If you like grapefruits, you will LOVE grapefruit pie. Only 4 ingredients!

It was the summer of 2006. I was at an outdoor music festival with my friend Julie and we were full of adrenaline, alcohol and nicotine (yes, I was once a smoker). We danced our way through sets from Gnarls Barkley, The Raconteurs, Kasabian, Thievery Corporation and Brazilian Girls. Only two bands remained- Scissor Sisters and The Flaming Lips. Our legs were tired and we decided to relax for awhile on the grass so we’d have a good spot for the next act. People were scattered about, laughing and drinking. The weather was perfect and the sun was beginning to set. 

If you like grapefruits, you will LOVE grapefruit pie. Only 4 ingredients!

A friendly, scruffy looking guy approached us and asked “Hey, do you guys like The Flaming Lips?” Julie was chatting on her phone so I responded for both of us, “We do; this will be our first time seeing them live. Can’t wait!”

“Would you like to dance on stage during their set in santa costumes? We’re bringing fans on stage and we need two more people.”

I stared at him for a moment trying to figure out whether this was a joke. He had bypassed everyone else sitting around and walked straight over to us. Was he serious? There was a lanky, long-haired dude standing near us, listening to the conversation with his mouth hanging open. I’m guessing I probably had a similar expression on my face. Julie was still on her phone and had no idea what was happening. “Of course we’re interested. We’ll do it. JULIE GET OFF THE PHONE!” The long-haired dude asked if there were any other spots because they were his favorite band. “Sorry,” said the friendly, scruffy looking guy, “these are the last two spots.” He wrote down our names and told us to come behind the stage when the Scissors Sisters set started. “We’re doing what?” Julie asked.

We walked backstage and were immediately overwhelmed as we saw members of the various bands we had been watching throughout the day. We were escorted into a small room on the side of the stage where we were handed the smelliest santa costumes in the universe. After a day of dancing in the sun we probably didn’t smell like roses, either. We watched the Scissor Sisters set from behind the stage, which was pretty damn cool. More and more people began appearing around us in assorted weird costumes. I remember aliens and skeletons.

“Santas, over here!” There were around 8-10 of us. We were handed large flashlights and given brief choreography instructions which basically consisted of what to do with the lights during different songs. Not a problem. Then I heard the audience scream as The Flaming Lips were introduced and we were directed onto the stage. I found myself right up front. I stared out into the crowd. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life. I was supposed to be in the audience. Yet I was on stage with the band DRESSED AS SANTA.

Santa Jen

A lot of the set was a blur for me. I danced. I marveled at how close I was to Wayne Coyne, the lead singer. I looked out at the audience and saw the long-haired dude in the front row with a vacant, sad look in his eye as he watched us dance, knowing he had been so close to dancing with his favorite band. I grew teary eyed when the band played my favorite song. Since I was at the front of the stage facing the audience, I didn’t know what was going on behind me but every time I glanced back there were more costumed characters dancing on stage. It was unreal. And then suddenly it was over. As we were about to turn in our costumes, Julie grabbed Wayne for a hug. He had a ‘please get off me, you are wearing the gross santa suit’ look on his face but I didn’t care. It was my moment and I took a hug as well.

Santa Jen

As we walking off stage we were handed special t-shirts that you only get if you dance on stage with The Flaming Lips. You know, just in case anyone didn’t believe us.

Santa Jen

It was one of those weird moments in life that happens when you’re not expecting it. But you never forget it. And for the record, this story has nothing to do with grapefruit pie. Which you should definitely make.

If you like grapefruits, you will LOVE grapefruit pie. Only 4 ingredients!

Grapefruit Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 5 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chopped and cold
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1¼ cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  1. Add flour, butter and salt into a food processor. Pulse the machine on and off until the mixture is crumbly. With the machine running, slowly add the water until just combined (do not over-mix). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. (Can be made up to 72 hours in advance).
  2. Allow the dough the rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to approximately ¼-inch thin. Carefully place the dough into a shallow pie dish. Place the dish back in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet. Use a fork to poke holes throughout the bottom of the dough to prevent air bubbles from forming. Line the pie pan with foil and cover with uncooked beans. Bake for 20 minutes, removing the beans and foil for the last 5 minutes. Allow to cool while preparing the other ingredients.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the prepared pie crust on a baking sheet.
  5. Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, grapefruit juice and eggs.
  6. Pour the custard into the pie shell, leaving at least ¼ inch around the top.
  7. Carefully place the baking sheet with the pie in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. It will still be wobbly but should look slightly firmer.
  8. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight to set the custard. Serve chilled or slightly above room temperature.
This recipe uses a shallow 9-inch x 1-inch pie pan, such as this one.
A store-bought pie dough can be used to save time.


  • nicolthepickle

    Great story. :)
    That pie looks amazing!

  • http://www.girlversusdough.com/ Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    I think I might pass out if one of my favorite bands had me dance on stage with them. That’s awesome.

    And this pie, ZOMG.

  • David

    I wounder if you reduced 2 cups of grapefruit juice down to 1 cup if you would get more flavor out of it?

