Lemon Icebox Pie

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I would like to introduce to you a lemony cousin of the key lime pie.  Creamy, lemony, cool, and with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream-- swoon.  Was this ever good!

Not only is this pie delicious, it is very simple to put together and it can be made in advance.  A whole week in advance, in fact.  The original recipe called for serving it from the freezer, but I found that process produces a texture that is too hard.  It can certainly be kept in the freezer, but for that luscious, creamy texture, you can either store it in the refrigerator or, if frozen, allow it to come to desired texture.  Although I made this pie in February to accompany New Orleans themed dishes (and it was great in that role), it would really be in its element as a summer treat.  No matter when you make it, you'll be glad you did! 
Printable Recipe

Lemon Icebox Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

For the Crust
14 whole graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher slat
6 Tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and still warm

For the Filling
2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
Zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups strained lemon juice (from the two zested lemons plus an additional 4-6)
8 extra large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Lightly sweetened whipped cream

For the Crust
Heat the oven to 350° F.  Line a 9-inch spring-form pan with a round of parchment paper; set aside.

Break the graham crackers into small pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor.  Add the sugar and salt and process until the crumbs are semi-fine, but not powdery.  Pour in the butter and pulse until the butter is blended in and the mixture isn't crumbly and holds its own shape when you squeeze it.  Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and two-thirds of the way up the sides of the prepared pan.  Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press and smooth the crust.

For the Filling
In a large bowl, whisk the condensed milk and lemon juice.  In a separate bowl, whisk the zest and the egg yolks until pale (30-60 seconds) then whisk in the lemon juice mixture.

Place the spring-form pan on a rimmed baking sheet.  Pour the mixture into the crust and carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven.  Bake until the center jiggles slightly, like a soft-setting custard, about 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour on a cooling rack.  Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap (do not let the plastic touch the top of the pie) and freeze for 4-5 hours or refrigerate overnight.

To serve, carefully unclasp the pan to release the pie. Fill a pitcher with hot water, dunk your knife in, wipe off the blade, and slice.  Dollop with lightly sweetened whipped cream.  Pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to 1 week.  If frozen, allow the pie to soften at room temperature before serving.  Enjoy! 

Source: Adapted from Damn Good Sweet by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel


  1. I can never get over how perfect your food always looks. Even this slice of pie, absolutely stunning. Oh, and your recipes always sound delicious! Love it all :) I pinned this post!

  2. This looks fantastic! I totally need some of this pie this weekend! :)

  3. Nicole, this looks fabulous and I totally agree about eating it refrigerated and not frozen - the flavor is usually so much better! I don't think this would last long around my house, for sure!

  4. Suddenly, I am craving for this pie...Irresistibly pretty. Must try!

  5. This is a Tarte au Citron. Learned it in Tangier, Morocco. At one time Tangier was the only city in Morocco one could find this desert.


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