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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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake. Baked the pie for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the center remains jiggly.
- 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.
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.
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 store at room temperature.
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