    • Jennifer Farley

      You can certainly try!

  • Delora

    Any idea on how zest would behave if added to the custard? Would it remain integrated, or float to the top while baking?

    • Jennifer Farley

      I considered adding zest but I think it’s a bad idea. There was some pulp in the juice and it all floated to the top. What would probably be amazing is candied grapefruit peel as a garnish. I also considered this but was ultimately too lazy :}

  • http://www.bakeaholicmama.com Carrie

    Oh my gosh that is awesome! I always wondered why you had a profile pic of you in a santa suit for so long.

    I love this pie. I love grapefruit anything, I make grapefruit curd bars frequently, but never thought to do a pie!

    • Jennifer Farley

      Ha! We both change our profile pic every year at Xmas. It confuses all of our mutual friends when they see us both in their feeds at the same time.

  • http://www.dcfud.com Jason

    That looks awesome. I’m a big fan of grapefruit (and citrus in general). I bet you could garnish it with slices of candied kumquats (which are easy to find).

  • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    What a great story! Grapefruit pie sounds good, too.

  • http://whatjewwannaeat.com Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat

    Ha that story is amazing! I love those random moments in life. And this tasty looking pie.

  • http://www.vikalinka.com Julia @Vikalinka

    Haha what an awesome memory!

  • http://allspiceandnutmeg.com Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg

    Oh wow, I bet this is incredible. Perfect for a warm Summer day.

  • Sarah

    Was that Virgin Fest at Pimlico by any chance? If so, I guess I saw you dancing with the Flaming Lips!

    • Jennifer Farley

      It sure was!

  • http://scrummylane.com Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    I love this story! Especially the part about the gross santa costume you had to wear. And the fact that it has nothing to do with grapefruit pie … haha … which looks and sounds delicious!

  • Melissa

    This story is hilarious and amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  • http://virtuallyhomemade.com Liz@Virtually Homemade

    What a cute story and fun memory to have. Love the grapefruit pie.

  • http://84thand3rd.com JJ – 84thand3rd

    So I hate the term LOL but am sitting in my lounge room LOLing at the last line of this post – brilliant!! (the pie sounds pretty good too ;D)

  • Kelly

    What a story! Also, I had never even considered making a grapefruit pie! Genius!

  • http://www.kitchenbelleicious.com Kitchen Belleicious

    this is beyond genius and creative, Something you would see in some professional food mag. IT looks down dead amazing and delicious

  • http://www.naivecookcooks.com Ami@naivecookcooks

    I love grapefruits… Just wondering is it little bitter?

    • Jennifer Farley


  • http://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/ Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

    Great story Jennifer. I am not sure that I would have gone up there as readily as you two did. Sounds like quite an experience. I love that they had pre-made t-shirts for you. How funny. Gorgeous pie, and of course your lighting is magical as always.

  • Tammy

    Any ideas on what to do to decrease sweetness and increase grapefruit flavor?

    • Jennifer Farley

      Adding a teaspoon or so of grapefruit zest is a great way to increase the flavor. As far as the sweetness, that’s tough with this recipe since the sweetened condensed milk plays such a big role in holding the custard together.

  • LaDonna

    Does it matter if I use pink grapefruit?

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      that will be fine!

  • Susan Highland

    I loved your band story! I was on the edge of my seat reading it. I will make this pie. We own several citrus trees, and when they are ripe it’s just too much for two of us. Gonna try it with ruby red grapefruit, oranges, limes, lemons and whatever else rests on the ground.

  • Susan Highland

    I loved your band story! I was on the edge of my seat reading it. I will make this pie. We own several citrus trees, and when they are ripe it’s just too much for two of us. Gonna try it with ruby red grapefruit, oranges, limes, lemons and whatever else rests on the ground.

  • Cheryl Malik

    Bahahahahahahahah this is my favorite blog post yet. “Story story story story story. Oh, and this has nothing to do with grapefruit pie. RECIPE.” Damn. Bold.. I love it. Stealing, as a vessel for my underperforming attention span.

  • Julie Hart-Collings

    Just wondering why the Bake Time says 45 minutes but under instructions it says to bake for 15-20 minutes? Does the Bake Time include pre baking the pie shell?

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      Ah, good catch! I reworked the recipe a few months ago and forgot to update the bake time listing separately from the instructions. The bake time should be listed as 20 minutes. Fixing it now. Thank you!

  • sarah

    Dude, so today has been a really shitty day.

    I like to bake when I am depressed…..

    So I went looking for a fruit pie recipe that I could make with what’s in my fridge. Meanwhile, I find this dope story from before Wayne started fucking Mikey Cyrus.

    I love the Lips, and the Scissor sisters, and this Synchornicty made my day 100% better.

    Thanks for sharing an irrelevant fun story with a pie recipe, it was awesome



    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      It was one of the weirdest and most epic nights of my life! :)

  • Sarah Glass

    Started a disqus profile just to tell you thanks for this story in a sentimental way.
    And the internet tried to eat me.

    Fuck the internet.

    • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

      The internet can be quite devious and evil when it wants to be.