Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lemon Ice Box Pie

I've never been sure what to call this pie. Is it a no-bake? Well sort of. A refrigerator pie? Not sure, but "ice-box" has a nice nostalgic ring to it. Either way its a delicious, smooth and creamy pie, sure to convert lemon-haters and delight those of us who already love lemon desserts. This is a great pie to slice up after a meal with bold or spicy flavors, a hit at potlucks, or just a nice treat anytime you're craving lemon.

Lemon Ice Box Pie
(printable recipe)

For the crust:
1/2 stick melted butter
40 nilla wafer cookies

For the filling layers:
12 oz cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks) room temperature
9oz lemon yogurt (1 1/2 containers)
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
7 tbsp. powdered sugar

1 c heavy whipping cream, chilled
powdered sugar to taste

1/4 c lemon curd, optional

To make the crust pulse the cookies in a food processor until they are finely ground. Pour in the melted butter and pulse a few more times until it begins to come together. Pour into a pie pan and press evenly to form the crust. Prick with a fork. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.
Allow the crust to cool completely before adding the filling. (you may also use a store bought graham cracker crust)
To make the lemon filling beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes, slowly add the yogurt. Beat well and scrape down the mixer if needed. Add the lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar. Add the filling to the cooled pie crust.
Whip the cream in the chilled stainless steel bowl from your mixer until stiff enough to hold a shape. Do not overbeat or it will become too stiff and grainy. Fold in powdered sugar to taste. Top the pie filling with optional lemon curd (or jam if you like) then *spread the whipped cream over the top taking care to cover the lemon curd layer. Chill for 3-4 hours before slicing.

*I got a bit lazy (not to mention hurried) when I finished off this pie, the textured whipped cream look is the result of slapping my offset spatula all over the top, but you can certainly take a little extra time to smooth this out nicely or pipe on the whipped cream, its all up to you.

This ice box pie is also a great base recipe to adapt to different fruit flavors, try lime, blackberry, or blueberry. Substitute fresh crushed fruit for the lemon juice / zest or add a few spoonfuls of thick jam and reduce the sugar called for in the recipe.

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