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Mom’s Lemon Custard Pie

My mother often made this lemon pie back when we were growing up. You might say it's stood the test of time because today it's still my 75-year-old brother's favorite! The beaten egg whites give it a delicate texture and make this custard pie quite unique! It's a great way to finish off any meal. —Jeannie Fritson, Kearney, Nebraska
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 1 hour
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
  • Whipped cream, lemon slice and mint sprig, optional


  • Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until well blended. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add milk, flour and salt; mix well. Stir in lemon juice and zest; set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; gently fold into lemon mixture.
  • Pour into pie shell. Bake 1 hour or until lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool. Garnish with whipped cream, lemon and mint, if desired. Store in the refrigerator.
Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches): Combine 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. salt; cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until crumbly. Gradually add 3-5 Tbsp. ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 315 calories, 14g fat (9g saturated fat), 37mg cholesterol, 217mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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  • phassett
    Aug 31, 2019

    My grandmother made this when my mother was growing up but never got the recipe. She was so excited to find it in a Wonan's Day magazine when I was a growing up. I kept her recipe and family lives up and am looking forward to passing it on to my daughter.

  • Wolfpax4
    Jul 8, 2019

    Delicious! I have now substituted this recipe for the standard lemon meringue pie filling recipe, which can be runny sometimes. This recipe has the same tang but holds together until the last piece is eaten, and doesn’t get weepy. Once baked and slightly cooled, I top the pie with meringue and bake again just until the meringue has evenly browned. It’s fantastic!

  • Sarah
    Jan 27, 2019

    I wanted a lemon custard, not a lemon custard pie, so I made the recipe as written up to the point of putting it into the pie crust, other than adding another TBS of butter and a bit more zest and juice. I used a baking pan that was 3" high and put it into a hot water bath for 50 minutes. Yummy.

  • jamieheck
    Apr 13, 2018

    Amazing refreshingly light lemon pie. I made it with a homemade crust and this was the perfect summer dessert! It was great warm, room temp or cold.

  • jazzygal
    Sep 2, 2017

    Wasn't bad. Was very favorable, east to make and I had all the ingredients already but the pie crust. Will make again but next time I will try lime.

  • thomamp33
    Aug 1, 2017

    This is my great grandmother's Lemon Sponge Pie recipe...if you want to boost the lemon flavor, increase the amount of lemon zest, and sub the milk with buttermilk. You won't be sorry!

  • dfordham
    Nov 20, 2016

    Yep....this is a "keeper" recipe!!! Glad to see the hint about using 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract in lieu of lemon zest....all the other ingredients I usually have on hand but don't always have a lemon. (BTW...I used bottled lemon juice...we always have that). Love recipes I can thow together and not have to run to the store!

  • normajean70
    Nov 3, 2016

    After seeing this in the list of pies for the holidays I knew I had to try it, because it sounded like one my Aunt Sara used to make when we visited when I was young, (very young) I'm 71 now. So off to the kitchen I went , and followed it every step of the way. It's cooling now and it smells heavenly in here. Wish I had more lemons and I would have made 2.It's cooled down to room temp. that's all I need for a small taste, it tastes like I remember. Thank you for whisking time back for me. This goes in my keeper file.

  • mommayor
    Aug 27, 2016

    Made this pie for my mom' birthday. She loved it. It was very refreshing. Only thing I changed is instead of lemon zest, I used 1/2 tsp of lemon extract. Delicious!

  • NanZim
    Jul 27, 2016

    My husband enjoyed this tasty pie. It has plenty of lemon flavor.