National Lemon Cream Pie Day timeline
Bob Hope’s recipe
The iconic 20th-century comedian spent decades entertaining U.S. troops during his USO tours. His recipe for lemon pie, featured in the USO Celebrity Cookbook, is delicious and easy to make. From start to finish, this pie takes about two hours and all the ingredients together cost about $10.
Following Elizabeth Goodfellow's death, lemon meringue pie enjoyed a few aliases, "iced lemon pie, lemon cream pie and lemon custard pie," as it took its place among classic American desserts, but the confection was essentially the same.
Food writer Becky Diamond writes that future President Abraham Lincoln discovered the pie at an Illinois hotel while working as a lawyer. “He liked [the] lemon custard pie so much that he requested that the cook [Nancy Breedlove] write out the recipe for him, and he told her years later that it was the favorite White House dessert."
Philadelphia chef/entrepreneur Elizabeth Goodfellow comes up with her “signature creation” — lemon meringue pie.
National Lemon Cream Pie Day FAQs
What is the origin of lemon meringue pie?
Where do you store lemon meringue pie?
Why is my lemon meringue pie crust soggy?
National Lemon Cream Pie Day Activities
Go to a diner
Cream pies of all kinds are a classic diner dessert. We happen to think this no-frills setting only enhances the enjoyment of a slice of pie. Find your local pie shop, grab a seat at the counter, and dig in.
Or bake one yourself
No matter whether you choose to go the above no-bake route or take on a more complicated recipe, lemon cream pies are basically fail-proof. They’re also a choose-your-own-adventure baking experience. You can go with a classic butter crust, or mix it up with a graham cracker crust. Want some extra tang to back up the lemon? Mix some sour cream into the filling. Feel like it needs a little extra elegance? Shave some white chocolate on top, or even try sprinkling it with coconut flakes.
Make a cocktail to match
If you feel like pairing an adult beverage with your pie (who wouldn’t?) try a Lemon Drop: pour vodka, fresh lemon juice, and sweetener (triple sec, simple syrup, or just plain sugar) into a cocktail shaker, give it a good shake, strain into a glass, and garnish with fresh lemon slices. It’s elegant, and deceptively easy.
Why We Love National Lemon Cream Pie Day
It’s a classic
Fine, there’s nothing as American as apple pie, but we’d put lemon cream high up on the list of classic and timeless desserts as well. And honestly, between the two of them, apple pie just sounds a bit boring, doesn’t it?
We can pretend it’s healthy
The main flavor profile is lemon, right? Well, lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, good for your body, and naturally antibacterial. They can also help you absorb iron, stimulate your liver, and might even have cancer-fighting properties. Sure, you could get these benefits by drinking lemon water, but pie is just more fun.
It’s a fuss-free dessert
High-end restaurants can fancy ‘em up, but lemon cream pies are about as simple as they come. If you’re craving one but feeling especially lazy, it’s as simple as a trip to the grocery store to pick up premade pie crust, fresh lemons, lemon pudding mix, and a can of whipped cream. Presto: no-bake, almost-no-effort lemon cream pie!