Recipe courtesy of Stan Strom

Luscious Lemon Layer Pie

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 26 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 6 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
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Pie Crust Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Bottom Layer:

1 1/2 cup sugar

6 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup cold water

3 egg yolks, well beaten

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional

3 drops yellow food coloring

Second Layer:

1 cup powdered sugar

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cup cold whole milk

2 packages instant lemon pudding

Top Layer:

1 cup powdered sugar

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

16 ounces whipped cream or dessert topping


  1. Pie Crust: Whisk flour with a fork while still in the bag or canister. Gently spoon out flour into measuring cups. (This reduces flour by as much as 1/8 to 1/4 cup).
  2. Then sift flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Add shortening and cut into pea sized bits with pastry blender. Add cold water gradually until just dampened. Place on waxed paper and gather into ball from the outside corners. Press dough into a 6-inch pancake shape. Wrap with plastic wrap.
  3. Chill at least 30 minutes and then roll out between two large pieces of plastic wrap. Remove one side of plastic wrap, lightly flour if necessary and place into a 9-inch clear glass deep dish pan.
  4. Remove plastic wrap and flute edges. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Use extra pastry for cut-outs in the shapes of lemons, stars, etc. for decoration.
  6. Bottom Layer: In saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Mix with wire whisk; blend in lemon juice and cold water; then add egg yolks and blend until smooth. Add butter and gradually stir in boiling water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 2 minutes; remove from heat and add lemon extract, zest/peel, and food coloring. Partially cool for 30 minutes, and pour into the baked pie shell. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before adding second layer.
  7. Second Layer: In a small bowl, cream sugar and cream cheese with spatula until smooth. Add milk and stir until well blended. Add pudding and beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes until thickened. Pour on bottom layer. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Top Layer: Cream together the sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip and spread on top of cooled lemon pudding. Garnish with extra pastry cutouts, citrus or mint leaves. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.