Friday, April 13, 2012

Lemon Icebox Pie

Lemon Icebox Pie made with sweetened condensed milk, whipped topping, fresh lemon juice and zest, gets an extra tangy boost from the addition of a lemonade powdered drink mix.

Lemon Icebox Pie

The old fashioned version of lemon icebox pie used raw egg yolks in the filling. I've included that version in the cook's notes at the bottom of the recipe for those of us who are still adventurous enough to make it. It is believed that the combination of the acids with the eggs in the pie filling "cook" the eggs sufficiently, but scientifically I have no idea if there is any truth to that. I can tell you that many of us southerners love the egg version and have lived on to tell about it, but if you're concerned about the consumption of raw eggs, you can still have that creamy taste with a few shortcuts in the form of this refrigerator pie, which is also mighty tasty.

It's patterned after it's sister lime pie version, which uses a packet of unsweetened powdered drink mix, like Kool Aid, to add extra tang and color to the pie. I decided to go ahead and use it here as well, though truthfully if you prefer your pie more on the sweeter side of tangy, you could certainly get away with leaving it out altogether. Adding it will provide plenty of tang and a tiny bit of color, though you could add a drop or two of yellow food coloring for a more lemony color. If you like the extra tang, add the Kool Aid, otherwise simply leave it out.

This is a freezer pie, or refrigerator pie, at best. It holds up much better frozen and softens at room temperature fairly quick, but any leftovers should be refrigerated or returned to the freezer. It's a wonderful, quick and easy pie for the season. Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Lemon Icebox Pie

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Inactive time: 24 hours | Yield: About 8 servings

  • 1 homemade or commercial graham cracker pie crust
  • Zest of 2 lemons (about 1/8 cup)
  • Juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 envelope of unsweetened Lemonade powdered drink mix (like Kool-Aid), optional
  • 1 (8 ounce) tub of whipped topping (like Cool Whip), thawed and divided
  • About 16 vanilla wafer cookies, optional

Prepare pie crust according to the instructions below. Zest and juice the lemons, setting aside a pinch of the lemon zest for garnish. In a medium bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and contents of the Kool-Aid packet, if using; whisk until smooth.

Remove about 1/2 cup of the whipped topping from the tub and set that aside in the refrigerator for garnish. Gently fold the remaining whipped topping into the lemon mixture until well blended. Pour this into the crust and place vanilla wafers all around the rim of the pie plate. Place pie into the freezer for several hours, or preferably overnight, before serving.

Before serving, let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes to thaw. Spread the reserved whipped topping over the top of the pie, leaving just a small edge around the outside. Garnish with the zest. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, or re-freeze.

Cook's Notes: The lemonade packet provides a little color and extra tang but you can eliminate it for a less tart lemon flavor. For a more vibrant color, add a drop or two of yellow food coloring to the filling. For frozen lemonade pie, substitute a 6 ounce frozen lemonade, thawed for the Kool Aid packet. You can also make a wide variety of flavored icebox pies with this recipe by substituting different flavors of Kool-Aid. You'll only need the basic four ingredients: Pie crust, sweetened condensed milk, whipped topping and a package of any flavor of Kool-Aid. Add fresh fruit garnishes as desired. Cherry is one popular version.

To make a graham cracker crust, combine 1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, about 8 planks or roughly one package, with 1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted butter, and press into a pie plate. Can use as is, or bake in a 350 degree F preheated oven for about 5 minutes to toast, if desired. Can also substitute a cookie crust, or prebaked regular pastry crust.

Tip: To make it easier to remove from the pan, grab a large skillet or pan and place a small amount of very hot water in it. Gently set the pie plate into the hot water, taking care that water does not go over the rim! Let it sit for about 30 seconds, and this will help to release the crust for easier serving.

Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie: Prepare as above, except eliminate the Kool Aid packet and beat in the yolks of three eggs. Though not a traditional topping for icebox pie, you can reserve the egg whites for meringue, or save them for another use if desired. Raw Egg Caution: Although it is commonly thought the acid in the lemon deems the egg yolk safe to consume, a caution is extended to children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, who may need to avoid dishes using raw eggs.


Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.
Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Coconut Key Lime Pie
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Chess Pie
Elvis Pie

Posted by on April 13, 2012
Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Do not repost or republish elsewhere such as other blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.

Bookmark and Share


  1. I've never had this, so it will be fun to give it a try this summer! Happy weekend, anne

  2. I haven't had this either, but it sounds really tasty and easy. Plus it's no bake which is a big plus for me in the summer; hate using the oven when it's hot!

  3. Never had it but I have seen it at church functions or something like it, as a kid.

  4. I had this as a kid too, and didn't care for it. Now I love lemon pie. I just got a bag of lemons so this will just the recipe for me to try. Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. You're welcome!! I was the same way with coconut pie when I was younger & now I love it!!

  5. When I make the traditional type pie, I used Egg beaters or other brand of egg whites. They are pasteurized so you don't have to worry about getting ill from them. I also use them in home made ice cream.

  6. I make a similar Key lime version to this. It's wonderful and I must make a lemon ice box pie!

    1. Oh I love the key lime version too Lea Ann - it's linked up there in the "check out" section in fact!

  7. Yum, perfect for all the heat we have been having!

    1. I know Jessica! It was pretty hot last weekend & earlier this week here too but it's been simply gorgeous the past few days. Nice & cool - a nice break!

  8. I have made something similar, but a bit more complicated. I always like easy in the kitchen, so I'll have to give this version a try!

  9. Instead of the KoolAid, have you tried crystallized lemon juice? I always keep lemon and lime packets on hand for when I don't have the real thing. WILL NOT use the reconstituted stuff!
    As someone above mentioned, use egg substitute. I use it for everything, unless I need to separate eggs, or want "juicy" eggs (over easy or soft boiled).

    Joan Fisher Demshock (on FB)

    1. Hi Joan! I have not, but that should work great. Kool-Aid is probably a bit more accessible & affordable for most folks, and really it's there only to provide a little color in absence of the egg yolks, plus a bit of extra tang, so it's totally optional. Yes, liquid eggs or substitutes, or pasteurized whole eggs can be used to make the old fashioned pie, although there are plenty of folks who make that pie with regular eggs and have lived to tell it! YMMV of course!! :)

  10. Substitute anything that says lemon on it for 1 can of frozen lemonade (thawed) and you have EXACTLY posted my wife's "Lemonade Pie." I married her for it lol.

    I thought she was an expert baker after having it for the first time. When I saw how simple it was, I thought her to be a genius lol. I tried it once (her version) with YOUR chocolate sable crust from your peanut butter pie. Although those are the best cookies ever and the best chocolate pie crust ever, it just didn't go as well with the lemonade pie as does the graham cracker crust.

    For variety sometimes she will use pink lemonade. When she was really little, my daughter loved the pink version.

    (Now back to my lemon cookie search. lol it's amazing the great recipes of yours one finds while searching for something else here. I found your CourtBouillon searching for something else, as well as the taco soup).



Thanks for taking the time to comment - I love hearing from readers and I read every single comment and try to respond to them right here on the site, so stop back by!

From time to time, anonymous restrictions and/or comment moderation may be activated due to comment spam. I also reserve the right to edit, delete or otherwise exercise total editorial discretion over any comments left on this blog. If your comment serves only to be snarky, mean-spirited or argumentative, it will be deleted. Please mind your manners.

Related Posts with Thumbnails