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Easy Lemon Pie with White Chocolate Curls – you’ll love the velvety smooth consistency and the tangy-tart bite from the fresh lemon juice.
This simple pie can be made in an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom, or a regular 9-inch pie plate. It can also be baked in your favorite tart pastry or graham cracker pie crust. To make it even easier, use your favorite store-bought graham cracker crust and just add filling!
With just a few ingredients, the filling comes together quickly and bakes to perfection in about 15 minutes. This pie is easily made ahead and topped with mounds of whipped cream a few hours before serving. It holds up well but is best eaten within a day or two of baking.
Lemon or limes are both great choices for this easy lemon pie.
If you’re one of those lucky enough to have citrus trees in your yard, I say use whatever you have on hand. Limes would be a good substitute because they’re also from the tart citrus family. Oranges or grapefruit would also be good in a pie, but will have a much more mild flavor. Personally I prefer the tart-tanginess and if you do too, start with this lemon version!
What’s the best way to store lemons?
According to my favorite expert cooking source, America’s Test Kitchen, lemons, and other citrus fruits, do not continue to ripen after harvest. The good news is they tend to stay fresher longer than other fruits like apples, pears and bananas. To keep your lemons juicy and fresh, they must be chilled and sealed in an airtight Ziploc bag. Keep the lemons whole whenever possible.
If you zest a lemon but don’t need the juice, wrap the zested lemon tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Lemon juice and lemon zest are also freezable if sealed in an airtight container. The color and flavor may be a little diminished, but when used in small amounts it’s perfectly acceptable. If properly stored, lemons should keep fresh for up to 4 weeks.
This Easy Lemon Pie is very similar to the more famous Key Lime Pie.
My mom always added a tangy sour cream topping to her homemade Key Lime Pie. While I prefer my Key Lime Pie without the sour cream topping, it did get me thinking about adding sour cream to the filling. Sour cream turned out to be a terrific addition to this lemony pie. A small amount of sour cream adds a luscious tanginess which compliments lemon juice perfectly. Give it a try!
To stabilize the whipped cream topping, I added a little cream cheese to the mix.
Sometimes whipped cream toppings don’t hold together for long, so adding a little cream cheese makes all the difference. If you haven’t tried this little trick before, you’re going to love it now. These pretty mounds of whipped cream easily hold up under the weight of the sliced lemons and white chocolate curls. This cream cheese whipped cream is still fluffy and lightly sweet, and perfectly pipeable if desired.
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With a velvety smooth filling and a tangy-tart bite from the fresh lemon juice, this a luscious, bright and delicious pie!
- 1 ¼ cups crushed graham crackers (one whole wax paper package)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, strained (about 4 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus more for garnish
- 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- white chocolate curls
- lemon zest & lemon slices for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham crackers and 2 tablespoons sugar. Process until finely crushed. Add the melted butter and pulse until well mixed.
- Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool while preparing the filling.
- In a medium bowl beat the sour cream until smooth with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low, slowly add the sweetened condensed milk and blend until combined. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice and zest. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the filling is set, but still jiggles a little in the middle. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to add the topping.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth using an electric mixer. Slowly add the whipping cream and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high until soft, but stiff peaks form. Mound the topping onto the pie using an ice cream scoop or pipe all over in a pattern as desired. Top with fresh lemon zest, sliced lemon and chocolate curls if desired.
- Melt 2 ounce of white chocolate according to package directions. Spread on the back of a baking pan and refrigerate until set, about 3-4 minutes. Using a sharp spatula, create little curls. If the chocolate breaks into shards, allow it to sit at room temperature another minute or two until slightly softer. If the chocolate does not curl, pop it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes more. Curls may be made ahead and frozen until needed.
Substitute a 9-inch store bought graham cracker crust if desired
I used an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom for this recipe.
Looking for more luscious lemon desserts?
Try this crustless and delicious Easy Lemon Posset recipe for a delicious make-ahead treat. Lemon Posset is a cross between a lush pudding and a silky lemon curd. This amazing English specialty is made with just three simple ingredients. Click HERE to get the recipe for Easy Lemon Posset. Don’t let the citrus season get by without try these Tangy Lemon Bars. These bars are tart, sweet and lusciously creamy, with an incredible consistency and a delicious shortbread crust. These bars are absolutely amazing! Click HERE to get the recipe for Tangy Lemon Bars. Finally, be sure to print this recipe for Homemade Lemon Curd. This easy and fool-proof curd is great on biscuits, pancakes, pound cake, angel food cake, muffins, or just about anything! Click HERE to get the best recipe for Homemade Lemon Curd.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia