Last updated on October 23rd, 2023
Creamy and slightly tart lemon filling is baked into a sweet and sugary homemade graham cracker crust for a light lemon icebox pie.
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When life gives you lemons, I suggest using them to make lemon icebox pie. With meringue. Because everything is better with meringue. This pie has just the right amount of sugar to allow the tangy citrus flavor to come through without it being too tart.
Make the Graham Cracker Crust
A homemade graham cracker pie crust is so easy to make, tastes MUCH better than a stale store-bought crust and it will only set you back about 10 minutes. Start by pulverizing 10 whole sheets of graham crackers. I actually used the cinnamon flavored graham crackers for these pictures, but you can use traditional honey flavored also.
After you’ve crushed the graham crackers into crumbs, add 1/3 cup of sugar and six tablespoons of melted butter. Mix the crust ingredients together until it resembles the texture of sand.
Pour the butter-coated crumbs into a 9-inch pie plate. Using your fingertips or the flat bottom of a measuring cup, gently press the crumbs in an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Make the Lemon Filling
Separate the yolks from the whites from three eggs. Set the whites aside, but keep them a room temperature. We will be using them to make a meringue later and egg whites fluff up better when they are at room temperature.
Using a mixer or a whisk, beat the egg yolks until they form little bubbles on the top. Add one 10-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk and whip to combine. Then with the mixer on, add three tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. This is the juice from about 1 ½ lemons. I strongly recommend using fresh lemon juice vs. bottled for the best flavor. Once the lemon juice is incorporated, pour the mixture into the pie crust.
Make the Meringue
In a separate bowl, beat the reserved egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Reduce the speed and slowly add ¼ cup of white sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar. Increase the speed back to medium-high and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Be sure to check out my post on making meringue for more tips.
Top the pie with the meringue. I used this cake decorator to pipe my meringue for a prettier finish. But you don’t have to do this. You can use a spatula to spread the meringue in an even layer over the top of the pie filling. Be sure to spread the meringue all the way to the edge of the pie crust to seal it.
Bake the pie at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until meringue is browned a little on top. Allow the pie to cool completely. Then cover it and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum for four hours.
How to Store Leftover Lemon Icebox Pie
Leftover pie should be stored covered and can stay in the refrigerator for five days. Unbaked lemon icebox pie without the meringue can be frozen. I recommend storing the entire pie uncovered or loosely covered in the freezer. Once the pie is frozen solid, you can wrap it a little more securely. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months. Allow the pie to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding with the meringue and bake as usual.
More Pie Recipes You Might Enjoy:
Lemon Icebox Pie
For the graham cracker crust:
- 1-1/2 cups (10 whole sheets) finely crushed graham crackers
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the pie:
- 3 egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 (10 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
For the meringue
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the pie crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all the pie crust ingredients in a large mixing bowl until the crumbs are thoroughly coated with the butter.
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch round pie plate.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow the pie crust to cool completely before proceeding.
For the pie:
- Leave the oven at 350 degrees.
- Separate the eggs, reserving the whites and yolks in separate bowls. Set the egg whites aside.
- Beat the egg yolks until frothy.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk.
- Leaving the mixer on, add the lemon juice.
- Once combined, pour the mixture into the pie crust.
For the meringue:
- In a separate bowl, beat the reserved egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
- Reduce the speed and slowly add the sugar and the cream of tartar. Increase the speed back to medium-high and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Top the pie with the meringue.
- Bake the pie at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the meringue is browned a little on top.
- Cool completely, then chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least four hours.