This Lemon Icebox Pie is the perfect combination of sweet and tangy, made with condensed milk, egg yolks and tons of fresh lemon, topped with sweetened whipped cream for an irresistible lemon dessert!
I have one of the easiest, most delicious lemon dessert recipes for you today, one that is going to be a staple here through the rest of the summer and all through the winter (because we know citrus hits its peak when the temperatures dip!).
After weeks and weeks of slaving over this Lemon Meringue Pie recipe (you guys don’t want to know how I struggled with it, but now it’s perfect and I don’t regret that!), I discovered this Lemon Icebox Pie in the Magnolia Table cookbook (this is an affiliate link), and I am obsessed.
It also seemed unfair, that I had struggled for so long over a lemon pie only to discover this gem afterwards, but they are both incredibly delicious and totally different lemon pies, both worthy of your dinner table.
I made a few changes to Joanna’s recipe, but the essence remains the same: a simple filling made of condensed milk, egg yolks and fresh lemon that is baked and chilled.
While you can freeze this Lemon Icebox Pie, it’s not a must.
It is perfectly cool and creamy out of the refrigerator, and the verdict is out on where exactly an icebox pie belongs (more on that below).
Reasons to love Lemon Icebox Pie:
Although I’m sure you’ll have many of your own reasons, here are ours:
- It’s easy to make: I use a simple 2 ingredient graham cracker crust, and the filling is so quick to whip up and bakes in no time.
- It’s perfect for making ahead, which takes the stress out of entertaining.
- You can make it your own. The recipe itself isn’t finicky, which means it can handle some adaptations and won’t get mad about it.
- Lemon. A bright burst of sunshine whenever you need it the most!
How to make Lemon Icebox Pie:
- Start with the graham cracker crust. I made a couple changes to Joanna’s recipe like omitting the sugar, because surely with all that sweetened condensed milk it will be sweet enough! We bake it so that it firms up and doesn’t become soggy when adding the filling.
- Zest, then juice your lemons. To get the most juice out of your lemons, give them a firm roll on the counter to release the juices before you halve them.
- Make your filling: As long as you beat it well, there’s no reason you need to use an electric mixer. Just make sure everything is smooth before you pour it in!
- Bake your filling just until it’s set. It may jiggle slightly, but should be pretty firm.
- Cool, then refrigerate or freeze. The choice is yours!
So this icebox pie…. doesn’t go in the icebox?
I’ll admit, I was unsure about this at first, too.
Some people freeze it, some people refrigerate.
So I looked it up, and an “icebox” is actually traditionally more like a refrigerator than a freezer. It was a cold cupboard, cooled with ice before electric refrigerators existed.
My icebox pie? Sometimes it goes in the refrigerator, sometimes it goes in the freezer, and I think that’s the real beauty of this pie.
It’s the perfect make ahead dessert, regardless of what your schedule is. It doesn’t freeze hard, so you can eat it right out of the freezer if your in laws pop in for an unexpected visit 😉
Variations on this lemon pie:
- Don’t have lemons? Try lime, orange or grapefruit instead of lemon!
- Opt for a chocolate crust instead of graham cracker crumbs for a unique twist.
- Top with all the fresh summer berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries would all be great on here!
- The sweetened condensed milk flavor in this pie really does come through, so if you prefer your pie a little more tangy and less sweet, try swapping 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk for sour cream.
What you’ll need to make this lemon icebox pie:
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- A 9″ pie plate is just the right size
- Joanna recommends using an electric mixer for this recipe, but honestly I don’t see any reason you couldn’t just use a whisk.
- A good lemon juicer — I love, love these ones with the measurements right on the cup!
- A lemon zester or super fine grater
More lemon dessert recipes!
- Easy Lemon Meringue Pie recipe
- Strawberry Lemonade Cake Recipe
- Easy Homemade Pink Lemonade Recipe
- Real Deal No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
Lemon Icebox Pie
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 600 ml sweetened condensed milk 2 300ml cans or roughly 2 cups
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice about 3-4 lemons
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 pinch salt
Sweetened Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9" pie plate.
- In a medium bowl, stir together graham crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom and all the way up the sides of the prepared pie plate.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until dry and firm.
- Meanwhile, stir together the filling: condensed milk, lemon juice, egg yolks, lemon zest and salt. Whisk well for 2-3 minutes so everything is incorporated, or beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Pour into baked pie crust and bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, until pie is set -- it may have a slight jiggle but shouldn't look wet.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator (at least 4 hours) or freezing.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
- Whip cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Sweeten additionally to taste if desired.