National Pie Day | Citrus Pie 2 Ways: Lemon Curd + Grapefruit Tartlets

National Pie Day & Citrus Pies 2 WaysI love pie, along with ice cream, it’s my favorite dessert and the reason I wanted to really start the sweets side of my business, so naturally I had to make some special recipes for National Pie Day tomorrow the 23rd. There is something so classic Americana, and nostalgic about pie. Like cake, you can celebrate any milestone with a good pie all year long. I’ve said it before, but the reason I love pie is not only because it’s a simple dessert, it’s because it’s one that truly highlights the ingredients you use. Good quality butter in the dough, sweet ripened fruit at their season’s peak, and just a few dashings of flavoring. Nothing more but high quality ingredients. National Pie Day & Citrus Pies 2 WaysIt almost seems weird that National Pie Day falls right in the middle of winter, when fresh fruits are less abundant and the desire for pie doesn’t seem too high. On a side note, does anyone find it even weirder that it’s also National Rhurbarb Pie Day tomorrow, but rhubarb isn’t in season??? Anywayy…

Now don’t underestimate all the possibilities pie can bake into, even during colder days. First off, it’s the season brimming with sweet and tangy citrus fruits that are just calling to be made into curd or custard, perfectly complimenting a classic pie crust or tart dough. There are the American classics, like Key Lime and Lemon Meringue, but there are many more ways to truly enjoy these citrus fruit’s delicious flavors. 

I thought why not share a melody of citrus flavored pies to inspire you on this pie holiday weekend. Because pie can be just as delicious and fresh, even in the winter!National Pie Day & Citrus Pies 2 Ways

Within the last few years I’ve become a sucker, no pun intended, for lemon and lime flavored baked goods, especially a good slice of lemon meringue pie, but more so of lemon curd. It’s not the healthiest of sweets, but if you’ve eaten good lemon curd, you understand my love for it. It’s creamy, rich, decadent, and sweetly tangy. So I just had to stick with the classic filling for my lemon pie.

Plus, I just wanted the extra lemon curd on hand before I kicked all sweets to the curb in order to get my body ready for vacation and serious half marathon training. I did opt not to top mine with meringue, but I’ve included it in the recipe below, so please go ahead and top your curd pies with clouds of sugary meringue! National Pie Day & Citrus Pies 2 Ways

I used Meyer lemons, a cross between lemons and oranges. The hint of orange, makes for a less sour and sweeter lemon curd. It really is the perfect lemon for baked goods, and since they are at their peak right now, I couldn’t help but bring home a good amount of them. They really are a great lemon to add some serious freshness during these cold snowy days. 

Lemon Meringue Pie

This curd is thick and rich, but so good you’ll want to top toast with it. Or is that just me? This recipe is my go to, swap it for any citrus fruit…oranges, grapefruit, limes, and even passion fruit! Lemon Meringue PieLemon Meringue PieLemon Meringue PieThese lemon bars are some of the most requested desserts, simple, but irresistible. So how could they not be just as delicious, replaced with grapefruit. You can totally remake the bars into a pie using the butter cookie as the crust, but I chose to use sugar cookie dough I had saved in the freezer with the intention for my next pie.

Using a sugar cookie crust is a nice surprise for a pie, especially ones with fillings that are less sweet like that of citrus fruits. I’ve even made my classic blueberry pie with a sugar cookie dough, and it’s always a hit. I mean how can a cookie pie crust not be! National Pie Day & Grapefruit PieGrapefruit really is an underrated fruit and ingredient in desserts. Once baked it possesses a flavor like no other. It really is an undescribable taste. It loses all its sourness, and takes on a warming sweetness like maple syrup. These grapefruit coconut custard tartlets are definitely yummy too, and gluten free, so don’t hesitate to make them either. If you haven’t already, you must really experiment baking with grapefruit.Grapefruit Pies

A pie recipe so simple, yet packed with so much flavor. Seriously, it’s too good, like lip-smacking delicious!Grapefruit Pies

National Pie Day & Citrus Pies 2 WaysSee pie doesn’t have to be something for just warmer months or Thanksgiving, it’s meant to be enjoyed and savored in endless ways, all year round. Yes, especially when it’s snowing outside. Let these citrus flavors take you to warmer days….Have Pie Day!



Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients {Makes 6 mini 3″ pies – Double Recipe for 9″ pie}

Single Crust Pie Dough {use your favorite recipe}

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons – Raw Sugar 

3 tablespoons – Cornstarch

1/4 cup – Fresh Lemon Juice

3 large – Eggs {yolk + whites separated}

Pinch – Salt 

1 tablespoon – Grated Lemon Zest

2 tablespoons – Unsalted Butter {cut into pieces}


3 large – Egg Whites {use whites from above}

2 tablespoons – Granulated Sugar

Recipe {Adapted from Martha Stewart}

Heat oven to 400*F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to an 1/8″ thickness. Cut six 4″ circles, and into mini pie pans {or large pie/tart pan}. Refrigerate until firm {about 10 minutes}. Remove from refrigerator, and prick bottoms of shells with a fork. Line piecrusts with parchment paper, and fill shells with pie weights {use dried beans or rice}. Bake until edges begin to turn brown {about 10 to 15 minutes}. Remove paper and weights. Continue baking until golden brown and baked completely {about 7 to 8 minutes}. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Whisk the sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl, then stir in 1 cup of water, and mix until smooth. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemon juice, egg yolks, and salt. Stir in the cornstarch sugar mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat, and stir in the lemon zest and butter. Pour filling into a bowl, and set aside to cool completely, stirring occasionally.

Pour the lemon curd filling into the cooled piecrusts. Cover directly with plastic wrap, and  refrigerate until firm {about 1 hour}. 

Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer. Combine the egg whites, sugar, and pinch of salt in heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Hold bowl over simmering water, whisking until the mixture is warm and the sugar has dissolved, reaching 160*F {about 3 to 5 minutes}.

Return the bowl to mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat until stiff peaks form. Dollop or pipe each pie with the meringue. {If placing the pies under broiler, make sure the curd filling is completely covered – if using a torch a few dollops of meringue are okay} Lightly brown the meringue, watching constantly. Place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Serve immediately.

Grapefruit Mini Pies 

Ingredients {Makes 6 mini 3″ pies – Double Recipe for 9″ pie}

1/2 Recipe – Sugar Cookie Dough

2 large – Eggs

3/4 cup – Raw Sugar

1 teaspoon – Fresh Grapefruit Zest {about 1/2 grapefruit}

3 tablespoons – Whole Wheat Flour

1/4 cup – Fresh Grapefruit Juice {about 1/2 grapefruit}

Confectioners’ Sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 375*F. Roll sugar cookie dough onto a floured surface to 1/8″ thickness, cut into 4″ circles, and place into mini pie pans {or larger pie/tart pan}. Refrigerate until firm {about 10 minutes}. Remove from refrigerator, and prick bottoms of shells with a fork. Line crusts with parchment paper, and fill shells with pie weights {use dried beans or rice}. Bake until crust is fragrant and slightly colored and halfway baked {about 10 minutes}. Allow to cool slightly.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a medium bowl until well combined. Add the flour, grapefruit juice, and zest, whisking until well blended. Pour the filling over the half-baked crusts {it’s alright if it’s still warm}. Bake until the top is lightly browned and filling center is no longer jiggling {about 15 to 20 minutes}.

4 thoughts on “National Pie Day | Citrus Pie 2 Ways: Lemon Curd + Grapefruit Tartlets

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