Ice Box Lemon Pie

by Rachel on February 14, 2010

Light luscious lemon.

I must have eaten a lot of dessert as a kid.  My grandmother cooked for us all the time and she was partial to desserts.  It is a good thing that my sister and I spent every afternoon riding our bikes around the neighborhood until dark (the 1970s – we had to deal with Richard Nixon, but at least our children could wander our suburban neighborhoods without fear).  My grandmother regularly made two “ice box” desserts, this one and a peppermint ice cream dessert made with Thrifty Drugstore ice cream (I’m going to post my updated version of this dessert soon). The only issue with this recipe that is worth mentioning is that it, like many of my grandmother’s recipes, includes raw eggs.  You can now buy pasteurized egg whites and although they look a bit different than regular egg whites – they beat just fine.  If you aren’t worried about raw eggs, do it the old fashioned way.

Ice Box Lemon Pie (9 servings)

  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
  • juice, rind and pulp of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • 3 egg whites (I use pasteurized whites)
  • Graham Crackers

Over low heat cook egg yolks, a ½ cup sugar and lemon juice, pulp and rind until it forms a thick custard.

Fold in whipped cream.  Add 3 tablespoons sugar to the egg whites.  Beat until stiff but not dry.  Fold those into the cream/lemon mixture.

Crush Graham crackers and line a 9 x 9 pan with the crumbs. Pour in lemon mixture.  Sprinkle more graham cracker crumbs on top.  Freeze.  Enjoy!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle February 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Ohhh Thrifty Drugstore ice cream! Did you grow up in California? Man I miss Thrifty’s. I loved those cylindrical ice cream scoops. I always wondered what was the maximum number of scoops you could safely stack on a cone. 2 was safe for me; 3 seemed a little precarious; 4 was a pipe dream but it would have been fun to try!

This dessert looks like a keeper. I like making things from scratch and seeing an ice box cake that doesn’t use instant pudding is unusual and definitely worth a shot. I have leftover egg whites too from making a Crack Pie yesterday, too :D

Rachel February 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Michelle: Yes, I grew up in California and I too LOVED those stacked scoops. Our Thrifty was just across the parking lot from a TG&Y where I used to buy my Ditto Jeans (the kind that cost $7.99 and had a horse-shoe on the butt. I’m a make from scratch gal myself and I’m proud to say I’ve never made anything with instant pudding in it in my whole life!! I hope you like it!

Bette B. February 15, 2010 at 8:16 am

I just haven’t had much luck with the liquid whites. Too much water and the taste is funky.

If they’re available near you, try the shell eggs that have been pasteurized. They taste fresh and you can use them like regular eggs except you don’t have to cook them for them to be safe.

Rachel February 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

There is a brand of pasteurized whites at my Whole Foods that did well in this dessert. The Lemon taste was strong enough that I couldn’t taste any difference. I’ll look for the shell eggs that you suggest. Thanks for the tip!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer February 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I love Thrifty’s ice cream! As a kid we would walk from the hills to Ventura Blvd and have one of our most favorite treats!! We would typically get 2 scoops but on occasion we would get brave and go for the gusto! 3 or 4!!
This ice box lemon pie looks amazing and would be a big hit with Dad AKA cheese pie guy!! hehehe!!

Rachel February 15, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I’ll write up my grandmother’s other icebox dessert ASAP – the one that took Peppermint Thrifty’s Ice Cream – which they only had special at the holidays. We now make the same dessert with TJ’s Chocolate Mint Ice Cream. Oh how times have changed!

Megan February 18, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I made a lemon tart similar to this and it was a huge hit with my family! I will definitely try it with a graham cracker crust next time!

Rachel February 18, 2010 at 10:29 pm

What kind of crust did you put on the one you made? Cheers!

Jay May 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I’m confused about the rind- do you mean to est it? Or just throw the whole rind in? Help!

Jay May 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Of course, I meant zest. Grrrr!

Anne Pinkerton August 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Bless your heart! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for YEARS! My grandmother used to make a Lemon Ice Box Pie in metal ice trays (minus the part you inserted to separate the cubes) and froze it. That was the best pie I’ve ever had! All the other recipes I’ve found call for meringue on top….that’s a Lemon MERINGUE Pie! Thank you SO much for posting a Lemon ICE BOX Pie recipe for me to try!

Rachel August 19, 2011 at 7:50 am

Anne – my grandmother put hers in a really old square metal baking dish. I bet this recipe is really close to what your grandmother did. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!!

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