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.

Sweet and tart Southern lemon icebox 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


  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Coat a 10-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Transfer mixture to pie pan and press firmly into the bottom and along the edge. Spread the mixture out as evenly as possible.
  4. In a medium bowl, pour the condensed milk and lemon juice. Whisk together.
  5. 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.
  6. Pour filling into pie crust.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.