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Lemon Icebox "Pie"

Lemon Icebox Pie
A few weeks ago, somebody on twitter asked me if I had a good Lemon Icebox Pie recipe. I had to say that I didn't, but that I would ask around. We found some absolutely tempting suggestions, and I decided that it was time to make one for myself. I don't know why I hadn't before now...I love lemon desserts. If I'm being completely honest, I don't think that I'd ever even eaten a slice before. That changed last weekend.

I wound up slightly adapting a recipe by my favorite cookbook author, Tessa Kiros. In her latest absolutely gorgeous as usual book, Recipes and Dreams from an Italian Life, she shares a pie that her sister has made for so many years that she could make it with her eyes closed. Not knowing the definite origins, she guesses that it probably came from a condensed milk can of old. I figured that "pie" (I'm air-quoting because can you really call it a pie if it's made in a rectangular pan? I suppose so, but for some reason, my fingers automatically raise...) was as good a place to start as any.

And guess what? YUM! So good. It's light an fluffy with that perfect lemon tang. I'm sort of in love with the simple filling. I think I'm going to stuff it an Angel Food Swiss Roll later on today. It also fits in perfectly at your Easter or Spring table.

I'm pretty sure that if you double the recipe, it would adapt nicely to a pie plate, and you could drop the air-quotes.

Lemon Icebox "Pie"
This take on the retro dessert, Lemon Icebox Pie, is light and creamy with the perfect amount of tartness.
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Lemon Icebox Pie
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
Keywords: dessert nut-free soy-free vegetarian cream lemons Easter pie spring summer

Ingredients (serves 8-10)
    for the crust:
    • 4.5 ounces Maria Cookies
    • 2-4 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 9 tablespoons (4.5 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
    • pinch of fine sea salt
    for the filling:
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 12 ounces sweetened condensed milk
    • juice of 2 large lemons
    • big pinch of fine sea salt
    Line a 9"x5" loaf pan with a long sheet of parchment paper; set aside.

    Put the cookies into the jar of a food processor with the brown sugar (start with less, and add the rest if you want the base sweeter) and pulse unti you have fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and salt and pulse until the mixture looks like wet sand. Dump into the prepared pan and press into an even layer into the bottom. Set aside.

    Whip the heavy cream until you have fairly stiff peaks. Add the sweetened condensed milk and whip again to incorporate. Add the lemon juice and sea salt and whip to combine; mixture will be thick.

    Scoop into the pan over the prepared base and level the surface.
    Easy Lemon Icebox Pie
    Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve.

    If you can't find Maria cookies, you could use graham crackers or even butter cookies in place of them. If you do, I would omit the brown sugar as they are sweeter than Maria's.

    -adapted from Recipes and Dreams from an Italian Life by Tessa Kiros
    Lemon Icebox Pie