Yum Peaceful Cooking: Good Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Good Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie

This seems to be the most googled recipe on my blog so far. If you're looking for the No-Bake, whipped cream based, condensed milk Lemon Icebox Pie...you've found it. Very Happy Its simple and a summer favorite. Enjoy!

When I was a little girl, some of the highlights of my summers were my visits to my grandparents in Alabama. I loved everything about them...the sights, the scents, the joy, the family. It's a beautiful state....slower, nicer and an awful lot greener than Southern California. My grandmother is a great cook and even though I only saw her for a few weeks every other year, I learned a lot from her. She taught me how to crochet and how to cook. She showed me how good raw peanuts are and how nice it is to sit back on a hot summer night and pop peas with the other women. Its a slower way of life. But I think its richer in an awful lot of ways. Values run deeper and family is everything. Pride is something you value in who you are, not what you are.


Memorial weekend is family reunion time back there. I've never been able to attend because either I was still in school or my kids were. Instead...I make my Memorial Day food theme Southern (in some form, it creates the emotional delusion that I'm closer to them....don't pop my bubble and depress me with any of your analytical theories. I kinda like my momentary happy place). And ooooh is it good! I seriously have to hold myself back from cooking every southern dish I know, or I'd completely wear myself out. One of my favorite desserts from my childhood memories is my grandmothers Lemon Icebox Pie. Good stuff, let me tell you! If you're in the south, from the south or have spent time in the south, you probably know what I'm talking about. (Except for Joy, who happens to be a southern transplant and for some unknown reason, has no idea what I'm talking about LOL). Lemon Icebox pies are sweet, tart and believe it or not... somewhat light and refreshing, despite the ingredients:

2 Graham Cracker pie crusts (take the time to make your own...its worth it!! recipe at the end)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
12 oz of Cool Whip
1 small can of frozen lemonade (I think those are 6 oz?)

Combine the condensed milk, Cool Whip and frozen lemonade and pour into the pie crusts. Refrigerate until set. Serve and enjoy

Now, let me explain something. I got the recipe from my grandmother about 15 - 20 years ago and since then, certain manufactures have changed the container sizes of their products which almost makes it into a guessing game when putting these ingredients together. For instance...Cool Whip use to come in 6 oz containers and 12 oz containers. Now the larger of the two is 16 oz. What am I suppose to do with that extra 4 oz of Cool Whip? Cuz to be honest...I don't like Cool Whip unless its in a recipe and you can't really taste it. The grocery store where I shop decided to stop carrying the small frozen juices so now they only have the larger 12 oz. containers. So I get to guess....4 oz? 6 oz? And then do I make a 1/2 pitcher of lemonade with the leftover juice concentrate?

I got to thinking while I was at the store the other day. As I was hunting through the freezer section searching for small frozen lemonades...thinking I was just being blind and expecting them to appear right in front of my face at any moment, (which never happened), I started noticing all these other flavors of frozen juice. I'd heard of people using pink lemonade, but what about Pineapple Orange? Or.... Pomegranate Cranberry? Oooooh...this could be fun!! Next thing I knew, I was tossing numerous amounts of various frozen juice flavors into my cart! Now, the recipe only makes 2 pies...so I had to limit my flavors this time, but I have all summer to try the rest out! What I did was mix the sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip (which by the way, I ended up using the whole 16 oz...seriously, that last 4 oz was really getting on my nerves), then divided it in half. Mixed about 3 or 4 oz of Pink Lemonade in one bowl and the Pineapple Orange in the other. Poof....two different flavors of pie. The flavors are mild but oh so fun!


In case you're interested, the one on the left is the Pineapple Orange one. Oh ya....I know, those are cake pans. I couldn't find my pie plates and decided it didn't really matter what I used. Oh Oh!! That reminds me!!! You can put your graham cracker crust in a casserole dish and make one big casserole sized Lemon Icebox Pie! And that reminds me of something else. I was going to top the pies with fruit....but by the time we ate them, I was well into my cranberry / vodka drinks and totally forgot.

Now for your convenience, here's the recipe for a graham cracker crust. It only takes a minute and puts those store bought ones to shame!!

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers
1/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons melted butter

Mix the graham cracker crumbs and the sugar, then stir in the melted butter. Press into your 8 or 9" pie pan. Now you can do one of two things: Cook the pie shell in a 375' oven for 8 - 10 minutes and let cool before adding your filling. Or you can chill it in the fridge for about an hour or so. I personally prefer the cooked one....something about that flavor.

You'll have to double this recipe so that you can make both pie shells cuz this recipe only makes one. Sure, I could've saved the explanation and just doubled the recipe ingredients for you, but naaaa....I'll let you do that. But I'll give you a hint....you will need the whole box of graham crackers.

And now I have to go figure out what to do with the partial cans of frozen juice I have in my freezer.


  1. These sound good...and oddly refreshing :) You should join up with the You Want Pies with That? challenge...it perfectly fits there childhood memories theme this month!!

  2. Nice. I haven't had a cool whip pie in years. You know what you should do with that leftover frozen lemonade? Mix it with vodka! :D

  3. Thanks girlchef, I'm gonna totally do that!!

    Bob - great idea...woo hoo. So, should i leave the concentrate....semi concentraded? Hmm, I'm gonna have to experiment.

  4. Awesome! Quick and refreshing!!! Excellent for those hot summer nights!

  5. Darn, I needed to add something and I cannot edit... Don't those frozen Drink mixers come in 6oz sizes...? Margarita Pie anyone? Daquari?

  6. OMG...margarita pie! NOW we're talking!!


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