Sometimes when I have things on my grocery list, like a few lemons for example, I find myself at Costco buying 57 lemons simply because it’s a really great deal on 57 lemons and it saves me a trip to the grocery store for my 3 lemons. Then without fail I find myself at home frantically thinking of things to make before my 57 lemons (or limes, or that industrial sized bag of broccoli- seriously I have never once in my life finished one of those broccoli bags) goes bad. Hence here we are at lemon pie.
This recipe is based off of our super popular Banana Cream Pie (which is a very old post with very old photos, but awesomely delicious.) I was craving some sort of lemon cream pie but didn’t have the time nor energy to make a traditional egg-based custard. My mind immediately went to our beloved banana cream pie and I wondered if the same recipe could be tweaked for lemon. Sure enough, it was a home run. (Insert fist-pump, here.)
You only need a few ingredients here. I started with a basic graham cracker crust.
I know at least one person will ask about that pie plate, so here’s a link! Kate shared it once upon a time and I promptly bought one for myself. It comes in a million colors and is only about $18 bucks. Win.
You can do a baked or unbaked crust for this pie. I baked mine, which makes it a little crispier, but I really love soft graham cracker crusts as well.
The ingredient list couldn’t be more simple. We’re using a boxed pudding mix, but no worries, we’re not going to just make lemon flavored pudding. You’ll be using cream, sweetened condensed milk, and fresh lemons for amazing flavor. The pudding adds a beautiful creaminess (without eggs) and provides stability. Don’t use lemon pudding, because we don’t want that artificial flavor in there, just go for the vanilla and we’ll get all of the lemon flavor from actual lemons.
Use electric beaters to mix up the pudding, lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, and a little regular milk as well. I also include some of the zest. Then you’ll fold in whipped cream. Don’t stir, fold fold fold.
Spread that mixture into your pie crust. Now you might notice that this same mixture in the Banana recipe makes 2 pies, however in that version, you’ve got a bunch of space taken up by the bananas. I’ve found if you do 2 pies here, they’re pretty shallow, so I prefer to make just one tall, full pie. You’ll have more than enough filling than you need, so it’s the perfect amount to stow away a little bowl for yourself to eat while hiding in the closet. Or wherever.
Spread out the mixture evenly and refrigerate the pie. It’s important it has plenty of time to chill (like 4-6 hours at least) so it firms up enough to slice.
Before you serve it, top it with whipped cream (again, you’ll have a very generous amount of whipped cream, so just use some for that closet binging sesh we discussed earlier) and if you want, those candied lemon slices I showed you how to make a few weeks ago.
This pie is super sweet, yet super tart, so a little goes a long way! It would feed 8 people minimum, and really more like 10-12 because you can get away with smaller slices.
It would be perfectly beautiful on a Mother’s Day table if you ask me.
Oh, and can we just talk about that plate for a quick minute? It was one of my most favorite plates (I have hundreds, for food styling) and I totally dropped it after this shoot and broke it and my heart crumbled into a million pieces so I ate the whole pie to cope. Seriously though. It was from Anthropologie, does anyone have them and know what the name of the pattern is so I can see if I can find them anywhere? Anyone know where I can find them? I would buy a whole set if I could find them because I love them so much. Help a girl out!
Easy Lemon Cream Pie
Recipe from Our Best Bites
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 4-serving size vanilla instant pudding mix
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup milk
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: Candied Lemon Slices for Garnish
optional: Additional crushed graham crackers for garnish
To prepare graham cracker crust, combine cracker crumbs and sugar. Pour in melted butter and stir with a fork until well blended. Press into a standard pie plate and up sides. You may refrigerate unbaked for a softer crust, or bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes for a crispier crust. Cool and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine pudding mix, lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and sweetened condensed milk. Beat well with electric beaters and place in the fridge to chill for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, whip 1 cup of the whipping cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Remove pudding from the fridge and gently dollop 1/3 of the whipped cream on top of the pudding and gently stir in. Dollop the additional whipped cream, in large spoonfuls, onto the pudding mixture and gently fold the cream into the pudding mixture until well-combined.
