Sometimes the winter doldrums come on hard. Fortunately, just when things are looking really bleak, California citrus comes into season and bringing with it all the beautiful bright flavors that remind us of sunnier days ahead. I love all kinds of citrus, from kumquats to cara cara oranges, but my very favorite is Meyer lemons. One of our favorite desserts is this Meyer Lemon Icebox Pie.
Post updated with new recipe card and instructions on 7/21/21.Jump to Recipe
WHAT ARE MEYER LEMONS?
I’m glad you asked. Meyer lemons were brought here from China in the early 20th century by a man named…Frank Meyer. Rumor has it that Meyer lemons are a cross between regular lemons and mandarin orange.
Smoother and smaller in appearance than a regular lemon, they have a bright yellow/orange flesh and mildly sour taste (or mildly sweet if you’re a glass half full kind of person). I love them because they have the most amazing fragrance with hints of spice, along with herbal and floral notes. They are perfect in cocktails, cakes, curds, and even delicious tossed raw into salads.
And yes, they are perfect in this pie. I used to make pies like this long before I considered myself a baker. They are so easy, and practically foolproof. Like most icebox pies, this one has a press-in crust, and a creamy filling. It should be served cold.
This pie filling has just a few ingredients and comes together in a snap. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, that’s ok. Regular lemons, or even limes work well in this pie.
- Meyer lemon juice and zest
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Egg yolks
- Pinch of salt
That’s it! Can you believe it? I told you it was easy. The crust is just as simple with only graham cracker crumbs (I used Pamela’s Gluten-Free Graham Crackers), hazelnut flour, a little sugar, butter and a pinch of salt. The nutty crust with the bright, lemony filling is an absolutely perfect combination. And while it’s not necessary, adding dollops of whipped cream on the top sure doesn’t hurt.
What I love most about this Meyer lemon icebox pie (besides the fact that it’s one of the most delicious pies I have ever made), is that it is a dessert recipe that anyone, with any level of baking experience, can have success with. There is no complicated tempering, or dough prep and rolling; this pie has a simple press in crust, and a one-bowl filling. If you don’t have a piping bag and my favorite French tip, it’s 100% fine to just dollop the whipped cream on top too.
LOVE LEMON? CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES:
- Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Tart
- Lemon Lavender Tartlets
- Roast Chicken with Lemon and Lavender
- Lemon Lavender Scones
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
This sweet Meyer Lemon Icebox Pie is wonderful all year round, but I’m especially grateful for its bright color and flavor in winter. I think you’re going to love it too!
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Meyer Lemon Icebox Pie with Graham & Hazelnut Crumb Crust
- 9" Pie Plate
- Piping Bag with Star Tip (optional)
For the Crust
For the Filling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a food processor fitted with a steel blade attachment, pulse the graham crackers, and sugar until fine crumbs form. Add the hazelnut flour and the butter and pulse a few more times to combine. Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and press crumbs into the bottom and sides of the plate using the back of a fork. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
- In the meantime, mix the filling ingredients. Add the lemon zest, juice, sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and salt to a bowl and beat with a whisk until smooth. Pour mixture into the cooled crust and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the filling is set around the edges (it will jiggle slightly in the middle). Cool at room temperature for an hour, then in the fridge for a few more, or overnight.
- Before serving, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Decoratively pipe the filling on top of the cold pie, or just dollop it on top with a spoon. Slice, serve and enjoy!