My Recipe Box

Lemon Icebox Pie

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Makes one 9-inch pie.

  • by David Guas, Raquel Pelzel from DamGoodSweet

This icebox pie, excerpted from David Guas and Raquel Pelzel's cookbook, DamGoodSweet, is simple and quick, plus it keeps in the freezer for over a week; it's a great dessert to make ahead for a dinner party. For a creamy key lime pie-like texture, let it sit out for 10 or 15 minutes before slicing.

For the crust
  • 14 whole graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and still warm
For the filling
  • 2 (14-oz.) cans condensed milk
  • 1-1/4 cups strained lemon juice (from the 2 zested lemons below plus an additional 4 to 6)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 8 large egg yolks
For the chantilly cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
To make the crust

Heat the oven to 325°F. To make the crust, break the graham crackers into small pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor along with the sugar and salt. Pulse 8 times, until the cracker crumbs are semi-fine (they shouldn’t be powdery but not in large shards either) and the crackers and sugar are combined. Pour in the butter and pulse until the butter is blended in and the mixture isn’t crumbly and holds its shape when you squeeze it, about twelve 1-second pulses. Transfer the crust to a 9-inch springform pan and push and press the crumb mixture into the bottom and two-thirds of the way up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crust into place. Set aside.

To make the filling

Whisk the condensed milk with the lemon juice and set aside. Whisk the zest with the egg yolks in medium bowl until pale, 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then whisk in the lemon juice/condensed milk mixture.

Place the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet, pour the mixture into the crust, and carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake until the center jiggles slightly, like a soft-setting custard, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour on a cooling rack. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap (be careful not to let the plastic wrap touch the top of the pie) and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

To make the chantilly cream

Pour the heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer). Add the vanilla and sift in the confectioners’ sugar. Whip on low speed to combine and then increase the speed to medium-high and whip until medium-stiff peaks form, about 1-1/2 minutes.

Before serving, wrap a wet, warm kitchen towel around the edges of the springform pan to release the pie from the pan’s sides. Unclasp the pan and remove the pie. Fill a pitcher with hot water, dunk your knife in, wipe off the blade, and slice. Top with a dollop of chantilly cream and serve immediately, or keep in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Photo: Ellen Silverman

We live on our boat in the Carribean for 6months every year and supplies tend to be hit and miss. I found everything I needed and it turned out perfectly! There were only four of us for dinner, so we were delighted to have leftovers, which were as good as freshly made!

DELICIOUS!! I agree with a previous reviewer, this is easy for someone not reading impaired, and why rate a recipe you have never tried? This is awesome and so easy! I have made it 6 times for various occasions and there is never any left. No complaints of too rich. I have passed this recipe on to many guests.

I made this icebox pie, and it is delicious. I did not think it was too rich, but perhaps I cut smaller pieces. The recipe is easy to follow for those not reading impaired (condensed vs evaporated milk), and keeps fabulously.

I actually MADE this recipe! My boyfriend found it too rich, so we didn't use the chantilly cream. IT is very good and easy to make. I have since found several recipes that use less egg yolk, etc., so I might try those so it isn't so rich. Great tart flavor, very creamy texture-yum!

If you plan on making this pie, be sure to use SWEETENED condensed milk (eg Eaglebrand), not plain condensed or evaporated milk. I've made enough pies like this to know from the recipe what is intended, but for cooks unfamiliar with this type of pie, it would be easy to use the wrong milk. (As the other reviewer noted, you may get the recipe to set using condensed milk and egg yolks, but you would need to add sugar to the filling.) I haven't made this exact pie, but have made several different recipes - all about the same - to know that it is probably okay. I love this type of pie, actually. If you have never made one like this, try it, you'll probably like it. (You can make a filling from just plain condensed milk, lemon juice, and egg yolks, but you would then need to add sugar to the filling to make the pie.)

I haven't made this recipe, but since the other 'raters' haven't either, rated it 3 stars, relegating it to mediocrity without knowing, I felt I had to. I am from Louisiana and this pie is something that has been made for generations and if you like Key Lime Pie, I'm pretty confident that you will love this one, too. Egg yolks, CONDENSED milk, and citrus juice will produce a custard filling that will set pretty much on its own but is frequently 'set' after a brief time in the oven to render the egg yolks safer. I really hate to see recipe rated low by people who do so without making it. This recipe is not really a mystery and I will make it this week and it will justify my 5 star ratings. Nice work, David and Raquel!

I assume this recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk? Folks (like me!) can get confused between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk, you might want to take pains to make that clear in the ingredient list. I gave it three stars because I had to in order to post this, I haven't made it yet.

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