Pour the mixture into your prepared graham cracker crust. (There will be plenty for a full pie, so feel free to save a mini bowl for the cook to eat!). Cover with plastic and place in the fridge to chill for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
Before serving, whip the remaining 1 cup cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until medium peaks form. Spread on top of pie (again, there is a generous amount, so use a little to top your secret serving you saved. You deserve it, you made a pie). Garnish with candied lemon slices and crushed graham crackers if desired.
Do you think this would freeze ok? Including the whipped topping.. I need to pre-make as much as possible for company coming.
I’ve never frozen it but I think it would be just fine. And whipped cream freezes beautifully!
If you haven’t found your pie dish yet, try Bed Bath & Beyond.
Thank you for this great recipe! I’m bringing it to Easter brunch!
After making a double batch of the pie, I made the candied lemons for garnish. I used one lemon per batch of simple syrup and hated to throw it out. I strained the simple syrup with lemon flavor into a gallon size pitcher, added one cup of lemon juice, 2 cups of watermelon juice and filled with water. This made a deliciously sweet and tart watermelon lemonade.
I can testify that this is good even when your husband buys the cook and serve version of jello instead of instant. The texture is slightly grainy, but still fine in pie form.
hi! made this and it tasted great, but for some reason, it didn’t set up firm at all like yours, any ideas?
Hey Sam, did you use instant pudding? Another factor could be not beating the cream stiff enough, or stirring instead of folding. Either way, I’m sorry that happened. Hopefully it still tasted dreamy!
Just made this for dessert tonight, I can’t wait to try it! Just a note: the recipe indicates 2c whipped cream as an ingredient in the topping. In the directions it says to use 1c for the pie and 1c for the topping (which is what I did). I had a moment of panic, though, when I assembled the topping ingredients according to the list and saw 2c of whipping cream when I only had 1c left…does that make any sense? The list should agree with the written directions. Thanks for another awesome recipe!!!!!
Perfect. Perfect crust, perfect creamy texture, perfect candied lemons. Thanks for creating another wonderful recipe that my whole family enjoyed!
When we make the recipe called Crack Broccoli, I can never make enough before it’s gobbled up by all of us just standing around the pan on the stovetop. It doesn’t even make it to the table, it’s so good!
Okay, I saw this post right after it was posted and I finally had a chance to make it yesterday. It was so good! It’s so light and fluff. I like the the fact that it’s lemony but not tart. Not to mention, I just had to go on to Amazon and order the pie dish. Seriously, Amazon should pay you royalties!
Just made this last night to have as an “after Fast Sunday” treat. My husband and four boys inhaled it!! They went on and on about it and made up funny little “testimonials” about how amazing the pie was! Family of 6 finished the pie in 10 minutes, it is to die for!
I love it! So glad it was a hit!!
Eat your veggies! Seriously, we can easily eat two bags of Costco broccoli per week! Pie looks yum-o-licious, You gave me inspiration to create a sugar-free version.
Made this last night and it was very tasty. Served fresh blueberries on top to pretty it up. I’ve made a pie like this with limes so we knew this one would not disappoint. Very easy! Thanks.
I can’t wait to try this recipe! Plus it appears Amazon is sending me your book and turquoise pie plate 🙂
My husband and I can smash half the bag of broccoli in one sitting! lol! There is a recipe on the bag for spicy asin broccoli, so good!
You don’t use the whole bag?!? We go through about two a week! (when I’m cooking, not slacking) One of my family’s fav side dishes is Giada’s broccoli farfalle. I use half the bag there, and I can fill a half sheet pan with broccoli to roast and it will end up empty. My family loves it!
I’m from a rural area on the coast of North Carolina, and this is something very similar to what we call “milk pies.” What makes our version great is a Ritz cracker crust. The salty and sweet is AMAZING.
Pie looks great!
Next time you have leftover broccoli put it in a zip lock bag, take all the air out and stick it onto your freezer until you need some again. It won’t be the same as fresh but for cooking it should be perfect!! And none of it will ever be wasted again!
Looks and sounds yummy! One question, in your directions you state to use a ‘standard’ pie plate, which is usually a 9″ regular, but the link you gave for the one you used is for a 10.25″ deep dish….which one should I use?
