This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Deliciously creamy & tangy Lemon Icebox Pie is a classic chilled Southern dessert that’s perfect for summer!
Our Favorite Icebox Pie
Have you had an icebox pie before? Today’s recipe is our favorite!
A traditional icebox pie does not need any baking and is kept in an ice box (refrigerator) and served chilled.
This recipe relies on an egg-based custard which needs to be baked in order for the filling to thicken and set and then is chilled in the ice box.
If you put it in the freezer, it’s firmer – which is also delicious. I’m a big fan of both!!
How to Make Lemon Icebox Pie
This recipe for a lemon icebox pie is simple, but does take some time to chill.
PREP. Preheat the oven to 325°F and lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.
CRUST. In a medium bowl, stir together the graham crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate to form the crust. Then pop it in the freezer as you make the filling.
FILLING. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk.
In a separate large bowl, beat together the egg yolks and lemon zest until frothy and lighter in color. Then gently mix in the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice.
BAKE. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top looks set and there’s a slight wobble in the middle.
CHILL + SERVE. Allow to cool at room temperature, then chill in the fridge or freezer for at least 6 hours to set. Top with Whipped Cream to serve.
- Top with whipped cream and a lemon slice.
- Use fresh berries such as raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.
Lemon. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of juice from a bottle for this recipe. I find lemon juice from the bottle is way too tart. Instead of getting a deliciously tangy flavor, it can end up extra sour with a bit of a bite to it.
1 cup of fresh lemon juice is about 5-6 lemons.
Lemon zest is made using the peel of the lemon. Use the peels from the fresh lemon to grate 1 tablespoon of zest. A citrus zester works great, but the small side of a cheese grater also works.
Graham crackers. To make 1⅔ C you will need approximately 12-15 sheets of graham crackers.
Recipe Tips + Storing Tips
Firm pie. If the pie is too firm to cut, place a sharp knife in a tall glass of hot/warm water first, then dry it off and cut the pie. (I like to use this trick for ice cream cake too).
Soft pie. If the pie is too soft to cut, place it in the freezer to firm up.
Mixing tip. Use a stand mixer or electric mixer with the whisk attachment. Use low speed and don’t over mix.
Perfect pie. Do not cover the pie until completely cool, otherwise, the steam will collect and drip moisture down on the dessert.
STORE. Once the Lemon Icebox Pie recipe is completely cool, wrap it in plastic and store it in the fridge for about 5 days.
FREEZE. To store it in the freezer, wrap it again with foil. It can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw a bit before serving.
The sweetened condensed milk thickens up this icebox pie quite nicely! Also, condensed milk continues to thicken up in the fridge or freezer.
I can find any excuse to add homemade whipped cream to any dessert and this lemon icebox pie is no exception! You can also add any fresh berry on top such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
For more citrus favorites:
Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
Lemon Pie Filling
- 2 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice about 4-6 lemons
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 325°F degrees and lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.
- In a medium bowl stir together the graham crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
- Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate to form the crust. Then pop it in the freezer as you make the filling.
- In a large bowl whisk together the lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk.
- In a separate large bowl beat together the egg yolks and lemon zest until frothy and lighter in color.
- Then gently mix in the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice.
- Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top looks set and there's a slight wobble in the middle.
- Allow to cool at room temperature, then chill in the fridge or freezer for at least 6 hours to set.
- Top with whipped cream to serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.