7-inch Lemon Cream Pie

7-inch lemon cream pie

I was feeling uninspired about my March pie…until Lemon Supreme Pie popped up during my hunt for what kind to bake. I went through a phase in college where I was obsessed with Village Inn's Lemon Cream Pie and wanted to put my spin on it.

My version is sort of a mash-up between a French lemon tart and an American-style pie. The crust is the recipe that's been working well for me, and the lemon cream filling is adapted from Tartine's Buckwheat Tart with Honey-Lemon Cream.

I've tried a few different things with my pie crusts -- different combinations of hard white wheat, soft white wheat, butter, and shortening. I've found that I prefer the texture of soft white wheat with shortening. Butter hasn't added enough flavor and has worsened the texture for me.

A slice of made from scratch whole wheat crust lemon cream pie
A slice of lemon cream pie

This little pie is really tart and surprisingly light-tasting, considering how much butter is in the lemon cream. The temperature is already on the rise where I live, so it's a cool, bright, and tangy complement to summer-like heat.

Filling adapted from Tartine Book No. 3 by Chad Robertson

Crust (makes one 7-inch single crust pie shell):
  • 48 grams shortening, in well-chilled chunks
  • 90 grams freshly-milled soft white wheat flour, chilled in freezer
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons ice water
  • 74 g fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 25 g granulated sugar
  • 28 g honey
  • 112 g butter, cut into 1-tbls pieces
  • 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
  1. For crust: stir together the flour, sugar, and salt and dump onto clean bench, placing the chunks of shortening on top. Using the heel of your hand and a bench scraper, smear the shortening into the flour. Work quickly to avoid over-softening the shortening. Once it's irregularly chunky, make a well and add 3 tablespoons of the ice water. Mix quickly with fingertips, and add a bit more water if needed. Form into a rough disk shape, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, remove dough and place on well-floured bench. Dust the top of the dough and roll out into a rectangle. Dust off the dough with a pastry brush and fold in thirds like a letter, dusting off each surface. Turn the dough 90° and perform rolling again. Continue this process until it's been rolled out 3-4 times. After final roll, pat corners down to make a disk shape. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425° with rack on bottom (I keep a baking stone on the bottom rack in my oven, which is where I baked my pie).
  4. Roll out dough, watching that it doesn't stick to the bench or pin, about 2 inches larger than the diameter of the pie dish. Gently place dough in dish, making sure it doesn't stretch or it may split while baking. Keep a little piece of raw dough for patching any cracks that may form during the pre-baking.
  5. Fill with foil and beans and bake for 15 min. Then remove the beans and foil, prick the bottom of the shell, and bake another 10 min. Set aside to cool.
  6. While the shell is cooling, prepare the filling: whisk lemon juice, eggs, sugar, and honey in a heatproof bowl that fits over a saucepan. Heat the saucepan with water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Place bowl with ingredients on top and wish constantly until mixture comes to 175° (approximately 5 min.)
  7. Remove bowl from heat. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and pour mixture through. Let cool to 140°, stirring occasionally.
  8. Whisk in the butter 1 piece at a time (I used a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment). Pour into prepared pie shell, cover with plastic, and cool in the refrigerator until firm, 1–2 hrs.
  9. When ready to serve, whip the cream and spread on top of the pie.