Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie. This is by no means an original recipe. There are many slight variations of this recipe written everywhere from web pages to the side of condensed milk cans. My version adds some finely minced lemon zest to give it more intense, tangy lemon flavour but it is still the same basic recipe that your grandmother may have made.

Many recipes now use a graham crumb crust but the recipe I’ve used for years called for a vanilla cookie crumb crust which is what I’ve used here along with additional wafer cookies for decoration like I once saw in an old cookbook. Sometimes the oldest recipes really are the best.

The high juice content and condensed milk help to maintain a creamy, ice-cream like texture to the filling but if your freezer is really cold you may want to take it out for 10-15 minutes to soften a little before serving. This recipe also makes quite a large pie; this is a 10 inch, deep dish pie plate that I’ve used here but it can also be made in a spring form pan. If you have an 8 or 9 inch shallower pie plate, I’d recommend using only half of this recipe.

This is a lemon icebox pie just like Grandma used to make. The filling freezes to a silky, luscious, creamy texture with plenty of lemony tart flavor. The ideal make ahead dessert for Sunday dinner or a summer BBQ.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Servings: 10 to 12 Servings


  • 3 cups vanilla cookie crumbs ( I use Nilla cookies)
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 rounded tsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9 extra large egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • Two 10 ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons finely minced (more or less to taste or for lighter lemon flavor, just omit it)


Grease a 10 inch deep dish pie plate or line the bottom of a 10 inch spring-form pan and lightly grease the sides.

Mix together the cookie crumbs and butter.

Press into the bottom and sides of the pie plate or to about ¾ of the height of a spring form pan if you are using one.

Bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees F. Set aside to cool.

Whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla to soft peaks and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment in place, add the egg yolks and ⅓ cup sugar.

Whisk at high speed until light, foamy and pale yellow in color, about 5 minutes.

Slowly whisk in the sweetened condensed milk lemon zest and lemon juice.

Gently fold in the previously whipped cream.

Pour into the prepared pie crust.

Freeze overnight.

Garnish with whipped cream, additional Nilla cookies and lemon zest before serving.