Over Christmas break, we did a grand road trip and visited pretty much all of the family. It always seems like we come home with more than we left with, and this year was no different. After visiting my family in Louisiana, we had some some beautiful lemons from my parents tree in tow.
The weather in Louisiana has been a little unconventional this winter with 2 big snows. If you aren’t familiar with that part of the country, that is WAY out of the normal. Growing up, I remember countless Christmases where we wore shorts and t-shirts. After our honeymoon in 2012, we flew back into New Orleans from the Bahamas and it was warmer in Louisiana than in the Caribbean! So that much snow is crazy.
Anyways – back to the lemons – before the first snow they decided to pick all of the lemons off the tree so they wouldn’t lose them in the freezing weather. Thankfully, there were still some around when we came to town so we took a few back home! I knew I wanted to make some type of dessert with them, and Mom’s Lemon Ice Box Pie came to mind. This pie is very similar to a lemon meringue pie, but with a shortbread cookie crust and extra thick dose of lemon filling under the meringue.
First up is making the crust, which consists of vanilla wafers and butter. Simple and delicious. Set aside enough whole vanilla wafers to line the edge of the pie pan, and then go to town crushing cookies until you have one cup of crumbs. To crush the cookies, I like to put them in a ziplock bag and go over it a few times with the rolling pin.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and mix it in with the crumbs. Then press the mixture into the bottom of your pie pan. To finish the crust, simply place the whole vanilla wafers around the edge of the pan. Good job!
Next is the filling. The most time consuming part of this is juicing the lemons. You will need 3/4 cup of juice, and once that is ready you are as good as done!
Mix together the lemon juice, 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk (I KNOW), and 4 egg yolks. One nice thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a mixer for the filling; just put it all in a bowl and give it a good stir until combined.
Pour the filling into your pie crust, and we are ready to start on the meringue. Whip four egg whites until stiff peaks form. You are going to want to use your mixer for this part! You can also add in a little sugar to sweeten it up a bit!
Spread the meringue evenly on top of the filling and pop in into the oven. Bake for about 5-7 minutes or until the meringue is slightly browned.
My meringue is still a work in progress. It browned beautifully, but maybe I left it in a little too long? It was difficult to cut through without messing it up. 😦 Still tasted good though!
Stick the pie in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) to let it chill, and then enjoy!
I shared this pie with our church care group, and it was a hit! What we call a “care group” is simply a small group of people from our church that intentionally meet weekly, study the Bible, and encourage each other through whatever may be going on in our lives. If you are familiar with Sunday School, it’s similar to that. Since we don’t have a permanent church building, we just meet throughout the week at people’s homes! We usually meet on Sunday nights, share a meal, do a Bible study, and then just hang out for a bit. It has definitely turned into one of our favorite nights of the week. There’s just something about sharing food, fellowship, and real and raw conversations with each other that is so encouraging and refreshing.
The biggest question I had about this pie was, “Why is it called Lemon ‘Icebox’ Pie?” My best response was that it has to be kept cold, and back in the day they called the refrigerator the “icebox”. 😀
I hope you all enjoy this one! It was definitely a family favorite of ours growing up!
Lemon Ice Box Pie
- 15-17 vanilla wafers, whole
- 1 cup vanilla wafers, crushed
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Set aside enough whole vanilla wafers to line the edge of the pie pan, about 15-17.
- Finely crush enough vanilla wafers to make one cup of crumbs. Mix with melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of the pie pan.
- Place whole vanilla wafers around the edge of the pan.
- Add the lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks to a medium bowl and stir until combined. Pour filling into pie crust.
- Using a mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Spread the meringue evenly on top of the lemon filling.
- Bake for about 5-7 minutes at 350º or until the meringue is slightly browned.
- Chill pie in fridge for a few hours (or overnight).