Lincoln's Lemon Custard Pie


Lincoln's Lemon Custard Pie

Lincolns Lemon Custard Pie
6 Hr
25 Min

Lemon custard pie was one of Honest Abe's favorites. His first taste of it came from Nancy Breedlove, the owner of a hotel he frequently stayed at. He loved her lemon custard pie so much, he asked her to share the recipe. Our version may not be exactly the one that's been used at the White House for years since, but it's still amazing!

What You'll Need

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (from a 15-ounce package)
  • 1 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

What to Do

  1. Place pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate, pressing crust firmly into plate, then flute edges. Bake according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine 1-1/2 cups sugar, the cornstarch and salt; mix well. Whisk in lemon juice and water until combined. Whisk in egg yolks. Add boiling water and butter and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Pour into pie crust.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie filling, sealing to edges of crust.
  5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Let cool 6 hours, then slice and serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator.


For another Lincoln-inspired dessert, check out our recipe for Mary Todd Lincoln's Presidential Cake

Nutritional InformationShow More

Servings Per Recipe: 6

  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Calories 600
  • Calories from Fat 134
  • Total Fat 15g 23 %
  • Saturated Fat 5.4g 27 %
  • Trans Fat 0.2g 0 %
  • Protein 5.6g 11 %
  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Cholesterol 141mg 47 %
  • Sodium 254mg 11 %
  • Total Carbohydrates 114g 38 %
  • Dietary Fiber 1.5g 6 %
  • Sugars 95g 0 %

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This sounds SO good. I love lemon desserts, and this sounds like a fantastic combo.


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