! This can be be changed to suit special diets by substituting with gluten-free flour.


For the Pie

  • 10 oz of either plain flour or gluten-free flour
  • 5 oz chilled butter, grated just before use
  • 2 ounces vanilla sugar (if unavailable, caster sugar will be fine)
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • Chilled water to bind

For the Filling:

  • 3 large plump lemons
  • 3 ounces vanilla sugar (or to taste)
  • Approximately 1/2 pint of milk
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • Corn flour (to thicken sauce)(also known as cornstarch)
  • One lemon to decorate
  • Crystallized sugar for sprinkling on top (granulated is okay)

Part 1
Making the Pastry

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    Combine your choice of flour and sugar in a large bowl.
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    Grate chilled butter, stir into flour and sugar.
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    Stir in egg yolk and enough chilled water to bind to a fairly soft dough. The gluten free flour needs to be wetter as it absorbs more moisture whilst resting. Use a fork for this.
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    Wrap pastry in cling film and put into the fridge for half an hour.

Part 2
Making the Filling

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    Finely zest the 3 lemons into a bowl, and squeeze the juice also.(To maximize juice, put lemons into microwave for a short time, on medium power.)
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    Put lemon remains into a saucepan with some water and heat, bring to a boil, simmer for twenty minutes or longer if you wish. Check for bitterness, though.
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    Remove lemon remains, bring liquid back to the boil, reduce heat and reduce by half. Be careful not to burn.
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    Add lemon juice and zest, heat through. Remove from heat and cool (this could be done the day before if you wish) Strain into a large saucepan.
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    Take a little of the milk and mix about 3 teaspoons corn flour to a paste.
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    Mix milk, egg yolks and sugar in a large jug, whisk in corn flour mix. If the lemon juice is cold, heat gently, but do not get it too hot.
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    Whisk the milk mix again, then add to warm lemon mix, whisking all the time. Be careful the lemon mix is not too hot as the eggs will scramble. Test for sweetness. The mix will start to thicken. Cover with a wet cloth to stop a skin forming.

Part 3
Baking the Pie and Serving

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    Remove pastry from fridge, and knead it a little so it can be rolled out. Gluten free pastry is difficult to roll out, you may need to mold it into the pie dish with your fingers.
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    Roll out large enough to come up the sides of the dish and over a bit. Line the dish, gently firm pastry into bottom. Avoid making any holes, if possible, and make repairs if you do.
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    Pour in lemon milk mix halfway up, do not overfill! You possibly will have some over, this can be used later.
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    Thinly slice remaining lemon, arrange over filling, which should be thick enough to hold it. You may overlap the slices a little. Sprinkle generously with sugar crystals or granulated sugar. Place dish on a baking tray and bake in the middle of the oven preheated at 180ÂșC for about 40 minutes. Check that the filling does not spill out too much. The sauce will thicken further.
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    When the pastry is cooked and the sugar is nice and golden, remove carefully from the oven and cool in dish. The filling will set as it cools.
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    Serve on its own, with cream or yogurt.
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  • Avoid using sweetener in either the pastry or the filling. The lemon acid and bitterness do not go well with it, and the correct volume is difficult to achieve. Fruit Sugar works a little better, but there is still the volume problem.
  • Make the lemon juice the day before, it improves with keeping. Do watch for bitterness though, when boiling the remains. Too long and it is awful. This way you can control heating it through for adding the milk and egg mix. Too hot and the egg will go like scrambled egg.
  • Leave yourself plenty of time, this cannot be made in a rush.
  • If you are feeling really posh make a sauce by cooking soft fruit, perhaps raspberries, until squashy, then sieve,sweeten, cool and pour a little over each serving.
  • Make sure you whisk all the time you are adding the two mixes.


  • Please be very careful when boiling lemons, do not let them boil hard, so as to splash up all over you.
  • Take care when placing pie in the oven and on removing it while it is hot.

Things You'll Need

  • 8" pie dish/tin at least 2" deep
  • Large saucepan
  • Whisk or electric beater
  • Sharp Knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Cling Film
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking Tray
  • Teaspoon or tablespoon
  • Scales
  • Egg Separator
  • Fork
  • Large Jug
  • Small Jug
  • Zesting Tool
  • Juicer

Article Info

Categories: Dessert Pies | Citrus Fruits