Want a picture perfect summer time recipe? Then you can't go wrong with ice box pie. A truly retro dessert ice box pies date back to the 1800s when before the advent or refrigeration families had ice boxes. Large wood chests that were lined in metal and held a huge block of ice at the top for keeping perishables cool.
Of course by the 1920s and 30s modern refrigeration was wide spread but ice box pies continued to be popular summer desserts until the 1950s and lemon was a particular favorite. Most recipes used condensed milk or jello or such, but I like the Magnolia Bakery's recipe which uses real lemon curd. The only thing to remember is this recipe takes two days to make, but its very easy.
Lemon Ice Box Pie
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted melted
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups Lemon Curd Filling ( see recipe below)
To make the crust: In a small bowl, combine the butter and the vanilla wafer crumbs. Press firmly into a lightly buttered 9-inch glass pie dish. Wrap tightly with plastic and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the Lemon Curd. Pour into the prepared crust and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with berries around the edge of the pie and lemon slices. if desired.
Lemon Curd Filling:
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
In a medium-size saucepan, whisk in the first 5 ingredients until thoroughly combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly over medium heat. Cook about 10 minutes until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring to incorporate. Place in refrigerator overnight until firm.