My mouth-watering sweet and sunny lemon pie recipe is perfect for a hot summer day when you need a sweet treat! Recipe includes a how-to video!
Lemon Pie: The Perfect Slice Of Summer
My lemon pie recipe is a subtle riff off of my classic key lime pie, but the nuances are enough that I felt it was worth sharing on its own, anyway. We eat it on its own often enough here that it warranted its own blog post, and I didn’t feel right withholding this recipe from you any longer.
The crust is a traditional graham cracker crust, which provides a firm shell for the filling and gives way to a buttery crunch between your teeth. The filling is just tart enough to be distinctly lemon, like lemon curd or the tart filling of my lemon cheesecake, but without making your mouth pucker (well, too much, anyway). Its texture is deliriously smooth and creamy, and the topping is my airy homemade whipped cream, a sweet complement that helps combat some of the tartness.
It’s simple, sweet, and nearly as refreshing as a glass of lemonade. Let’s get started.
What You Need
- Graham cracker crumbs, sugar, & butter. These make up the homemade graham cracker crust. My pie recipe makes too much filling for a store-bought pie crust in a disposable tin, so I recommend making your own (it takes only minutes).
- Sweetened condensed milk. This gives the filling its creamy texture and sweet taste.
- Egg yolks. Using just the egg yolks makes the texture of the lemon pie thick and smooth. Be sure to save your egg whites for my angel food cake!
- Lemon juice. When it comes to lemon juice (and lemon pie, of course), fresh is always better. Fresh juice has a better flavor than lemon juice from concentrate and will give you the best tasting lemon pie. That being said, I’ve definitely taken the easy way out and made it with bottled before 🤫
- Heavy cream, vanilla extract, & powdered sugar. You’ll need these three ingredients to make a quick and easy homemade whipped cream that’s better than anything you can get at the store.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
Making The Crust
For today’s crust I’m using my easy graham cracker crust. This is a versatile, simple recipe that you might’ve used before in my cheesecake or other pies. Note that you could use a traditional pie crust but you would need to follow my instructions for blind baking first.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugars.
- Drizzle melted butter over the graham cracker crumbs.
- Toss the ingredients together with a fork until combined. All of the crumbs should be evenly coated, the mixture may resemble wet sand.
- Press the mixture into your 9.5″ pie plate and transfer to a 350F (175C) oven for 10 minutes to bake.
Because this is a fairly liquid pie filling (at least initially), I like to pre-bake the crust for a few minutes to help keep it crisp. Let the pie crust cool a bit before adding the filling to help keep it crisp.
How to Make Lemon Pie
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is simply crack the egg in half and pass the yolk back and forth until the white falls away. Save the egg whites to make another recipe!
- Whisk the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk together until thoroughly combined. While still whisking, slowly add the fresh lemon juice until all the ingredients are combined.
- Once the graham cracker crust is baked, remove it from the oven and pour in the lemon filling, and bake for 18-20 minutes.
- Lemon pie is finished baking if you jiggle it and the center jiggles slightly but the edges are set. It will continue to firm up as it cools and then chills in the refrigerator.
Easy Whipped Cream Topping
Many lemon pie recipes go through the effort of making the crust and filling from scratch, then top them off with store-bought Cool Whip! In a pinch, sure, you could, but I highly recommend making my homemade whipped cream instead (it’s easy!):
- In a chilled bowl combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed with an electric mixer until you have whipped cream that is fluffy with stiff peaks.
- Add the whipped cream to the cooled lemon pie with a piping bag, or dollop it on with a spoon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lemon pie would also taste great with a crust made with shortbread cookies or vanilla wafers, feel free to try the crust that I use for my banana cream pie!
Yes. Not only will the pie need to chill in the refrigerator for several hours, once it has set it should be kept in the refrigerator. Any leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 5 days. Lemon pie can also be frozen for up to a month in the freezer.
You’ll have 5 egg whites left over after making this recipe. Use them to make meringue cookies or pavlova (the sweet, airy texture pairs nicely with this tart & luscious lemon pie recipe!), make a double batch of my coconut macaroons, or put them toward my lemon cake (you’ll need just one more egg white).
