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Dinner Tonight! | Learning to Cook

The World Looks Better With Pie


When you are learning to cook, it is easy to become discouraged or feel that you are not making the progress you had hoped for.

This is the moment to make Lemon Crumb Pie. It will lift your spirits, and you will please yourself and others. This is a pie that is hard to flunk because it calls for a very good but simple graham-cracker crumb crust instead of a pastry crust. And, the lemon filling has only four ingredients.

If you have a fondness for limes, substitute them for the lemons. This is a simpler version of the classic Key Lime Pie.

Lemon Crumb Pie

Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 15 minutes



12 graham crackers

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter (about 5 tablespoons), melted


Spread the crackers in a single layer on a piece of wax paper. Cover them with another piece of wax paper. Roll a rolling pin over them, pressing down as you roll so the crumbs are reduced to fine-size crumbs. Measure the crumbs; you should have 1 1/2 cups.

Stir the crumbs and the sugar together in a bowl. Pour the melted butter into the crumb mixture, and, using your hands, stir and toss so the butter is well mixed into the crumbs.

Remove 1/4 cup of the crumbs and set aside to sprinkle on top of the pie. Press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Refrigerate the crust while you make the filling.



3 eggs, separated

2 lemons

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1/8 teaspoon salt


Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and, using a fork, stir briskly until well blended.

Grate the rind off of the lemons and add it to the yolks. Squeeze the juice of both lemons, remove any seeds, and add the juice to the yolks. Beat until thoroughly blended (you can't overbeat). Stir in the condensed milk and salt until well blended.

Beat the egg whites until they are stiff enough to hold a peak when you lift some whites on the egg beater. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture until the mixture is all one color. Spoon into the crumb-lined pan and sprinkle the reserved 1/4 cup of crumbs evenly over the top.

Bake the pie until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Serve slightly warm or cold.


8 servings. Each serving: 325 calories; 264 mg sodium; 115 mg cholesterol; 15 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 42 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0.51 gram fiber.

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