This lemon icebox pie with cream cheese is as close as you can get to the one I made in a restaurant 35 years ago. The restaurant no longer exists, but this family-sized adaptation remains a family favorite. It is very light, airy, and very refreshing topped with cherries, blueberries, or strawberries. Serve on individual plates as-is, or with your favorite fruit topping.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
3 hrs 30 mins
3 hrs 45 mins
1 9x12-inch pie


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Put a mixing bowl and the opened can of evaporated milk in the freezer. Freeze until crystals form in the milk, 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, mix cream cheese and sugar together in a bowl. Set aside.

  • Mix lemon gelatin with boiling water until dissolved; let cool until it starts to thicken, 20 to 30 minutes.

  • While the lemon gelatin cools, mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar in a bowl, then add melted butter. Press on the bottom and up the sides of a 9x12-inch pan.

  • Whip the gelatin mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Whip crystallized evaporated milk in the ice-cold mixing bowl until stiff. Fold whipped milk gently into the cream cheese mixture. Pour over the crust.

  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap, making sure it does not directly touch the surface of the pie. Chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

  • Cut into twelve 3-inch squares with a sharp knife that has been run under hot water.

Cook's Note:

Be sure when whipping the evaporated milk that your bowl is very cold and that there are plenty of crystals in the milk or it will not whip properly. This is the key to this recipe or it will not set properly.

Nutrition Facts

293 calories; protein 4.8g; carbohydrates 37.3g; fat 14.6g; cholesterol 42.4mg; sodium 181mg. Full Nutrition