Lately, my flavor of choice for just about anything is lemon. Come spring, I crave that tart, cool flavor. This cheery lemon icebox pie is the perfect ending to a backyard barbecue, fish fry, or Easter dinner. But don’t get me wrong — I most enjoy it for breakfast the next morning. You will too — don’t judge.
So, what makes lemon ice box pie different from lemon meringue pie? The latter is usually made with a lemon custard filling, while the former is made with a mix of citrus juice and sweetened condensed milk. And of course, one is topped with whipped egg whites formed into sky-high meringue peaks, and the other more commonly sweetened with a dollop of whipped cream.
If you’re still unsure, know that you could actually use this recipe to make a killer key lime pie, just by swapping out the fruit. If you’re a fan of key lime, you’re going to love this pie.
Southern lemon icebox pie
- 14 whole graham crackers
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 7 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, seeds removed
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 8 egg yolks
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Coat a 10-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Break up the graham crackers and place them in a food processor along with the sugar and salt. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground, but not powdery. (I’ve also used a mortar and pestle for this, and it works fine if you don’t have a food processor.) Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture has become evenly moistened.
- Transfer mixture to pie pan and press firmly into the bottom and along the edge. Spread the mixture out as evenly as possible.
- In a medium bowl, pour the condensed milk and lemon juice. Whisk together.
- I a separate larger bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the egg yolks and lemon zest until the mixture turns a pale yellow color. Pour in the condensed milk mixture, and beat the two mixes together until smooth.
- Pour filling into pie crust.
- Bake for 25 minutes. The edges should be set and the center should still jiggle a bit when removed from oven, but it should also be set. Use a toothpick to test if you can’t tell by looking at it.
- Place the pie on a cooling rack and let cool for 1 hour. Loosely cover pie with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least 4 to 6 hours.
- When ready to serve, let sit out for 10 to 20 minutes or until pie as loosened up just a bit. Cut with a warm knife if that helps, and serve with whipped cream.
Also see, Lemon poppyseed pancakes recipe.