More Recipes You Might Like
Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
Lemon Pie Recipe
- 1 ½ cups (170 g) graham cracker crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar firmly packed
- 7 Tbsp (100 g) butter melted, salted or unsalted butter will work
- 2 14 oz (792 g) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 cup (236 ml) lemon juice fresh preferred
- 1 cup (236 ml) heavy cream
- ⅓ cup (41 g) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Freshly grated lemon zest optional
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
- In medium-sized bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and stir until combined.1 ½ cups (170 g) graham cracker crumbs, 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, 7 Tbsp (100 g) butter
- Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9.5” pie plate. Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 10 minutes (do not turn off the oven once the crust has finished baking, you will need it again shortly). While pie crust cools, prepare your filling.
- In a large bowl, whisk together condensed milk, and egg yolks, until thoroughly combined.2 14 oz (792 g) cans sweetened condensed milk, 5 large egg yolks, 1 cup (236 ml) lemon juice
- While whisking, gradually add lemon juice. Whisk well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Pour filling into baked pie crust. Return to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or edges are set and center is set as well but still slightly jiggly if shaken.
- Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes then transfer to refrigerator to chill for 6-8 hours or (preferably) overnight. Before serving, prepare whipped cream topping.
Homemade Whipped Cream Topping
- Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl (preferably a chilled metal bowl). Use an electric mixer to beat on low-speed, then gradually increase speed to high, beating until mixture is thick, fluffy, and stiff peaks have been achieved.1 cup (236 ml) heavy cream, ⅓ cup (41 g) powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pipe or dollop over pie before serving. If desired, grate lemon zest over the top as well.Freshly grated lemon zest
Piping TipI used an Ateco 848 piping tip to decorate the pie seen in the photos and the video.
StoringStore, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. Pie may also be tightly covered and frozen for up to a month.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Originally published 04/04/2016
I’m making mini pies for my son’s wedding, how many mini pies do you think this recipe will yield? I’m using disposable tin foil 5″ pie pans. Also, do you think these would freeze and defrost ok? Any info is greatly appreciated! Love your site!!!!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Wendy! Without having tried this we can’t say for sure, but it seems like you would be able to get about 4-5 mini pies out of this recipe. The pies should freeze just fine. 😊
I need recipes for tea cake please. Thanks.
I do have a russian tea cake recipe. 🙂
Delicious with a smooth and silky texture. Easy to make too.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Thanks for letting us know how the pie turned out for you! Enjoy 😊
Hi Sam – I gathered all my ingredients shown in the recipe but wanted to watch the video first to see if you use light or brown sugar for the crust. In watching the video, I noticed you did not add any brown sugar and you used 6 tablespoons butter not 7 tablespoons as shown in the recipe. I am confused as to what to do. Thanks for your help, Lyn
Hi Lyn! Sorry about the confusion! Both ways will work here. I typically use them interchangeably. If you ever run into this issue again it’s always safest to go with the written recipe. Unfortunately I can’t go back and change the videos. 🙁
This lemon pie rivals the one I LOVE from a local barbeque restaurant!! The filling has a wonderful lemon flavor and the homemade whipped cream is a perfect compliment. I have made many of your recipes and have never been disappointed!! Thanks for another great dessert 🤗
I’m so glad you have enjoyed everything so much, Sherri! 🙂
This is the recipe on the Eagle brand condensed milk can from way back in the day. One of the first dessert I made as a child. Only difference is the pie was top with meringue and baked for a shorter amount of time
Nowadays I make the pie using tart shells and making a whipped cream topping. For my family it was reinventing an old family favorite.
The first time I made a lemon pie it was such a mess and so bitter. I love all the things lemony so when I found your recipe it was like everything was coming in place. I made a normal pie crust cause I didn’t wanna go through the trouble of crushing digestives and all that. It was perfection! Thank you so much Sam for this recipe. I am forever grateful.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much! 🙂
Do you think this pie would be good with meringue instead of the whipped cream? Thanks!
Hi Amelia! That sounds tasty. 🙂