Cool and refreshing creamy lemon filling inside a buttery vanilla graham cracker crust. If you love pies but find them intimidating to bake, this is the recipe for you! Using simple ingredients, this recipe is incredibly simple and fun to make.
This is one of my Dessert recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
You guys, I’m loving the fact that as I was writing this post I realized I was posting a pie recipe, on Pi day, aka 3/14. I swear it wasn’t planned, but the math nerd in me is enjoying the happy coincidence!
This recipe is similar to my creamy sour cream lemon pie recipe, but a little firmer in consistency, and made even easier.
Pies can be intimidating to even seasoned bakers, but I promise you, this one truly is easy.
There’s no fussy crust to make, roll out and crimp, no custard made over the stovetop, and no hour long bake time.
In fact, both components of the pie can be made ahead of time, then just combined and baked when you’re in the mood for a delicious dessert!
The filling is ultra creamy, yet light and refreshing, and absolutely perfect for spring and summer!
How to make creamy lemon pie?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Make the crust. Graham cracker crusts are really easy to make, and you can even pick up a box of pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs to make it easier!
- Bake. Just to par-bake the crust, and while it’s in the oven, you can make the filling.
- Filling. Combine all filling ingredients and beat until combined. You can use a hand mixer or whisk for this. Then pour into the par-baked crust.
- Bake. Bake the whole pie for about 12 minutes, then cool, and chill for several hours or overnight.
- Garnish. You can get as fancy as you want here. Whipped cream, lemon zest, lemon slices, and fresh raspberries are my preferred way to finish the pie.
I know it’s tempting to skip the chilling step, but I don’t recommend it. Similar to a pumpkin pie, this lemon pie recipe needs to fully set up, which happens during the cooling and chilling process. If you skip it, your pie won’t be set, and will be runny.
Variations of this recipe
- Graham cracker crust – if you would rather take a shortcut from the grocery store, feel free to use a store-bought crust. Bake as directed in the recipe.
- Other crusts – in place of graham crackers, sometimes I like to use shortbread cookies (such as Lorna Doone). Use an equal amount and bake as directed.
- Lemon juice – freshly squeezed lemon juice is what I absolutely recommend, but in a pinch, you can you bottled lemon juice.
- Cool whip – in place of traditional whipped cream, cool whip can be used.
The filling for lemon meringue pie is usually made on the stovetop, then of course topped with meringue instead of whipped cream. Creamy lemon pie has a texture and flavor similar to key lime pie, but is less tart. It’s typically topped with whipped cream, not meringue.
Yes, and it’s not just because it tastes better cold. The chilling time is required for the filling to set up, so don’t skip it or you’ll end up with a runny pie.
Making lemon pie ahead of time
This recipe is naturally a make ahead recipe, since the pie needs to be chilled for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight, to fully set up.
But the pie can be made ahead and refrigerated for several days if you’d like.
You can also make both components of the pie (the crust and the filling) ahead of time as well!
- Crust – the graham cracker crust can be baked, then cooled and refrigerated (covered) for 1-3 days.
- Filling – the lemon filling can be mixed up and refrigerated (covered) for 1-3 days.
Leftover pie should be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. I like to wrap mine tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place that in a plastic storage container in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Magnolia.com
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 13 whole rectangle graham crackers)
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
Lemon pie filling
- 2 (14 oz each) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from approximately 5 lemons)
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- additional lemon zest
- lemon slices
- fresh raspberries
- whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Set out a 9" pie pan/pie dish.
- Combine crust ingredients (graham cracker crumbs, sugar, vanilla, and butter) in a mixing bowl and stir to combine well.
- Transfer mixture to 9” pie pan and press evenly into the bottom and sides of pan.
- Bake the crust for 9 minutes, then set aside.
- While crust is baking, make the pie filling by adding the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt to a mixing bowl.
- Use hand mixer to beat together for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Tap bowl gently on a counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles from the mixing.
- Pour filling into baked crust, spreading into an even layer.
- Bake in the 350°F oven for 12 minutes, until the center is slightly jiggly, then remove and let sit at room temperature to cool completely.
- Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours, or up to overnight.
- To serve, top with whipped cream, lemon slices, raspberries, and lemon zest if desired.
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- Recipe makes one pie, with a suggested serving size of 1/8th of the pie.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.