Lemon Custard Pie

Lemon Custard Pie

By Jan Zanoni
Published: January 21, 2012

Yesterday, the market had the most beautiful lemons, stacked up in piles. Their tangy citrus aroma took my mind’s eye back to my childhood where I could picture myself making my first pie.

 As I recall, Lemon Custard Pie was the first step down the road of my culinary adventure. Being just a child and standing on a stool at my mother’s range, I stirred the custard until thick and poured it into a freshly baked crust, as my mother instructed me. Then whipped the egg whites with a hand-held rotary beater. Topped the pie with spoonfuls of fluffy meringue, and carefully placed the pie in the oven to brown.

 I still use my mother’s recipe today. The method hasn’t changed nor has the equipment. I beat the egg whites with the same hand-held rotary beater and use the same glass bowl as I always have.

 After 40 years of sampling exquisite food from around the world, I must say that Lemon Custard Pie is still one of my favorites.

Lemon Custard Pie


 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

3 tablespoons corn starch

a pinch of salt

3 egg yolks

¼ cup lemon juice

grated rind from one lemon

1 ½ milk

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

3 egg whites

6 tablespoons sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius)

Incorporate corn starch, salt and granulated sugar in top of a double boiler. Add egg yolks, lemon juice and rind. Whisk until smooth. Stir in milk. Place over boiling water and stir until mixture is thick enough to hold a line across the surface when a spoon is dragged through the mixture. Pour into a pre-baked pie crust and top with mounds of meringue. Place in a hot oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and bake for about 10 minutes; until meringue has golden peaks.

 To make meringue: In a large bowl whip 3 egg whites until fluffy. Add sugar 2 tablespoons at a time and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Mound the meringue on top of the custard pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 40 min
Total time: 55 min
Yield: 1 9″ pie (8 servings)

Serving size: 1 medium slice
Calories per serving: 275
Fat per serving: 14g
Rating: 4.5