Homemade Creamy Lemon Pie

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Spring is here! This lemon pie recipe is the perfect spring recipe – just the right balance between sweet and tart with a cool, creamy texture. The filling requires only 4 ingredients and sits on top of a buttery graham cracker crust. 

Overhead of lemon pie topped with whipped cream and lemon wedges.

Spring has sprung here when I live. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming, the days are longer and the nights are warm enough to eat outside occasionally. Lime pie is one of my go-to spring desserts, but this creamy lemon pie is gaining ground!

Citrusy desserts are fresh and bright and are the perfect ending to a dinner involving almost any grilled entrees. If it is a more casual buffet style dinner, these lemon bars or blood orange bars are delightful.

Something a little more celebratory might warrant this lemon cheesecake, or this lemon cake.

But for standard lovely spring evening dinners, I like to make and serve a key lime pie or this lemon pie. They’re bursting with sweet citrusy flavor and are the perfect ending to any meal.

The method or making this pie is similar to making a key lime pie. First combine the butter and graham cracker crumbs and bake the crust. Then, combine egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk combine for a creamy, dreamy texture, and add citrus juice (here squeezed from lemons) for a bright tangy punch of flavor.

Whipped cream, lemon slices, and zest are optional garnishes – I love the flare they add, but they aren’t necessary. This simple, bright, and creamy lemon pie is perfect as it or with a little bit of pizzazz.


Recipe Snapshot

  • TASTE: Bright and lemony
  • TEXTURE: Creamy
  • EASE: Easy
  • TIME: Under half an hour, plus chilling time

What You’ll Need

Only a few simple ingredients are required to make this creamy pie loaded with fresh lemon flavor.

Ingredients

  • Graham cracker crumbs – Crush your own or buy pre-made graham cracker crumbs
  • Unsalted butter – Melted. This holds the crumbs together for the crust.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – Sweetens and thickens the filling.
  • Egg yolks – Add texture and richness to the filling.
  • Lemon juice and zest – Fresh lemon juice squeezed from lemons – don’t go the pre-packaged store-bought route.
  • Whipped cream – Use storebought or make your own.
  • Lemon slices and lemon zest – Optional garnishes.

Recommended Tools

  • Pie pan: You need a pie pan to make this lemon pie recipe.
  • Juicer: I prefer a metal lemon/lime juicer to help extract the juice from the lemons.
  • Zester: A microplane zester works best for zesting the lemons for the pie
Slice of lemon pie on white plate.

How to Make Lemon Pie

This bright and creamy homemade lemon pie is quick to make, and captures all the flavor of spring. Make sure to leave enough time to set and chill – it should be served fully chilled. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F before baking.

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below

  1. Make and bake the crust. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter in a 9-inch pie pan. Stir together until moistened and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the dish.  Bake for 10 minutes. Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.
  2. Make the filling. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest, egg yolks, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. 
  3. Bake. Baked the pie for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the center remains jiggly. 
  4. Cool and chill. Cool for 1 hour on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. Top with whipped cream, lemon slices, and lemon zest if desired.

Handy tip:

The required time for the pie to chill and set is 3 hours. Save some time by making the pie a day before you plan to serve it.

Tips For Success

  • This pie could be served with or without the garnishes. If you want a simple, bright, citrusy dessert – serve it without topping. If you want something with a little more jazz – add whipped cream, lemon slices and a dusting of lemon zest.
  • Be careful with zesting! The white part under the yellow skin, called the pith, will make the pie taste bitter.
  • Don’t overbake the pie. Bake just until the center is no longer jiggly. This will take less than 20 minutes.
Slice of lemon pie with bite taken out.

Storage & Freezing

To store: A baked and cooled pie can be stored, wrapped in plastic, for no more than a week in the fridge.

You can make the graham cracker crumbs crust up to 2-3 days in advance. A prebaked crust can be stored in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature.

Lemon Pie

Overhead of lemon pie topped with whipped cream and lemon wedges.
This lemon pie features the perfect balance between sweet and tart with a cool, creamy texture. The filling requires only 4 ingredients and sits on top of a buttery graham cracker crust. 
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Serving Size 10

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 2 cups (168 g) graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

  • 28 ounces (792 g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup (240 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • stabilized whipped cream, optional
  • lemon slices, optional
  • lemon zest, optional

Instructions

Make the Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. 
  • Combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter in a 9-inch pie pan. Stir together until moistened and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the dish. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

Make the Filling

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest, egg yolks, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. 
  • Baked the pie for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the center remains jiggly. 
  • Cool for 1 hour on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. Top with whipped cream, lemon slices, and lemon zest if desired.

Video

Notes

  • The required time for the pie to chill and set is 3 hours. Save some time by making the pie a day before you plan to serve it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 358mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 815IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 266mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

3 Comments

  1. What a refreshing new take on a spring/summer-time pie!!
    Can you say how many lemons usually make up a whole cup?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      I can take 4-7 lemons depending on the size.

      1. Thanks so much for the quick reply! Hope to make this soon! Memorial Day, perhaps ☺️

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