Lemon Ice Box Pie

I have no idea where I got this recipe, but I’ve had it so long that I think of it as mine. I thank whoever gave it to me. (Another mystery so familiar to those of us who save everything.)

  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle or Magnolia)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
  • Zest (grated peel) of one large lemon or two small ones
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Eight- or nine-inch pie shell
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks until they become light-colored and thick. Beat in the condensed milk for about a minutes. Then add lemon juice and lemon zest, and blend well. Pour into cooled pre-baked pie shell.

2. Make a meringue by beating egg whites in a completely clean, grease-free bowl (the best possible is a copper bowl) with cream of tartar at high speed, until peaks begin to form. Add the sugar and vanilla, and beat until stiff but not dry. Spread meringue on top of pie.

3. Bake pie at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until top is lightly brown. Chill several hours before serving.

Makes one pie.

4 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Sue McCormick on June 29, 2015

    I tried to sign up for your newsletter under WELCOME – it then said that the sidebar didn’t have any widgets and to go to the widget page?!?! Help!

    Sorry about that! I have fixed it and it now works. In the main menu go to

    Welcome/Subscriber to the New Orleans Menu, Free

  2. Ned Mendes on June 30, 2015

    Pretty much the same recipe as on ‘Nellie & Joe’s’ Key West Lime and Lemon Juice jars. With the exception of home made whipped cream vice meringue. Like the old Toddle House ice box cream pies. I personally prefer the whipped cream, but will not turn meringue down.
    Can’t go wrong………always good.
    Many thanks,

  3. Alice on July 2, 2015

    This sounds like the recipe my mother used and she got it from the back of the label on the Eagle condensed milk can.

  4. susan williams on January 15, 2017

    This is my Mother’s recipe also. I have since added 1/2 a brick of room temperature cream cheese for a firmer body. This is my family’s favorite dessert and my son’s preference for his birthday instead of a cake.

    I enjoy your writing and radio show. I miss your wife’s column she wrote years ago for the News Banner. All Moms could relate.