It really doesn’t matter 🙂 Anything close to that is fine!
Looks great…and wanted to say that I’ve been making broccoli salad (w/o bacon but with a little sharp cheddar) with the end of that never-ending-broccoli bag. Maybe that sounds good to you?
Thanks for the recipe! This will be my mother’s day treat to myself!
Seems those plates are illusive! I know these won’t replace your baby, Clinton Kelly’s line at Macy’s has a similar look http://m.macys.com/shop/product/clinton-kelly-effortless-table-set-of-six-different-dessert-plates?ID=1539212&CategoryID=53629
And you might want to check out these aqua beauties, if you don’t already have a set http://m.macys.com/shop/product/lenox-dinnerware-floral-fusion-aqua-4-piece-place-setting?ID=528090&choiceId=cidK30011-279d4bc5-047c-4a60-8d1e-006ad86ad5db%2540H26%2540Enjoy%20extra%2025%25%20or%2010%25%20off%20during%20Macy%27s%20Friends%20%2526%20Family!%252453629%2524528090
I want to try this with lime! Do you think I could swap out equal amount of lemon for lime?
Yep, I’m sure it would be amazing with lime. I would just do it to taste!
I live in AZ where everybody and their dog has citrus trees and is happy to share their bounty. I juice up TONS of lemons during citrus season, then freeze them in 1-cup quantities in Ziploc bags so I can use them all year long. The only time I buy lemons is when I need zest in the off-season. This looks yummy!
I’m pretty sure you can freeze the zest too 😉 in case you don’t want to buy that 1 lemon randomly in the off season 😛
Yum! I have been waiting for this post since you did the candied lemon slices. As for the Costco size bag of broccoli, have you tried broccoli pesto? We like it. Also, I put broccoli in smoothies. I know that sounds weird, and if you ever meet anyone that says, ” it’s so good, you can’t even taste it”, they are lying! You can absolutely taste it and it is not so delicious but it is tolerable. I started with just 1 piece of broccoli until I didn’t mind it and have slowly been increasing it, I’m up to about 6 pieces per smoothie and I don’t love it, but I don’t mind it either and it is worth it to me to get in the extra veggies.
Haha, I love that you said that. You can ALWYAYS TASTE IT. lol
At least you have the name of the pattern!
I love that plate, too! How about this?!!
Oh perfect! Thank you! Now if I could only find it… 🙁
I know, right! 🙁 I’ve never used this website before but, it may be worth a shot.
I did a quick search for the pattern and I didn’t see it pop up. But, maybe you can email them and ask if they’ll look for it. They say they are constantly adding patterns. They get their stock from estate sales and auctions, in addition to dept. stores, etc. And they have carried a large number of Anthropologie plates before, it looks like. Good luck!
Also, I forgot to tell you! Did you know you can follow a search on Ebay?! Go to the homepage and type in Anthropologie Flights and Fancy. Then click search. Mine says 0 results. Right next to that you click on FOLLOW SEARCH. It will send you emails, etc. (how ever you have it set up) ANYTIME someone posts this item in the future. In MY EBAY you just go to searches you’re following to see them, edit them, etc. How cool is it to go about your busy life and have Ebay do the work for you?!
Good to know, thanks!
One lemon down, 56 more to go! The pie looks delish; creamy, sweet-tangy…Just might have to make it for mother’s day!
So I’m in CA, so your timed posts pop up RIGHT as I’m supposed to be going to bed, but I hate the little red number alert on my feedly button when I’m closing everything down at night, so I read your post maybe 30 seconds after it’s posted… and got to the end, and immediately scrolled to the (duh, empty) comments section hoping someone had given you the answer to your plate issue. And then I laughed at myself because… it’s been literally 2 minutes MAYBE since you posted at this point, so I’m commenting to tell you that I really hope somebody helps a sista out. And also a bit because I already belong in bed, so everything’s a little funnier than it should be 😉 Like me thinking there would be hundreds of comments already. (I’m sure there will be tomorrow and SOMEONE out there can help a sista out! Good luck!)
Haha, you are too funny! Get to bed, girl! I’m confident SOMEONE on the internet will solve all my problems, lol!