Lemon Chiffon Pie Recipe: Light, Citrusy, and Delightfully Easy to Make

Lemon Chiffon Pie Recipe: Light, Citrusy, and Delightfully Easy to Make

Lemon Chiffon Pie dates back to the early 20th century. The pie rose to popularity in the 1920s when Henry Baker, an Iowa insurance agent, invented the chiffon pie concept. Owners of the Betty Crocker brand purchased the recipe, eventually adding it to their cookbook collection, boosting the pie’s fame. The unique blend of creamy, airy texture combined with the tangy lemon flavor made it an instant classic.

How Lemon Chiffon Pie Differs From Classic Lemon Pie

Lemon Chiffon Pie offers a distinctive texture compared to a classic lemon pie. While both pies feature a lemon filling, chiffon pies incorporate beaten egg whites (or meringue) to create a lighter, fluffier consistency. In contrast, classic lemon pies have a denser, custard-like filling. Chiffon pies often use a graham cracker crust to complement the airy filling, whereas traditional lemon pies typically have a flaky pastry crust.

Key Ingredients for Lemon Chiffon Pie

Importance of Lemon Zest and Juice

Lemon zest and juice provide the foundational citrus notes that define a Lemon Chiffon Pie. Fresh lemons yield the best results because both the zest and juice contain natural oils and acids, enhancing flavor. Zest from organic lemons delivers a more intense aroma without the risk of pesticide residues. For the juice, ensure it’s freshly squeezed to avoid the bitterness of bottled versions. These components not only contribute to the pie’s tanginess but also balance the sweetness of other ingredients.

Choosing the Right Type of Cream

Heavy cream is essential for achieving the pie’s light and airy texture. When whipped, heavy cream adds volume and stability to the filling. Opt for a cream with a fat content of at least 36%, as this ensures it holds its shape and integrates well with other ingredients. Avoid lower-fat options like half-and-half, which won’t provide the necessary structure. Fresh cream, free from added thickeners or stabilizers, yields the best results, ensuring a smooth and consistent texture throughout the pie.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Lemon Chiffon Pie

Preparing the Crust

Begin by preparing the crust. Crush 2 cups of graham crackers into fine crumbs, achieving a uniform texture. Combine these crumbs with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, enhancing the crust’s sweetness. Melt 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, then add it to the mixture, ensuring all crumbs are evenly coated. Press this mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie dish, forming an even layer across the bottom and sides. Bake the crust in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10 minutes, ensuring it becomes slightly golden. Allow it to cool to room temperature before adding the filling.

Making the Chiffon Filling

To make the chiffon filling, start by zesting 3 lemons, producing approximately 1 tablespoon of zest. Squeeze these lemons to obtain 1/2 cup of fresh juice. Separate 4 large eggs, placing the yolks and whites in different bowls. In a saucepan, mix 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour, and a pinch of salt. Gradually stir in 3/4 cup of water and the lemon juice, forming a smooth mixture. Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring until it thickens, roughly 5-7 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the egg yolks one at a time, avoiding curdling. Return to heat for another minute, then transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, adding 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to stabilize them. Gently fold these beaten whites into the lemon mixture, ensuring a light, airy consistency.

The Final Touch: Whipped Cream Topping

Prepare the whipped cream topping by chilling a mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes. Pour 1 cup of heavy cream into the cold bowl, adding 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar for sweetness. Beat on medium speed, gradually increasing to high until stiff peaks form, typically 3-4 minutes.

Spread the whipped cream evenly over the chilled lemon chiffon filling, creating a smooth layer. Optionally, garnish with additional lemon zest or a thin lemon slice for a finishing touch. Refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours, allowing it to set fully before serving.

Serving and Storage Tips

Best Practices for Serving Lemon Chiffon Pie

Serve Lemon Chiffon Pie well-chilled for the best experience. Cool the pie in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firm the filling. Use a sharp knife when cutting the pie to get clean slices. Dip the knife in warm water and wipe it dry between cuts to maintain the pie’s smooth texture. Add a dollop of whipped cream or a lemon slice for an attractive presentation.

How to Store Lemon Chiffon Pie

Store Lemon Chiffon Pie in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. Cover the pie with plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from absorbing odors and drying out. Consume the pie within 3 to 4 days for the best taste and texture. If you need to store it longer, freeze the pie. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer. Thaw the pie in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.


Lemon Chiffon Pie is a delightful dessert that combines lightness and a refreshing lemon flavor. By mastering the use of beaten egg whites and a graham cracker crust, you can create a pie that’s both airy and rich. With the right balance of lemon zest, juice, and heavy cream, your pie will achieve the perfect texture and citrusy taste. Follow the step-by-step guide to ensure a flawless result every time. Remember to chill the pie thoroughly, use a sharp knife for clean slices, and store it properly to maintain its freshness. Enjoy this timeless treat with family and friends.

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