Serendipity's Lemon Ice Box Pie

"This Serendipity favorite is a simple, no-bake pie. Its citrus flavor is perfect and refreshing for those really hot days. The book doesn't call for it, but I like to add the zest of one or two lemons, just for a little more lemon flavor. Remember to zest lemons before juicing. Time does not include refrigeration."
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  • In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and butter until fully incorporated. Scrape mixture into a 9" pie pan. Using your fingers or the back of a sppon, press mixture firmly onto the base and up the sides of the pan, forming a uniform crust about 1/4" thick. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • In a medium nonstick saucepan, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and lemon juice until smooth. Cook custard over medium heat until very hot to the touch, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Do not allow to boil.
  • Strain custard through a sieve into prepared pie shell. (If using lemon zest, strain through sieve into another bowl. Fold in lemon zest and pour into pie shell.) Smooth the filling, forming a slight dome in the center. Refrigerate uncovered at least 1 hour, or until set. Cover with plastic wrap and chill completely, at least another hour.
  • Serve wedges cold with plenty of whipped cream. Store covered in refrigerator.

Questions & Replies

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  1. MG, your review was right on. Delicious in taste, very close to the original I've had many times in NYC, but too soft. I once made a key lime pie where the recipe called for adding 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar and a twenty min bake in the oven. It worked nicely. I will try it with this recipe next time I make it.
  2. I loved the taste of both the filling and the crust (in fact, I will most likely use this crust with another filling if I can't get this one to work on my next try), but I couldn't get the filling to set up. Even after being in the fridge overnight, it is slightly thickened but still more liquid than solid. For the flavor, I would give it five stars; to salvage it, I'll go creative and serve it as a parfait with pieces of broken crust and maybe some sliced strawberries and whipped cream. Maybe I did something wrong while preparing the filling? I wasn't entirely clear on the cooking instructions for the filling, and I'm not very familiar with custards and such, so maybe the filling was more "finicky" than I realized. It didn't feel extremely hot to me after ten minutes, so I cooked it for about five minutes more, then I was afraid that I might overcook it, so I stopped. I'm going to give this one more try because I really want this to work for me (the recipe sounded so good). Sorry, but I couldn't give it stars just for the taste when the end product just wasn't in the form it should have been. I'll post a new review once I make the second pie (hopefully, the second one will turn out as a pie - lol). EDITED FOR SECOND PIE: I made this a second time the other day, and I had much better luck than the first time. I think one of the cans of condensed milk I used for the first pie was too old or something, because it was a darker color than the other can, and the pie tasted fresher this time around. Anyhow, the second pie thickened up much better than the first one. It was still a tiny bit gooey when I cut the first piece out, so I popped it in the freezer (I didn't want the filling to creep out of the crust on me, so I thought the freezer might harden it up just enough). I think I actually like it better from the freezer! It still stayed soft after it was frozen, but firmed up just enough to keep it from oozing. This will be a great addition to my summer dessert collection (even if I don't master the filling lol). Thanks for posting!



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