What could be better than a simple, easy lemon icebox pie recipe? Eagle Brand condensed milk, egg yolks and a homemade graham cracker crust come together to make the perfect pie! This is the best lemon icebox pie with condensed milk! And for more summertime treats, try my Strawberry Banana Sorbet, my Brown Butter Peach Tart, and my Mango Popsicles! And grab my Sweet Summertime Cookbook for some of my best recipes to make this summer!
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Simple Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe
I still remember the first time I watched my father make his old fashioned lemon icebox pie. I was a little kid, and we were at my grandmother's house in Sandusky, Ohio. Such a special place for our family, where we experienced so many moments filled with love and laughter. And on that day, my father was separating eggs.
Me: Daddy, what are you making?
Dad: An icebox pie.
Me: Why is it called that?
Dad: Because you don't cook it in the oven, you let it set in the refrigerator.
Me: Why don't you use part of the eggs?
Dad: Because you don't need them.
And the conversation continued like that for some time. I asked too many questions back then (still do).
When I finally tasted the lemon icebox pie he made, it was SO good. And it seemed too easy -- it was just eggs, lemon juice, and condensed milk in a pre-made graham cracker pie crust! This lemon icebox pie recipe is in honor of him, and the Lewis family's love for desserts -- there are some slight variations from how his mother and grandmother used to make it, but I got his seal of approval!
Is this a No Bake Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe?
In a slight variation from the original icebox pie recipe my dad uses, we are popping the assembled pie in the oven to help the egg yolks set. For that reason, we can't technically call this a no bake lemon icebox pie recipe, not quite. But I'm sure you'll agree that that quick oven time goes by in a flash, and that this pie is still super easy to make!
Why is it Called an Icebox Pie?
This old fashioned lemon icebox pie is named for the refrigerator, or "icebox," in which it is set and stored. Similar to an icebox cake or icebox cookies, the fridge is an essential part of the production of this lemon pie.
Easy Lemon Icebox Pie - Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
So what's the secret to a simple lemon icebox pie recipe? You need sweetened condensed milk! I like to use Eagle Brand condensed milk -- this post isn't sponsored -- but any sweetened condensed milk you like should work! You can even use coconut condensed milk to avoid dairy!
Condensed milk is basically milk that has been sweetened and cooked down so that it takes on a thicker texture that can bind other ingredients together, and a slightly caramelized flavor. I've never had a lemon icebox pie without condensed milk, but with it, it's so delicious!
If you love the lemon flavor of this pie, try this delicious lemon cordial to go with it!
2020 Juneteenth Cookout
I'm so excited to be sharing the best lemon icebox pie recipe in celebration of Juneteenth! One of my favorite parts about Black American culture is our food -- how it brings us together and how it sets us apart. How recipes are passed down like oral histories, and how our flavors, spices, and techniques are unforgettable.
I chose to share this icebox pie for the Juneteenth Cookout because this classic Southern recipe, having traveled with my family up north to Ohio during the Great Migration, and then passing down to me, is a perfect representation of the spirit of Juneteenth -- celebrating our joys in the face of struggle, remembering where we came from, and sharing love, food, and good times across the generations.
What is lemon pie filling made of?
The ingredients list is not that different from what my dad used all those years ago. To make this pie, you'll need:
- lemon juice & zest - for that amazing lemony flavor!
- egg yolks - to help the pie set and give it that rich texture.
- sweetened condensed milk - makes the pie sweet and creamy! My family uses Eagle Brand milk.
- graham cracker crumbs - for that crunchy crumb crust.
- salted butter - helps solidify the crust and adds buttery flavor.
- brown sugar - gives your crust a caramel sweetness.
- cinnamon - optional to add a little spice to your pie crust.
I'm also including a quick whipped cream recipe to serve with this pie! It's not part of my family's traditional recipe (my dad made sure to point that out, haha), but I love the contrast of the light, fluffy whipped cream with the richer, tart lemon pie. For the whipped cream, you'll need:
- heavy cream
- vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
And with all those ingredients gathered, you're all set to make this easy lemon icebox pie!
Pie Pan with Removable Bottom
The most essential piece of equipment for this lemon icebox pie recipe is a pie or tart pan with a removable bottom, like this one. I use one like that for most of my pie recipes, because it makes serving the pie SO much easier than a traditional pie pan! No more sacrificing the first slice because it's too difficult to neatly remove it from the pan. With this type of pan, you can remove the entire pie from the pan all at once, and then easily slice it like a cake.
Although a pan with a removable bottom is my preference, you are free to use any kind of 9-inch pie pan you like for this recipe, as long as it has sides that are at least 1.5 inches high.
If you try this recipe, I would love it if you could leave a star review rating and comment below! It’s so wonderful hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to share your creations with me by tagging @chenee_today on Instagram!
More Lemon Recipes You'll Love
- Lemon Dump Cake
- Almond Lemon Cookies
- Lemon Poppyseed Scones
- Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Zest
- Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake + Juneteenth Cookout 2021
Equipment you may need
Graham Cracker Crust
Lemon Pie Filling
- 2 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
- 5 large egg yolks - room temperature
- 2 teaspoon (10 ml) lemon zest - packed
- juice of 6 medium lemons - about 1 cup of juice
- Preheat oven to 325°F. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, line the bottom of your pie pan with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, combine the crust ingredients and mix well until graham crackers are fully saturated with butter and mixture holds together when pressed.1½ cup graham crackers, 6 tablespoon salted butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pour graham cracker mixture into a 9-inch deep dish pie pan with removable bottom. Use the bottom of a cup or jar to press the crust down and along the sides. Set aside.
- Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour into prepare pie crust.2 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk, 5 large egg yolks, 2 teaspoon lemon zest, juice of 6 medium lemons
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until filling is just set.
- Chill in refrigerator, loosely covered in plastic wrap for 6 hours or overnight.
- To make whipped cream, combine heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip for 3 minutes or until soft peaks form. Serve immediate with chilled pie.1 cup heavy cream, 3 tablespoon powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
There are so many amazing recipes in the Juneteenth Cookout Takeover! Check out a few of them, and CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL LIST OF RECIPES. Happy Juneteenth!
PIN this old fashioned lemon icebox recipe for later!
Last Updated on July 2, 2023 by Chenée Lewis