I have never had Lemon Sponge Pie before. I found it in our antique recipe collection and being someone who loves a good lemon dessert recipe I knew I had to try it. The recipe is not signed or dated but no oven temperature is listed. “Cook in a slow oven” the recipe states. This leads me to believe it is quite old.
The directions seemed simple enough. The recipe only calls for 1 lemon – I bought 6. I was basically going into this cooking adventure figuring I would screw it up around 5 times (see daffodil cake). These old recipes are sometimes hard to understand and having never made or even seen a Lemon Sponge Pie I was trying to temper my expectations. An old time lemon filled dessert was worth a try and I am sure glad we did now!
This is a pretty simple pie with pretty simple ingredients. The hardest part is whisking egg whites to stiff peaks. So to make the pie I will use my stand mixer to whisk egg whites and another large mixing bowl to combine everything in. The first step is separate the 2 egg whites and yolks and start whisking whites.
Next I ready a 9 inch pie pan and line with crust being sure to vent bottom.
In a large mixing bowl I start combining the filling ingredients. 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons softened butter, and the 2 egg yolks get combined first. I used a hand mixer on medium speed.
Then add juice and zest of 1 lemon and continue mixing. Next add 3 tablespoon flour and continue mixing.
The final addition is 1 cup of milk and the egg whites that were whisked to stiff peaks. I combined this last step by hand with a spatula to take it easy on the egg whites.
Now you can pour into your pie crust. Just to be fancy I add a little more lemon zest to the top. At this point I was feeling pretty good about recipe and realized I now had 5 extra lemons.
Into the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. The directions call for 3/4 hours in a “slow oven”. I kept checking the pie at 20, 30, 40 minutes afraid the time in the oven was too much. Then I remembered I was cooking the pie in my 35+ year old oven – it was probably the model this recipe was based on.
45 minutes in the oven was just right. I removed my Lemon Sponge Pie and let it cool for a few hours. The wait was awful, at this point it looked really good and I was excited to try it.
The wait was worth it. The pie is amazing. The top of the pie is a soft and spongy (imagine that) and below that is a layer of gooey lemon deliciousness.
It was a big hit with Em and the little maniacs as well. I am starting to regain my antique recipe confidence after this one. I know we will be making this for years to come!
- 1 pie crust
- 2 eggs, whites and yolks divided
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Line a 9 inch pie pan with crust and vent bottom.
- In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, butter, and egg yolks.
- Once combined add juice and zest of lemon (re leaving a little zest top top pie).
- Next add flour and combine.
- Then add milk and egg whites whisked to stiff peaks.
- Finishing combining gently.
- Pour pie batter into pie crust and top with last of lemon zest.
- Bake for 45 minutes until top is browned and pie is cooked through.
- Allow to cool for at least a few hours.
- Slice and devour!