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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Vintage Recipe-Lemon Ice Box Pies

Starting in the 1920s when refrigerators became a staple in well appointed private kitchens

Ice box dessert recipes started cropping up in home cokes recipes files.   

These simple deserts, often made without a stove at all, but always with a long rest in the ice box, rely on whipped cream, cookies, and/or  fruits to make a cool tasty treat.

Sadly these delicious summer desserts have largely fallen out of favor.   It's really too bad because they are SO easy to make and truly delicious.  One of my favorites is this Lemon Ice Box Pie.  I use an ever so slightly modified version of the recipe from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, but there are many versions.  It's a perfect recipe for welcoming warmer days.  I make it every summer, in fact I think I may have shared the recipe on this blog before, but here it is again!

Lemon Ice Box Pie From the Magnolia Bakery

For the lemon curd

12 egg yolks at room temperature 
3 tbsp grated and minced lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice 
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

Separate the eggs while they are cold, placing the yolks in a large sauce pan.  Reserve the egg whites for another use, you can store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer and thaw them at a later date to make pavlova or another egg white recipe.   Let the yolks sit in the pan until they come to about room temperature, 30 min to an hour.  Whisk the lemon juice and zest and the sugar into the yolks.  Place the pan over medium low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the curd is thick and bubbly, about 20 min.  Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in the butter,  one piece at a time.  Transfer to a container and refrigerate until cold, several hours or overnight.

For the crust
1 box Nilla wafers
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Grind the cookies in a food processor and add the butter and process until moist crumbs form.  Press into an ungreased glass  pie pan and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.  

For the filling

Chilled lemon curd 
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Beat the cream in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters until stiff peaks form.  Fold in the lemon curd and pour the mixture into the crust.   Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Lemon slices

Decorate the finished pie with blueberries and lemon slices. Enjoy!

This pie can be stored for about a week in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long.    If you want to simplify things you could use store bought lemon curd, but I think its really fun to make your own.


  1. Oh I was drooling at the picture and it just got worse reading the recipe.....better do a clean up now
    Then write a shopping list fur Mum...yum, yum!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  2. Wouldn't you love to have a Len-A-Dor fridge? Sigh. And that looks like a truly delicious pie, too. xxx

  3. Those pictures of the ice boxes were so cool. I haven't had a Necco Wafer in years. I could go for that over the pie.

  4. That sounds totally yummy!
    Now we just need some hot weather.
    Toodle pip!

  5. Do I have to put on a pretty dress, an apron and high heels to make the recipe?

  6. Seeing that old fridge brings back lots of good memories of being at my grandmother's house.

  7. Wow, that sounds amazing! Wish I had a piece right now!! (Or two...)

  8. Lemon desserts are the BEST!

  9. Oh my, that sounds super yummy! Blueberries make a great topping for the lemon pie!

  10. Giant yums! Lemon curd (and fruit curds in general, very much including passion fruit) is one of my favourite foods ever. Many years ago now I developed a serious allergy to eggs and have had to avoid them since, so instead I make a vegan version with coconut creme instead and it's almost as tasty as the real deal (phew! :)).

    Have a fantastic weekend, my friend!
    ♥ Jessica

  11. Looks and sounds delicious! I never would have thought of ice box pies! Sounds so tasty!


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