Sunday, January 22, 2012
Lemon Icebox Pie
Lemon icebox pie is one of my favorite desserts. I really just love lemon. I love the smell of lemon. My favorite cleaner smells like lemon Pez. I drink lemonade until it makes me sick. This is a perfect dessert for your Easter lunch. Or a cookout come Spring. Those of you who are snowed in right now probably don't want to hear me talk about Spring, huh? :-/
This recipe is made for a 9 inch pie, I just made them in small individual dishes this time.
Lemon Icebox Pie
yield: one 9" pie or 4 small pies
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (none of that stuff in the plastic lemon!)
3 egg yolks (save the whites!!)
3 egg whites
7 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Finely crush graham crackers in a food processor. Mix in melted butter and sugar. Press graham cracker crumbs into a pie dish. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 8 minutes.
2. In a large bowl whisk together sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and eggs yolks. I usually give it a quick taste to make sure it's tart enough. The egg yolks aren't going to kill you.
3. Pour filling into pie dish and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
4. For meringue: Let egg whites reach room temperature. Beat egg whites in a glass or metal bowl until stiff peaks form. Make sure you bowl and beaters are very clean. If any fat or yolk gets into the whites they won't peak for you. Add sugar gradually once peaks have formed. If you add all of the sugar in the beginning you will be beating your whites for 30 minutes before they peak up for you. Add vanilla and continue to beat. I choose to put my meringue in a large piping bag. I cover the top of the pie with a good layer and the put little dollops on it pulling the bag straight up to create a little peak. Bake at 325 for a good 20 minutes of so until the meringue is golden brown.
If you make this pie the day before you plan on serving it, wait until the day of to top with the meringue. It will droop and sag if you make it too far in advance. I prefer my lemon pie cold, so after I bake the meringue, I stick it in the fridge until it's time to serve. Don't let it sit in there too long or the meringue will form little sweat beads and droop.