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Lemon Ice Box Pie is an iconic Southern dessert recipe made with a sweet, tangy lemon filling and a fluffy orange meringue on top. It’s rich, delicious, and silky smooth. Best of all, this lemon icebox pie recipe only requires 10 minutes of prep work!
When life gives you lemons, you make
lemonade lemon ice box pie. This classic lemon dessert has been around longer than I have, and for a good reason. Lemon Ice Box Pie (also called lemon icebox pie) is sweet, tangy, silky, and overflowing with decadence.
It’s a simple dessert requiring only a few ingredients and 10 minutes of prep work. If you’re looking for a fantastic yet easy dessert that’s going to ‘wow’ your friends and family, this is the one!
The inspiration for this lemon icebox pie recipe is from Master Chef Louis Evans, the first black chef in history to be admitted to the exclusive order of the Golden Toque. Evans was also one of only thirteen American master chefs to appear on Julia Child PBS special, “Dinner at Julia’s.” It’s safe to say the man knew what he was doing in the kitchen! You can find more of Chef Louis’ delicious recipes in his Louis Evans Creole Cookbook.
Serve this easy lemon ice box pie at your next dinner party, barbecue, or potluck. No matter the occasion, this incredible lemon dessert guarantees to be the star of the show. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!
Lemon Ice Box Pie Key Ingredients
Ready to make this drool-worthy lemon icebox recipe? You’re going to need the key ingredients listed below.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: You will need around 4-6 lemons to get one cup of fresh lemon juice. Make sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than the bottled stuff—it makes a huge difference.
- Condensed Milk: This is what makes the lemon icebox pie filling extra silky and rich. Feel free to use any kind you like, but a lot of people love the Eagle brand for this recipe.
- Powdered Sugar: I only use Imperial Sugar powdered sugar, and it’s by far the best on the market. Imperial Sugar is one of the largest processors and marketers of refined sugar in the U.S., supplying high-quality products to food manufacturers, retail grocers, and foodservice distributors.
- Lemon Extract: A little lemon extract goes a long way in enhancing the bright citrus flavors of this lemon ice box pie.
- Orange Zest: The addition of orange zest in the meringue is unique to Master Chef Louis Evans’ lemon ice box pie recipe and was a brilliant move on his part because the orange flavors play beautifully with the lemon flavors.
- Frozen Pie Shell: You’re more than welcome to make a homemade pie crust if you want, but I prefer to stick to frozen pie shells for convenience.
How to Make Lemon Ice Box Pie
To make this easy recipe for lemon icebox pie, all you have to do is follow these simple steps:
In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon extract, and egg yolks until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and freeze for 2-3 hours until hardened.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Then, place an oven rack directly under the broiler. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes, until a meringue forms. Mix in powdered sugar until foamy, then add orange zest.
Once the pies are set, evenly pour meringue over pies. Bake for 4-6 minutes until meringue turns light brown or broil for 1-2 minutes. Place the pies in the freezer for 6 hours before serving.
Lemon Ice Box Pie Recipe Tips and Tricks
If you want to make the best lemon ice box pie, here are some of my top tips and tricks to help you get there:
- Make sure to zest the lemons before juicing them. Otherwise, you’ll have a much more difficult time zesting them.
- To maximize the amount of fresh juice you get from your lemons, roll them on the counter or microwave them for 30 seconds before slicing them open. This helps to break down the cell walls in the fruit, allowing you to get more juice out.
- You can easily turn this into a no-bake pie recipe by using a Chef torch to brown the meringue instead of popping the pie into the oven.
- If you want to garnish your pie for a little extra pizzazz, try topping it with candied lemons, graham cracker crumbs, or lemon zest.
How to Store Ice Box Pie
If you want to prepare this dish ahead of time, you can store it in the freezer up to 2 days in advance. Before storing, make sure to wrap the pie tightly in saran wrap and then with aluminum foil. You can store leftover lemon ice box pie as follows:
- In the fridge for up to 2 days.
- In the freezer for up to 1-2 months.
After freezing, set out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes to thaw the pie at room temperature. Then, serve chilled.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this easy lemon icebox pie recipe:
The name ‘icebox pie’ refers to this pie being kept in the refrigerator and served chilled. It comes from way back in the day before electric fridges were around, so the pie was stored in a chilled box or cupboard referred to as an icebox because there was a massive block of ice inside.
This lemon ice box pie’s creamy and delicious filling is made with just four ingredients: fresh lemon juice, condensed milk, lemon extract, and egg yolks. This combination creates a pie filling that is sweet, rich, silky, and perfectly fluffy.
Yes! To store icebox pie in the freezer, wrap it tightly in saran wrap and then once more in aluminum foil. Then, you can store it in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, transfer the pie to the fridge and let it thaw overnight.
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More Sweet Lemon Recipes
Looking for more ways to use lemons? Check out these recipes next:
- Blueberry Lemon Lavender Sorbet
- Homemade Strawberry Ginger Lemonade
- Simple Fresh Fruit Tart with Lemon Pastry Cream
- Southern Tea Cake Cookies
- Blueberry Lemon Tart
So, what are you waiting for? This lemon icebox pie recipe is definitely one you’ll want to add to your repertoire. It’s rich, delicious, and silky smooth. Best of all, it only requires 10 minutes of prep work! Make the recipe and leave me a 5-star review, letting me know how much you loved it. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
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Lemon Ice Box Pie
Lemon Ice Box Pie:
- 2 cans condensed milk
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 9- inch baked frozen pie shell
- 2 large egg whites
- ⅛ teaspoon cream tartar
- ¾ cups Imperial Sugar Powdered Sugar
- zest of 1 small orange
- In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon extract and egg yolks, until smooth. Pour in pie shell and freeze for 2-3 hours until it gets hard.
- Place oven rack directly under broiler. Preheat oven to low broiler. Once pie is set. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream tartar, with a hand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Add in powdered sugar ½ cup at a time, adding orange zest with the last ½ cup meringue should have stiff peaks. Evenly pour meringue over pie. Bake for 30-45 seconds until meringue turns light brown. Place back in the freezer for 6 hours before serving.
• To maximize the amount of fresh juice you get from your lemons, roll them on the counter or microwave them for 30 seconds before slicing them open. This helps to break down the cell walls in the fruit, allowing you to get more juice out.
• You can easily turn this into a no-bake pie recipe by using a Chef torch to brown the meringue instead of popping the pie into the oven.
• If you want to garnish your pie for a little extra pizzazz, try topping it with candied lemons, graham cracker crumbs, or lemon zest. How to Store Ice Box Pie • In the fridge for up to 2 days.
• In the freezer for up to 1-2 months. After freezing, set out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes to thaw the pie at room temperature. Then, serve chilled.
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