Easy Lemon Ice Box Pie Recipe

Will Ducky

Would you like to know why Lemon Ice Box Pie is the best pie recipe? Because it means to be eaten cold, it’s easy to snatch a piece from the fridge when no one is watching! Like its tangy cousin key lime pie, this baked and chilled dessert is super easy, making it perfect for novice bakers. This is the perfect dessert for any summer cooking.

Why is it called Lemon Ice Box Pie?

Good question! In the past, before people had the power, refrigerators were literally insulated boxes that kept food cool using a block of ice. So, the old-fashioned name for the fridge is an ice box! Cold temperatures are the key to setting up this custard pie properly and the best way to eat it right out of the fridge.

How Long Do You Refrigerate Lemon Ice Box Pie?

Because this recipe is made using egg-based custard that is cooked to help with the filling, this pie only takes 2 hours to set in the fridge and cool. If you want to prepare it in advance, you can make it a day ahead, then top it with fresh whipped cream before serving.

Do I need to use fresh lemons for this recipe?

Although it is technically okay to use store-bought lemon juice, this pie will taste much better with freshly squeezed lemon juice! This recipe requires 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, but go ahead and boil all the lemons before extracting the juice. Zest can be stored in jars for about a week and can be stirred into cake batters, salad dressings and marinades to add lemon flavor.

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Preparation time:





Full time:





For the crust:

1 1/2 c.

Graham cracker pieces

7 tbsp.

Salted butter, melted

To fill:


14 oz cans sweet condensed milk

1 c.

Fresh lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)

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  1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine cracker pieces, sugar and butter. Mix with a fork until the pieces are well coated and stick together when pinched. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the 9-inch pie plate. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  2. To fill: In a medium bowl, stir together the condensed milk, lemon juice, egg yolk and lemon zest until combined. Add the filling to the crust and bake until the center is set but still light, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  3. Before serving, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer over medium speed until soft peaks form. Double in the middle of the pie and serve.

Want to save a step? Skip homemade whipped cream and use your favorite store-bought whipped topping instead!

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