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Last Thanksgiving I tried a pie from the Joy of Cooking that sounded amazing.

Called an Ohio Shaker Lemon Pie it consisted of lemons sliced paper thin and macerated in sugar. This recipe is similar.

The pie was beautiful. The flavor was overpowering. It was almost inedibly sour and bitter. I was the only person who finished my slice.

What did I do wrong or is this pie meant to be excessively sour and bitter?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I have this recipe on my short list to try: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/04/shaker-lemon-pie/

Few things I've noticed in her recipe and my own experience with pies containing whole lemons.

  • The meyer lemons as she notes make a huge difference. Mind you their growing season is short and they are not available everywhere. If you have access to them, then all the better. Otherwise find the sweetest variety you can.
  • If you can, select lemons with as thin rinds as possible.
  • That all said, the shaker pie is designed to be sweet, sour and bitter. How bitter depends on the above.
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A tip for selecting thin-skinned lemons - the paler the skin, the thinner it is. Sicilian varieties are often quite thin-skinned. –  ElendilTheTall Jul 4 '12 at 10:04
    
Thanks for the answer! I suspected the lemons made a difference. I'll have to shop around and see if I can find any thinner varieties. Maybe I could make the pie with limes instead. –  Sobachatina Jul 4 '12 at 12:11
    
I made that recipe with a friend - we were in a hurry so we didn't have time to let the lemons sit for a day (more like a couple hours), but even then it was good. A bit sour and bitter, yes, but definitely not inedibly so. –  Jefromi Jul 12 '12 at 17:10
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