Lemon Icebox Pie

Total Time:
8 hr 5 min
5 min
8 hr


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 prepared graham cracker crust

Combine the cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Pour into the pie crust. Refrigerate overnight.

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    68 Reviews
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    I made this exactly by the recipe and it turned out perfect. We all thought the lemon/sweet ratio was perfect. Super easy to put together. I topped mine with lightly sweetened whipped cream. Yumm!
    This is a perfect recipe. I always use the one here from Emeril. Thick, creamy, smooth, lemony, perfect. Not sure why anyone else has any problem with it setting, I always double mine and make it the night before.
    I always add an extra 8 ounces of Cream Cheese, and ship the lemon peel. It sets up beautifully in about 2 hours. and fills a 10 inch graham cracker pie crust.
    I followed the directions exactly and after a night in the fridge - still a sloppy mess. I put it in the freezer and I now have a frozen pie. Why can't anyone write a recipe that actually works? Rename it "Freezer Pie".
    I made this in a spring form pan. I doubled the recipe for the crust. It will "puff" in the oven. Press it down and back in place with a piece of parchment or wax paper. Let cool. Then double the recipe for the filling. I measure the lemon juice because all lemons do not have the same amount of juice. Some will be quite a bit more, as mine were, and some less. I added the zest of four lemons, same as with the juice. Measure! Do not pack down zest to measure. Taste now! Started to begin setting up as I smoothed the top. This amt. filled the spring form pan to the top!! Wonderful presentation. Taste as smooth as silk!
    Came out great. Set up beautifully. I took other reviewers advice and froze it for 3 hours before leaving it in the fridge overnight. I might add a little bit more lemon juice because it was a little sweet.
    Very tasteful one of the best untouchable
    I agree with other posters, freeze this pie! Even if you don't want to serve it frozen, put it in the freezer for 2-3 hours then in the refrigerator. It makes a world of difference, the pie holds up much better. 
    Thinking about making an orange and lime version. Easy, fast and great recipe
    I have made this several times with one change - I freeze the pie, which does wonders for the texture. The last one I made, I tried refrigerating it overnight per the instructions. Back into the freezer it went! I highly suggest serving this frozen. I have also made this with lime and it was amazing!
    Just won 3rd place at my neighborhood pie contest! Love this pie for summertime. Although it is a little wobbly, so I may try adding a some Knox Gelatine as someone suggested below to tighten it up a bit. Great flavor!
    Ok, so I omitted the lemon juice and maybe that was the issue, but this pie did not set up. It was ok but looked a mess.
    How can something this simple be so good? I don't know but it is! I have made it several times, in both graham cracker crusts and pretzel crusts and it is always fabulous. I had a guest who claimed not to be a "dessert person", but she not only ate the whole slice, she happily took home another when I offered it to her.
    just wonderful I also took it a bit further and made a key lime version . love it
    Simple and delicious. Definitely make this and leave room for dessert!
    I've made this pie twice. As other reviewers mentioned, the pie did not set up overnight and was a bit wobbly. I found a couple other similar recipes online with unflavored gelatin in them.  
    I then made this recipe from Emeril and dissolved 1/2 tsp of an envelope of Knox unflavored gelatin in 1/4 c reserved boiling lemon juice and mixed that into the pie filling at the end, just before putting into pie shell.  
    As premade crusts have an artificial taste when paired with these fresh-tasting ingredients, I make my own nilla wafer crust with 40 nilla wafers and 1/4c melted butter. I also topped with reddi-whip before serving. One last note, I microwaved the cream cheese minus box/wrapping in the mixing bowl on a very low setting for about 1-2 mins to make it room temp,then added it to the sweetened condensed milk. Overall, a very good recipe in need of a couple tweaks.
    I learned this recipe over 30 years ago in my school Home Ec class. It has been a fast fill in for dessert many times. It is one of my familys favorite.
    This is a knock out!! Only change I made is instead of Graham Cracker. I use N'illa Waffers. Makes it PERFECT!
    This is one of the best tasting, easiest-to-make things EVER !
    For as easy as this was, it came out AMAZING! I beat it for an extra long time to make sure it was really smooth, and I adore the flavor and texture that came out. I agree that "consensed milk" refers to "sweetened..." (otherwise there would be no sweetness in the pie at all?) and I served it with whipped cream to balance it out. YUM!
    A keeper.
    I LOVE this recipe! I used the juice and zest of two large lemons (scant 1/2 cup and 1T zest) and it was perfect. For those with texture issues, be sure the cream cheese is room temp (I beat it first) and then beat the heck out of the whole mess until it was light and very fluffy. It fills a pre-made pie shell perfectly! And because there are no raw ingredients your kids can ***** the beaters (If you don't do it first!) YUM!!!!
    This pie was very easy to make and pretty tasty, though mine never really solidified as much as I expected. I refrigerated it for over 24 hours by the time I ate it and it didn't really stay in a pie slice shape on my plate. In that sense, it was like a pudding in a crust. I think I went a little overboard with the lemon juice and zest as it was a little too tangy for me. That's not to say that it wasn't plenty sweet. If anything, it was too sweet. All in all, I would have liked more of a cream taste, less of a citrus tang and a more dense texture, like key lime pies I have made in the past. I will try this recipe again with some tweaks because it was good and easy.
    This was an incredibly easy, delicious pie. I just used store-bought lemons. I don't understand how people got a bitter pie--when I first tasted it, I considered adding more lemon! But resting in the fridge developed the flavor. Maybe make sure you only use the very top layer of zest? And definitely used condensed milk. I also made sure my juice had absolutely no pulp. The second time I made it with limes--again just regular store-bought limes (not key limes), and it came out great! Since some reviewers were complaining about it setting (and I didn't have time for overnight), I just stuck it directly in the freezer for a few hours. If you don't want an icy pie (though it was great), you can transfer it to the fridge an hour or so before serving. The color does come out tan, but if you find that unappealing, you can simply add food coloring.
    I was so excited to find this recipe, but yuck. One, it never fully set, it was barely thicker than condensed milk. Two, it tasted like sour cream cheese. Three, it didn't even look appealing, it wasn't yellow or white, it was kind of tan.
    Easiest pie I've ever made. After making several just as the recipe is written, I made an Orange Icebox Pie by replacing the lemon juice and lemon zest with orange juice and orange zest. Both are amazing.
    Very easy to make and tastes great! A new summer favorite.
    Wonderfull flavor and I also make it with limes in place of the lemon.
    Made this for Mother's Day desert, huge hit. I'm not fessing up to how simple the recipe is especially since I used a store bought graham cracker crust. The only substitutions I made were using Meyer Lemons and was out of vanilla extract so poured a dollop of dark rum instead. It all worked great!
    Try this recipe. Taste the final product. Chances are you will enjoy the flavor and creamy texture. The crust...have also made using panko bread crumbs. Still enjoyed by all.
    I made this for Easter along with a banana cream pie and both were eaten up immediately! Everyone went on and on about how yummy they thought this pie was and it was so easy for me to make that I simply must make it again since I now know what an incredible crowd pleaser it is. Try it!
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