Monday, September 22, 2014

Lemon Icebox Pie

 Here's an easy throw together dessert that only uses a few ingredients and is AMAZINGLY delicious. I recently had the gang over for dinner, and I decided to make this for my good friend, Lea, who loves anything and everything lemon. Not only was it a snap to make, but it was also convenient because it's a total do-ahead. I made it the night before the event, but I could have easily made it two or even three days in advance. If I were going to do that, I would just cover it, and then add the whipped cream and berries or any other garnish just before serving it. It's light and fluffy and sweet and tangy and fresh and rich, all at the same time.
 Now, I know it's called an icebox pie, which means there's supposed to be no baking involved. I like to bake the crust because it adds a sort of toasty flavor, but you really don't have to. You can make the crust as directed and then instead of baking it, just let it chill in the fridge for a while before you pour in the filling. Then it would TRULY be an icebox pie! Easy! So if you don't consider yourself to be a baker, then this is the dessert for you.
If you can mix up a few ingredients, you can make it!

1 pkg golden Oreos
1 tbs sugar
4 tbs melted butter

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Heat oven to 350F.
Place Oreos and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until the cookies are crushed to crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until well combined. Press buttered crumbs evenly and firmly into a deep Pyrex pie plate. Bake crust for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven. 
Let it cool.
Meanwhile, combine all filling ingredients with a mixer until smooth. Pour into cooled crust and smooth out the top. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with fresh lemon slices, berries, whipped cream, and/or fresh mint leaves.

You can use any kind of cookies for the crust, graham crackers, anything you like. Or you can simply purchase a ready made graham cracker crust.
If you'd like an extra burst of lemony flavor, add some extra lemon zest! 
Another fabulous idea would be to do a lemon swirl:
Pour the filling into the crust as directed, then put a few dollops of purchased or home made lemon curd here and there on top of the filling. Then use a knife to swirl the curd through the filling and chill as usual. Easy!!

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