Old-fashioned Grapefruit Pie

Grapefruit Pie

I was intrigued by a hundred-year-old recipe for Grapefruit Pie, and decided to give it a try. The pie was bursting with a sunny grapefruit flavor. It reminded me of lemon meringue pie, but was a little less tart.

Here’s the original recipe:

Grapefruit Pie

Recipe for Grapefruit Pie

Source: American Cookery (March, 1922)

Rather than squeezing a grapefruit to get juice to make the pie, I purchsed a bottle of grapefruit juice. A typical grapefruit contains about 3/4 cup of juice.. When I made this recipe, the pie filling was a little juicy, so when I updated the recipe I added an additional egg yolk, (The original recipe called for 2 yolks and 3 egg whites. Using an additional yolk eliminates the need to figure out what to do with an extra yolk.). I also added an additional 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch when I updated the recipe to further thicken the filling.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Grapefruit Pie

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


1 cup sugar

1 cup water

3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup grapefruit juice

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 9-inch pie shell, baked


3 egg whites

6 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons grapefruit juice

Place water, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and grapefruit juice in a saucepan, stir until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Using medium heat, bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add a small amount of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, while stirring constantly, and then slowly add to the contents in the saucepan while stirring constamtly. Remove from heat. If not smooth, stain the mixture. Allow the mixture to cool.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 ° F. and  make the meringue. Place egg whites in a bowl, and beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gradually add 6 tablespoons sugar while continuing to beat; add the 2 teaspoons of grapefruit juice and beat.  Then spoon on top of the pie and swirl. Place pie  in the oven and bake for  8 – 10  minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned.


32 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Grapefruit Pie

  1. I’ve never heard of grapefruit pie, let alone eaten it. I love orange, lemon, and lime, but generally avoid grapefruits. I do think this might be good made with the juice of good red grapefruits, which are a little less ‘acid-y.’

  2. This sounds delightful! I’d never thought of using grapefruit in a pie… those old folks were certainly creative with their cooking!!

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