Arizona Sunshine Lemon Pie, also known as Blender Pie, is a refreshing dessert that uses the entire lemon in the filling (peel and all). With just 7 simple ingredients, it is the perfect balance of tart and sweet, bursting with fresh lemon flavor!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Tangy Lemon Flavor - Because this recipe uses the whole lemon it packs in all of the flavor! But it's not bitter. The sweetness from the sugar and the creaminess from the butter and eggs give a perfect balance!
Easy - The filling takes minutes to prepare. You don't even need a mixing bowl! You just put everything into a blender. Then pour it into a prepared pie crust shell to bake.
Fast Cleanup - Because this recipe is made in a blender, cleanup is so easy! There are hardly any dishes to wash! This is my favorite thing because I could spend all day cooking in the kitchen, but I hate washing dishes!
What is Arizona Sunshine Pie?
Arizona Sunshine Pie is a unique dessert that blends whole lemons and a few other simple ingredients in a blender to make a creamy, tart filling. It's thought to have originated in Arizona (hence the name) where many homes have lemon trees in their backyard and there are lots of sunny days.
I wasn't able to find much history on this recipe, but it was likely created in the Depression Era as a way to use up every part of the lemon and not waste any fruit. Blender pie surged in popularity in the 70s. It's so easy and delicious that it is still enjoyed in homes all across America today!
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements.
Lemons - This recipe uses 3 small or 1 ½ large lemons, and uses every part of the lemon except for the seeds. Using the whole lemon gives lots of lemon flavor and makes a tasty pie!
Eggs - This recipe uses 3 large eggs plus a couple of additional egg yolks. This results in a creamy filling without an eggy flavor. Room-temperature eggs work best.
Butter - If you are using salted butter then leave out the additional salt. Let the melted butter cool for a few minutes before adding it to the blender.
Granulated Sugar - Sugar sweetens the custard and helps to balance the tartness from the lemon.
Vanilla Extract - Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
Pie Crust - Many Blender Pie recipes call for an unbaked pie crust, but in testing, I found that resulted in a soggy crust. I recommend blind baking a butter pie crust. For a variation, either a graham cracker or shortbread crust complements the lemon custard extraordinarily well.
What are the Best Lemons for Pie?
When selecting lemons for pie it is best to use small to medium-sized lemons. They are juicier than a large lemon and have thin skin.
Look for lemons with bright yellow coloring, glossy skin, and free of blemishes. An overripe lemon (with soft spots, bruising, or discoloration) does not make the best-tasting filling.
Any lemon varietal will work fine for this recipe, though they may result in a slightly different flavor. If you are lucky enough to be able to pick fresh Arizona lemons off of the tree then use those, no matter the type!
Here is a look at how different lemons will impact your filling:
- Regular lemons are what this recipe was based on. They are naturally sour, so they need the sugar to sweeten them up. An Arizona Lemon Pie made with regular lemons will have a strong lemon flavor that is a little bit tart.
- Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons and have a thinner pith. The lemon flavor in this pie will be more subtle and it may have a little bit of an herbal undertone from the Meyer lemon rind.
- Seedless lemons are now available and are a great option! Not only do you not have to worry about removing the seeds, but they usually have a thinner pith as well so they aren't quite as bitter. In my testing, the pie made with seedless lemons had a little less lemon flavor but overall was still really good.
1) Slice Lemons
- Wash your lemons well.
- Cut the ends off of the lemons and discard them. The ends hold a lot of pith and will add bitterness to the pie.
- Then slice the lemons into wedges. If you prefer to do small chunks or lemon slices you can. But wedges are fast and it's all going to blend up anyway.
- Remove any seeds (unless you bought seedless lemons, then yay, you can skip that part).
2) Blend Filling
- Place the lemon wedges into a blender.
- Then add the rest of the filling ingredients.
- If your blender has a puree button then use that. Otherwise, blend on high for 1-2 minutes.
- Check the mixture and make sure that the lemon peel is fully blended. You should just see tiny specks. If there are still big pieces, continue blending until smooth.
- Pour the filling into your prepared pie shell.
- Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 35-40 minutes.
- The custard is done when the top is just starting to develop some spots of brown and the filling has set. It may jiggle in the center a little, but should be firm on the outside.
- Let the pie cool at room temperature then place it in the refrigerator to chill.
- When you are ready to serve, dust the surface with powdered sugar and top with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
- Lemons come in many sizes, so for the most consistently flavorful lemon blender pie, it is best to measure them by weight. Use 5-6 ounces of lemon.
- Use lemons that are at their peak in freshness! Look for a bright yellow lemon that is free of blemishes or bruising.
- If your lemons have a thick white pith then cut it away and discard that part, using just the flesh and peel of the lemon.
- As with most baking, room-temperature eggs are best as they incorporate more fully into the batter.
- Let the melted butter cool for a little bit so that it doesn't start to cook the eggs.
- If you are using salted butter then leave out the additional salt.
- You can use a food processor to puree the filling if you do not have a blender.
Wrap your lemon pie with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for 3-5 days.
