There is a lovely little restaurant on Sanibel Island named Gramma Dots. We visit Dots each time we’re vacationing on the Island and they have the best Key Lime Pie I’ve ever had. It’s very similar to this Lemon Ice Box Pie. In fact, if I had used key limes instead of lemons, I bet you couldn’t tell the difference between Dot’s and mine. I’ll be looking for key limes to appear in the store and adapt this recipe from yellow to green
I’m starting to think I missed out on a lot over the years. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a Lemon Ice Box Pie before and am very happy I finally did. When I was a kid I always picked chocolate, if chocolate was a choice. Maybe lemon is a grown-up thing to have / make / bake. Either way, I would pick this again. The last two pies were lemon based because I bought a big bag of lemons. Next time they’re on sale again I’ll remember all the wonderful things I was able to make with pretty, yellow, tart-alicious lemons.
My husband said it was a lot like the pie his Mom used to make. I didn’t know there was such a big difference between Lemon Ice Box Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie. I guess I was thinking they were the same, but they are not! When researching what to make with all those lemons, Lemon Chess, Ice Box and Meringue were the three most popular recipes I found. We were all very happy with these pies and will make them again one day.
The ingredients are simple: sweetened condensed milk, sugar, graham crackers, salt, egg yolks, unsalted butter and lemons. Lots of lemons!
The crust was super easy. Break the graham crackers into small pieces, add the sugar and salt and pulse in a food processor until ground, but not powdery.
Pulse in short spurts until all crackers are broken up.
It’s OK to have some chunks of graham crackers.
Now add unsalted butter to the food processor. Oops, I pulsed this and then realized I was supposed to melt the butter first. To improvise I poured the crust mixture into the pie plate and popped it in the oven for a minute to melt the butter. I mixed the crust ingredients until all grahams were properly buttered.
Press the crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie plate. Set aside.
Grate (or zest) a few lemons. You’ll need 2 tablespoons.
Cut the zested lemons in half and wheeze the juice. (Name that movie) You’ll need about 7 juiced lemons to make 1 1/4 cups. This is a lemony pie!
This juicer belonged to my great grandmother and it still works! There may be a newer way to juice fruit, but I’ll stick with this old juicer. Set lemon juice aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the condensed milk with the lemon juice (not the zest).
Separate the eggs and put the yolks in a large bowl.
Add the zest to the yolks and beat with a mixer until pale.
Add the condensed milk / lemon juice mixture to the egg yolks and zest.
Beat until smooth.
Pour filling into the prepared crust. Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes.
The center will juggle slightly and the edges should be set.
Cool the pie on a rack for 1 hour. Loosely cover the pie with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours.
I have a pie Tupperware container so I used that instead of plastic wrap.
When ready to serve, wrap the pie plate with a warm, damp kitchen towel to release the frozen crust. Using a hot knife, slice the pie and serve. Pucker up!
Click HERE for a printable copy of the recipe.
Lemon Ice Box Pie
(Adapted from a recipe found on http://www.foodandwine.com/)
14 whole graham crackers, broken
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice, plus 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
8 large egg yolks
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers with the sugar and salt until finely ground but not powdery. Add the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the mixture on the sides and bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Set the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, whisk the condensed milk with the lemon juice. In another bowl, using a 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.
Bake the pie for 25 minutes, until the center juggles slightly and the edges are set. Transfer the pan to a rack; let cool for 1 hour. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours.
Wrap a warm, damp kitchen towel around the side of the pie plate to release the pie. Using a hot knife, slice the pie and serve. Top with whipped cream if desired.
Thanks so much for stopping by!