My mouth-watering sweet and sunny lemon pie 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
Lemon 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, my easy graham cracker crust, that 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 without making your mouth pucker, its texture smooth and creamy, and the topping is my airy homemade whipped cream, a sweet complement that helps blunt some of the tartness.
It’s simple, sweet, and nearly as refreshing as a glass of lemonade. Let’s get started.
What You Need for Lemon Pie
- Graham cracker crumbs, sugar, & butter. These make up the homemade 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, meringue cookies, macaroons, or pavlova
- 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.
- 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
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.
More Recipes You Might Like
Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (170g)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar firmly packed
- 7 Tbsp butter melted (100g) salted or unsalted butter will work
- 2 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk (792g)
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 cup lemon juice fresh preferred (236ml)
- 1 cup heavy cream (236ml)
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar (41g)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pipe or dollop over pie before serving. If desired, grate lemon zest over the top as well.
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