The lemon pie or tart has a colourful history but historians are not in agreement about its origins.
According to some historians, the first recipe for lemon pie with a pastry base and lemon custard filling was written down in 1828 by Eliza Leslie in the recipe book Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats.
It’s Elizabeth Goodfellow, an American cook in Philadelphia, and teacher of Mrs Leslie how create the lemon pie. Mrs Goodfellow ran a pastry shop, where she also organised cookery lessons. One of her signature desserts was a tart filled with a rich lemon custard. The story goes that, as she had to use so many egg yolks for the custard, one day she decided to use the egg whites to make a meringue topping for the lemon pie and thus was the lemon meringue pie born
Today, a lemon pie in the Americas most often but not always signifies a lemon meringue pie, whereas in Europe, there are two distinct lemon and pastrybased desserts, which are generally referred to as tarts. A pie usually refers to a preparation that has a deeper pastry base, whilst a tart has a much shallower pastry base.
Each part of the dessert comes from a different part of the world. Lemon cream is originally from the United Kingdom.
Despite its origin, the lemon pie is one of the French patisserie classic!