The little sister to the Key Lime Pie, this Lemon Cream Pie is a tart summer-y treat with a delicate, homemade, vanilla whipped topping
Pies are simple things.
A crust, a filling, a topping. Sometimes we complicate the construction process, trimming crusts into ornate leaves or carefully manipulating a meringue and coaxing it to brown just right in the oven, and while I definitely appreciate a good skills-required recipe now and then, it’s the simplest of pies that really hold a place in my heart.
Pies just like this one here.
This pie is simplicity incarnate.
An easy and classic crust, a 4 ingredient filling, and a simple whipped cream topping.
You may squeeze the lemons for the filling yourself, or just use bottled (of course, hand-squeezed is always preferred, just be sure to strain out any stray seeds).
Lemon Cream Pie is a subtle riff off of classic Key Lime Pie, but the nuances are enough that I felt it was worth sharing on its own, anyway. The crust is traditional; an easy, graham cracker crust, a buttery crunch between your teeth. The filling is just tart enough to be distinctly lemon without making your mouth pucker, its texture smooth and creamy, and the topping is a light, hand-whipped sweet complement that helps take away some of the tanginess.
In addition to lemon, the filling for this pie is made up of a dash of vanilla, a half-dozen egg yolks, and condensed milk. I really love baking with condensed milk, but since it’s so sweet on its own it can often be overpowering in a dessert. Lemon (or key lime) manages to strike a perfect balance with condensed milk, making it neither too-sweet nor too-tart.
A simple combination of feel-good flavors and textures, this Lemon Cream Pie is a great way to add some sunshine to a dreary Monday.
Lemon Cream Pie
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 7 Tbsp butter melted
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Homemade Whipped Cream Topping
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest to grate over whipped topping Optional
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In medium-sized bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
- Stir in melted butter with fork, stirring until well-combined.
- Press crumb mixture into bottom and up the sides of a 9.5" pie pan.
- Bake empty pie shell 10 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool. Do not turn off oven.
- In large bowl whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Stir in lemon juice and whisk until slightly thickened (about 2 minutes).
- Pour into pie crust and bake on 350 F for 18-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before transferring to refrigerator.
- Chill overnight or at least 8 hours.
Homemade Whipped Cream Topping
- Prepare whipped topping shortly before you are ready to serve.
- Using an electric mixer, beat heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla on high speed until fluffy, stiff texture is reached (stiff peaks).
- Layer over pie and garnish with lemon zest, if using.
- Slice and serve.
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