Lemon Icebox Pie is a classic Southern dessert that’s perfect for summer. It has crunchy graham cracker crust, and a deliciously creamy, tangy, lemon filling that is amazing!
You can think of lemon icebox pie as the cousin to key lime pie. It’s has a luxurious, creamy texture, and a sweet, tangy lemon flavor. The lemon flavor is super refreshing, which makes this pie perfect for summer. And the silky smooth texture is what makes it extra delicious.
The pie is called an icebox pie because after it bakes, it gets placed in the fridge or freezer to set. It’s actually eaten cold – making it perfect for summer. If you put it in the fridge, the texture is a little softer and totally creamy, smooth. 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
Making this lemon icebox pie recipe is very easy, and you only need a few ingredients:
- Graham crumbs (you can buy the crackers and pulse them in your food processor, or buy graham crumbs that are sold in the baking aisle)
- Sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
- Lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Egg yolks
To make the crust first stir together the graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Then press them into the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-inch pie pan. You can also use a 9-inch springform pan too if you prefer.
Then to make the filling, first whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. In a separate bowl beat together the egg yolks and lemon zest until they get pale. Then mix in the sweetened condensed milk mixture.
Make sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of the stuff from the bottle for this recipe. I find lemon juice from the bottle is way too tart. So instead of getting a deliciously tangy flavor, it can end up way sour with a bit of a bite to it.
Then pour the filling into the pie crust, and bake at 325F for about 30 minutes. The pie will still have a slight wobble to it when it’s done baking. Then take it out of the oven to cool fully, and from there pop it in the fridge or freezer to set for at least 6 hours.
The pie will keep for about 1 week in the fridge/freezer, so it’s perfect to make ahead for company too. If you find the pie is too firm to cut, you can 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). On the other hand – if the pie seems a little too soft to cut into, place it in the freezer to firm up. I sometimes find getting the first piece out can be a little tricky, but I typically just have that piece for myself 🙂 And when you have a taste of just how delicious it is – you definitely won’t worry.
Then top it with whipped cream, and you’ve got one dynamite summer pie recipe. Creamy, fresh, and silky smooth.
If you love citrus, make sure to try these other favorites:
- Lemon Cream Pie Bars
- No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
- Lemon Lasagna
- Lemon Curd
- Easy Lemon Bars
- Lemon Bundt Cake
- Lemon Sheet Cake
Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 2/3 cups graham crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 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 325F 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.