Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lemon Icebox Pie

Lemon Icebox Pie
Some desserts are just retro, evoking another time and place, and a different generation of cooks so enamored of an appliance that they created recipes especially for it—icebox pickles, icebox pie, icebox cookies are just some of the ones that come to my mind. Do we even have an equivalent to that today?
Lemon Squeezing
I have been making this Icebox Lemon Pie all of my married life. It was a recipe in an actual newspaper, that I had to actually cut out, save somewhere, and dig out when I wanted to make it (now who’s retro?).
EggsSeparating Eggs
This pie starts with a crisp and buttery graham cracker shell baked until just golden brown. I have to insist on REAL graham crackers here, ones that actually contain graham flour. They are the best by far, and I think you can really tell the difference.
Graham Cracker CrustPressed
Next comes a smooth, sweet, tart lemon filling topped off with billowy clouds of the lightest meringue. Pop it into the oven until the top is beautifully caramelized, then chill for a good long while. Yum, yum, yum! Definitely one of my favorite spring and summer desserts.
Adding sugarStiff PeaksDollopedSmoothed
I know winter is still hanging on in some places, but here in Texas, we are enjoying our last few weeks days of bug free afternoons, sweat free barbecues, and soft spring breezes.  Lemon Icebox Pie—it’s the perfect end to a spring meal!
Lemon Icebox Pie
Having clipped only the recipe part out of the newspaper, I don’t have any source or date listed for this recipe and online searches of the Statesman archive proved fruitless, so to the original author of this recipe, I'm sorry.
For the pie shell:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (about nine full sheets of graham crackers. I use the Nabisco ones in the red box)
6 Tbls. Butter
1/3 cup sugar
For the pie:
3 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
½ cup lemon juice (about 4-6 lemons depending on their size and juiciness)
1  14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
For the meringue:
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
Turn your oven to 350', then separate your eggs. It’s easiest to separate eggs when they are cold, but they beat up the best when room temperature. By separating your eggs in the very beginning, your whites have time to warm up while you make the rest of your pie.
Melt the butter in a medium bowl. Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir with a fork to combine thoroughly, then press into an 8 or 9-inch pie plate and bake at 350' for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool crust for about 15 minutes, keep oven at 350'.
Wipe out the bowl you used to make the crust and add the 3 egg yolks, the can of sweetened condensed milk, and the lemon juice. Beat until smooth and set aside.
In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp. cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar a little bit at a time until stiff glossy peaks form.
Pour the lemon filling into the slightly cooled crust then dollop the meringue on top and smooth it out to seal the top of the crust. Bake at 350' for 12-15 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown. Cool at room temperature for about an hour, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

1 comment:

  1. How come I didn't get any of this pie? It looks SO good!