Cold Lemon Pie Recipe | Dessert Recipes | PBS Food

Prepare cold lemon pie like Walt Disney. Learn more at The History Kitchen blog.


Yield: One 9 inch pie, 6-8 servings


  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs, separated 

  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 

  • ½ cup water 

  • 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin 

  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt 

  • 1 tbsp grated lemon peel 

  • Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • Optional Toppings:
  • whipped cream

  • grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and press them evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan.
  2. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and allow the crust to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat together the egg yolks, lemon juice and water until just combined. Set aside.
  4. In the top of a double boiler, combine ½ cup of the sugar with the salt and the gelatin. Add the egg yolk mixture and mix until well combined. Cook, over boiling water, stirring constantly until the gelatin has dissolved and the mixture has thickened.
  5. Remove the top pan from the double boiler and stir in the lemon peel.
  6. Fill a large mixing bowl with ice water and place pan containing the topping into the bowl. Be careful that none of the water splashes into the pan. Allow to sit for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to create a mound when dropped from a spoon.
  7. While the filling cools, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the remaining ½ cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition.
  8. Once the filling has cooled, gently fold it into the whipped egg whites until just combined. Place the filling into the pie crust and top with nutmeg, if desired. Chill for several hours, or until it has set up enough to slice. Top with whipped cream before serving, if desired.


You will also need: 9 inch pie pan, mixing bowls, double boiler, hand or stand mixer

Recipe Source: Five-star Favorites: Recipes from Friends of Mamie and Ike. New York: Golden, 1974. Print.