Tart Lemon IceBox Pie Recipe

The perfect compliment to the zest of lemon is the graham cracker crust. A citrus flavored cream pie is delightful and so delicious. A small chilled slice goes a long way in flavor, it’s the perfect summer treat!

I will admit that since starting this blog, I don't often make the same thing twice. If I do make something more than once, its status automatically becomes Excellent. This lemon pie? EXCELLENT. It is insanely delicious and will be made again and again in my kitchen. My husband and I each took a bite and simultaneously went, "Ohhhh! MMMmmm!" We agreed that it tastes like Key Lime Pie's first cousin, Key Lemon Pie. And then we fought over the rest of the piece.

HOW TO PREPARE LEMON CUSTARD PIE

Graham cracker crumbs wrap around a slightly tart lemon filling that is sure to delight the senses!

STEP 1 - FOR THE CRUST

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Add to a food processor:

14 whole graham crackers, broken

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pulse until finely ground but not powdery.

Add 6 tablespoons of butter and pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened.

STEP 2 - FOR THE FILLING

Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan and press into the bottom and two-thirds up the side. Set the pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat together:

Two 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk

1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice

In another bowl, add:

2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

8 large egg yolks

Using a handheld mixer, beat the zest-yolk mixture until pale.

Beat in the condensed milk mixture until smooth.

Pour the filling into the crust.

STEP 3 - PUTTING THE PIE TOGETHER

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly when the pie is moved.

Transfer the pan to a rack. Allow it to cool for 1 hour. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze the pie for at least 6 hours or overnight.

READY TO SERVE

Wrap a warm, damp kitchen towel around the side of the springform pan to release the pie and remove the ring. Using a hot knife, slice the pie, transfer to plates and serve immediately.

RECIPE NOTES

  • A homemade whipped cream is just the perfect topping to a perfect lemon flavored dessert!

  • Feel free to enjoy this both frozen or just refrigerated. The texture firms up a bit and gives it just a little something frozen! But both are great options.

  • To make this a simpler recipe, simply purchase a pre-made graham cracker crust at your grocery store.

WHAT IS ZEST

Zesting a fruit simply means to scrape off the outer part of the peeling of the fruit and shave it into a form that brings a lot of flavor as an ingredient in a recipe. These are often done with unwaxed outer skins of a fruit - lemons, oranges and limes. The zest alone on its own doesn't taste good but is amazing in a recipe.

CAN YOU FREEZE LEMON PIE

Yes! Wrap the container tightly in foil and freeze for up to 4 months. When ready to enjoy, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight and enjoy!

HOW TO TELL IF A LEMON IS RIPE

I have lemons on hand all the time because we never know when we'll want to make our favorite citrus cocktail. Plus its magical juice just goes great in so many recipes. When picking them out at the grocery store, look for these attributes to make sure you are getting the juiciest, ripest ones:

  • First, give it a smell. Go ahead, put it right up to your nose and smell for a strong lemony scent. The stronger the scent, the riper the fruit will be.

  • The deeper yellow in color they are, the juicier they are, as well.

  • The heavier it feels in your hands, the more juice is hiding inside. Gently squeeze it in your hands. The more give it has, the juicier it'll be. If it is too squishy it may be past its prime, so be sure it doesn't give too much.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ICEBOX PIE AND LEMON MERINGUE?

An icebox pie is tangier because it uses more lemon. Ice box pie uses sweetened condensed milk and lemon meringue is made with a custard filling.

ARE KEY LIME PIE AND LEMON ICEBOX PIE SIMILAR?

They are very similar in their ingredients apart from the fresh lemon juice and fresh key lime juice. Both are delicious!

SALTED BUTTER VS UNSALTED BUTTER

Ahh, the great baking debate. Many bakers use unsalted butter in their baked goods in order to avoid over-salting. I, however, believe that there is no such thing as “over-salting.” I always use salted butter in my baked goods (and for everything else under the sun) because it gives everything I make an extra touch of salty deliciousness. If you go the unsalted route, keep in mind that you may need to add a bit extra salt to the recipe!

OTHER DELICIOUS PIE RECIPES TO TRY

MEALS TO MAKE FOR NEW PARENTS

The last thing new parents want to think about after bringing their brand new baby home from the hospital is DINNER. Dropping off a homemade dinner for a new parent is something they will be forever grateful for. This casserole is the perfect meal to bring to a family in need, but here are a few ideas for you:

Lemon Ice Box Pie

The BEST lemony dessert you will ever taste! (source: Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010)

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Jul 20, 2011

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Serves: 8-10

Total time: 1 hr, plus 7 hrs chilling

Lemon

Ingredients:

  • 14 whole graham crackers, broken
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Two 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 8 large egg yolks
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers with the sugar and salt until finely ground but not powdery. Add the butter and pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened; transfer to a 9-inch springform pan and press into the bottom and two-thirds up the side. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the condensed milk with the lemon juice. In another bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the lemon zest with the egg yolks until pale. Beat in the condensed milk mixture until smooth. Pour the filling into the crust.
  3. Bake the lemon pie for about 25 minutes, until the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly when the pie is moved. Transfer the pan to a rack; let cool for 1 hour. Loosely cover the pie pan with plastic wrap and freeze the pie for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Wrap a warm, damp kitchen towel around the side of the springform pan to release the pie; remove the ring. Using a hot knife, slice the pie, transfer to plates and serve.