I have to say, when it comes to summertime desserts, I tend to lean towards the ones that are timeless favorites: Strawberry Shortcake, Peach Cobbler, Blueberry Pie, and when the weather is really warm, I start to wish for Lemon Icebox Pie. Afterall, these classic desserts have become classic for a reason, right? They are fantastically delicious, and take us back to all of the other summers we have enjoyed over the years.
If you love Key Lime Pie, chances are you will love Lemon Icebox Pie, which is the lemon version of this refreshing treat. Served frozen, it is tangy, silken, and cool, with a rich buttery crust and a dollop of cream. It’s the dessert reminiscent of days gone by, when your southern grandma may have served it alongside a tall glass of sweet tea out on the back porch.
Whether you share southern routes or not, you will want to include this traditional pie in your summertime mix, year after year.
Lemon Icebox Pie
For the crust:
14 whole graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
For the filling:
2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
1 1/4 cups strained lemon juice (from the 2 zested lemons below plus an additional 4–6)
Zest of 2 lemons
8 large egg yolks
For the chantilly cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
To make the crust:
Heat the oven to 325°F. 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 a medium bowl until pale, 30 to 60 seconds, 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 into 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.
Run a knife along the outside of crust. Loosen buckle on springform pan to release pie. Cut into wedges and serve with a dollop of cream.