Yes, you can follow this same recipe for a lime blender pie. Use 6 small limes instead of the lemons.
Lemon pith is the white part of the lemon that is between the flesh and the peel. It does not hold any lemon flavor and is bitter, which is why you want to select lemons with a thin pith.
Yes, you can freeze a whole Arizona Lemon Pie or freeze it in slices. Wrap it tightly with a layer of plastic wrap, then wrap it again using aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Any par-baked pie crust will work well with this recipe! The most popular options are a standard crust, a graham cracker pie crust, or a shortbread crust. You can also make a crust with vanilla wafers or digestive biscuits.
More Pie Recipes
Arizona Sunshine Lemon PieRecipe by:
- 2-3 small lemons or 1 ½ large (5-6 ounces)
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly (113 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
- 1 par baked pie crust
- Optional: Powdered sugar and whipped cream to serve
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Wash the lemons. Slice them into wedges and remove the seeds.2-3 small lemons
- Place the lemons and all of the filling ingredients into the blender. Blend for about a minute, or until smooth. Depending on your blender it may take longer than a minute.3 eggs, 2 egg yolks, ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- Pour into par-baked pie shell. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until set. The middle may be jiggly but the outside should be firm.1 par baked pie crust
- Cool to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Before serving, dust with powdered sugar or top with whipped cream, if desired.
- If using salted butter then leave out the additional salt.
- If your lemons have a thick pith (the white part) then cut that away and just use the peel and flesh. The pith adds bitterness. If the lemon pith is thin then the whole lemon can be used.
- A food processor can be used instead of a blender.
- Cover the pie tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 5 days.
This is delicious with sweeten strawberries & whipped cream. I made 9 tartlets. Baked 23 min. I just wanted to bathe in the filling not to sweet & just enough pucker power. Where has this recipe been my whole life! Try it, the way it is written, you will not be disappointed.
I appreciate your comment so much, Lynne! Thank you for sharing the bake-time for the tartlets. I am so glad that you enjoyed the recipe!
Could the two egg whites left be enough for a meringue topper?
A standard meringue recipe for pie usually calls for 3-4 egg whites. 2 could work but it would be a very thin meringue.
The nutrition numbers are for a single serving or what?
Yes, the nutrition information is an estimate for one serving.
I need sugar free pie. Can I substitute?
Hi Karen! I have not tested this recipe with a sugar substitute. If you decide to try it out, I recommend following your favorite sugar-free sweetener's recommendations as to the substitution ratio. Do let me know how it turns out!
Jean Ann Wheeler
Please let me know....
Could I double this recipe using a short bread or Graham cracker crust in a 10" spring form pan?
I love your idea of a blender. My Arizona lemon tree is perfect for your wonderful idea. Thank you. Need a recipe for a crowd. Look forward to your response.
Yes, I think a graham cracker crust would work well for making this pie in a springform pan. The cook time will be longer since you are cooking a larger pie.
Deborah A Schaffer
Hi there I have this little store bought pie crust 6 per pk. Can use them? And what degree? And place on what? Cookie sheet?
Sure, you could use them! They would bake at the same temperature and yes, I recommend putting on a cookie sheet. But unfortunately, I have not tested how long a smaller pie would take to cook.
Lemons consistently have a thick pith & very thin skin. I would never try this recipe with a whole lemon; you don't ever use them whole for jams or jellies. Not to mention the seeds or skin around the fruit. This sounds like a made-up recipe by a kid with no taste buds.
It's worth noting that there are other recipes out there that do call for using whole lemons, such as Moroccan preserved lemons or lemon marmalade. And who knows? While you may not know whether or not you like it until you've tried it, this particular recipe has been a beloved favorite by many for decades. So, perhaps it's worth giving it a shot before completely dismissing it as a "made-up recipe by a kid with no taste buds."
Deborah A Schaffer
Hi again, I have squeeze lemon juice in ice trays, how much liquid amount approximately? Measurements
Hi Deborah! Using lemon juice rather than whole lemons would change the pie since its' signature element is using whole lemons. I would recommend still zesting a couple of lemons so that it has the bright lemony flavor that is meant to have. In that case probably 1/3 cup of lemon juice and the zest of 2 lemons. But again, this has not been tested so it is just my best guess.
This looks really good. What caught my eye are the fork marks in the pie slice. I’m used to seeing all the filling run into the space where the first slice was removed. I don’t make pies much because of this. Also, I’d use the leftover egg whites to make a meringue topping. I don’t like to waste the whites or depend on myself to remember them.
Thank you, Jenny! Meringue would no doubt be a delicious way to top this pie!
Can you use 1 c sugar…found it too sweet. Would therealso need to be an adjustment in tge butter if sugar reduced?
In my testing, I found reducing the sugar to 1 cup resulted in a bitter pie. But if you are using sweeter lemons, like Meyer lemons, that could work. You do not need to adjust the butter quantity.
How much lemon juice in this recipe? Instructions for ingredients in blender didn't include lemons.
Hi Mona! All of the lemons go into the blender. So once you deseed and quarter them, just toss them straight into the blender.