This Whole Lemon Pie recipe came to me from my grandma. I asked her where she got it from but she couldn’t remember. I did a little searching around, and found that Smitten Kitchen has a Whole Lemon Tart recipe, so I’m thinking it may have evolved from there.
I always love to see how a good recipe is passed around, little adaptations made here and there. Kind of like that game of telephone we used to play as kids.
This might be the world’s easiest pie to make. The filling involves putting FIVE ingredients into a blender and pushing the button. That’s it! And the lemon filling is custardy, creamy, sweet, and tart. It almost tastes like a pie version of lemon bars. It’s such a refreshing summertime dessert!
You could make it even more simple by using a frozen unbaked pie crust (my favorite is Marie Callender’s). I’m really challenging myself to get good at making pie crusts, so I made my own this time. It’s definitely getting easier each time, and I think I’ve found a good all-butter pie crust recipe. The food processor really helps!
On a side note, I did also try making a Whole “Lime” Pie. Same recipe, just swapped out a lime for the lemon. TERRIBLE! Very bitter. Just in case you had any thought of trying it yourself! Let’s stick with the lemon version.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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For the Pie Crust
- 1/2 cup salted butter, chilled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (more or less as needed) very cold water
For the Filling
- 1 whole lemon*
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Lemon slices for garnish
For the Crust
- Place butter, sugar, and flour into a food processor or blender, and pulse until you have coarse (pea sized) crumbs. Scrape down sides as needed. Slowly add chilled water and pulse, until the dough begins to come together. It should still be slightly crumbly. Pour the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and knead a few times to bring together. If the dough is too crumbly, sprinkle a little water over it and knead again. Wrap the dough up in the plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.
- To roll out the crust, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Then unwrap and place the dough on a well-floured surface. Roll the dough out so you have a large circle that is a few inches wider than your pie tin. Be patient as you roll, turning the dough to check for sticking and adding more flour as needed. Roll the dough around the rolling pin to transfer it to the pie dish.
- Without stretching the dough, place it into the pie dish, and trim excess dough around the edges, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Roll the edge under, and then crimp.
For the Filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Trim both ends off the lemon, and cut into quarters. Add lemon, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract to a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into unbaked pie shell, and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cover edges of pie with tin foil if they brown before the pie is done.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing. Can be refrigerated and served chilled or at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
* Choose a small to medium sized lemon. Larger lemons generally have the same amount of “lemon” inside, but with a thicker “pith” (the white part) surrounding it. Too much lemon pith and your pie will be too bitter.