Lemon Icebox Pie
Tart, creamy, sweet and luscious Lemon Icebox Pie - a family favorite!
For the crust:
- 14 whole graham crackers
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- zest of 2 lemons no white pith
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (4-5 lemons strained of seeds and pulp)
For the topping:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- crushed graham crackers for garnish optional
- lemon zest for garnish optional
To prepare the crust:
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Break the graham crackers into the bowl of a food processor. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt. Pulse until the crackers are finely ground. Some small chunks is fine. Add the melted butter and pulse again until all the crumbs are moistened.
Pour the crumbs into a deep 9-inch pie plate. See NOTES below if you don’t have a deep straight-sided pie plate. Using a measuring cup press the mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly browned. Cool on a rack will preparing the filling.
To prepare the filling:
In a small food processor combine 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with the lemon zest. Process until the sugar is bright yellow and the zest is broken down into tiny pieces.
Pour the lemon sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and beat using an electric mixer until the yolks are thickened and pale.
Add the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Blend on low until all ingredients are combined. Place the baked graham cracker crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
Bake the pie on the baking pan for 20 to 25 minutes or until the center jiggles slightly and the edges are set. The pie filling should not be browned. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
To prepare the whipped topping:
In a large cold mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat on high until firm (not dry) peaks form. Dollop the whipped cream on top of the pie and swirl decoratively. Garnish with crushed graham crackers and/or lemon zest and lemon slices.
- This recipe was created using a deep-dish straight-sided 9-inch pie plate. A standard pie plate with sloping sides is not deep enough to hold all the filling. If all the filling doesn’t fit your pie pan, bake leftovers in a lightly greased small oven-proof dish or ramekin. Or coat the ramekin with vegetable cooking spray and line with crushed graham crackers mixed with a little melted butter and sugar. Add the filling and bake.
- You can also make this pie in an 8 or 9-inch springform pan. Press the crust about 1 to 1-1/2 inches up the sides of the pan and bake according to directions.
If you don’t have a food processor:
- Another option is to use 2 pre-made store-bought graham cracker crusts and divide the filling evenly between the two. Reduce the baking time to 15 minutes. The pie will be thin like a traditional Key Lime Pie.
If you don’t have a mini-food processor:
- For the crust place the sugar and broken graham cracker pieces in a large zipper bag and crush using a rolling pin. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with the melted butter. Stir until combined.
- Place the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Crush the mixture using a fork or spoon, pressing the zest up against the side of the bowl. You can also do this using your fingers. The idea is to release the lemon oils into the sugar until it becomes yellow in color and moistened.
Chilling and/or freezing
- You can also skip processing the lemon sugar and simply add the lemon zest and sugar to the eggs and beat.
- This pie is best made a day ahead so it has time to chill properly.
- Once cooled, you can also freeze the pie then wrap in plastic wrap and foil to seal. The pie can be made ahead and frozen for up to 2 months. Move the pie to the refrigerator 4 to 5 hours before serving.
- To slice a slightly frozen pie wrap a warm, damp kitchen towel around the bottom and sides of the pie plate to release the crust. Run a large thin knife under hot water, then carefully dry. Slice and serve topped with sweetened whipped cream.
Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 206mg | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 853IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg