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LEMON ICE BOX PIE - 3 WAYS

Clancy's Restaurant - New orleans, LA

 
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This is a dreamy and creamy cool and tart confection that is the favorite of locals and visitors alike!  It's super easy to make, freezes like a dream, and is great to serve at dinner parties, or just straight outta the pan!

 Basic ingredients for crust and filling - simple, right?

Basic ingredients for crust and filling - simple, right?

 Graham cracker crust, pressed into the sides and bottom of the springform pan.  The zest gives it a little extra zing!

Graham cracker crust, pressed into the sides and bottom of the springform pan.  The zest gives it a little extra zing!

 Ingredients at the ready for the filling - strained lemon juice, zest, yolks and sweetened condensed milk.  Alternately you could use key lime juice, too.  Tip:  if using Meyer lemons, which are sweeter, reduce the sweetened condensed milk to 1 3/4 cup.

Ingredients at the ready for the filling - strained lemon juice, zest, yolks and sweetened condensed milk.  Alternately you could use key lime juice, too.

Tip:  if using Meyer lemons, which are sweeter, reduce the sweetened condensed milk to 1 3/4 cup.

 Crust with filling, ready to go into the oven.  The pan below might catch any leaks or drips, but also helps distribute the heat of the oven evenly to the bottom of the crust.

Crust with filling, ready to go into the oven.  The pan below might catch any leaks or drips, but also helps distribute the heat of the oven evenly to the bottom of the crust.

what you need

-  9 inch springform pan

-  hand or stand mixer

-  small food processor

-  saucepan and food thermometer (if making meringue)

ingredients

CRUST

-  14 graham crackers

-  1/4 cup sugar

-  large pinch (1/4 tsp) kosher salt

-  6 TB unsalted butter, melted

-  1 tsp lemon zest

FILLING

-  2 cans sweetened condensed milk

-  zest from 3 small or 2 large lemons

-  1 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 12 small or 8-9 large lemons) - strained of pulp and seeds

-  8 egg yolks (from large eggs)

TOPPING #1 - Chantilly Cream

-  2 cups heavy cream

-  1 tsp vanilla extract

-  1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (I use the organic, which contains tapioca rather than cornstarch - no aftertaste!)

-  scant pinch of salt (1/8 tsp)

TOPPING #2 - Swiss Meringue

-  4 ounces egg whites (egg whites stay in the fridge for 6 months, and freeze beautifully - in fact they whip better and are more stable if frozen previously)

-  1 cup granulated sugar

instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 325 and butter the inside of your springform pan.

2.  Put the broken up graham crackers, sugar, salt, 1 tsp of the lemon zest and melted butter into a small food processor and chop until mixture is like sand.  Dump into your prepared pan, and with the bottom of a jar or cup, press the crust evenly over the bottom and an inch or so up the sides. Set pan aside.

3.  Into your mixer place the eggs and lemon rind. Beat on medium until eggs start to get a bit pale. Mix in the condensed milk and lemon juice, and beat on low until incorporated.  

4.  Put the springform pan on a sheet pan. Carefully pour the egg/lemon mixture onto the crust and bake in a 325 oven for 25 minutes.  Take out and cool on a rack for about an hour.  Loosely cover with foil or plastic wrap and freeze at least 6 hours.

5.  Chantilly Cream:  when ready to serve whip the cream, vanilla, confectioner's sugar and salt, first on low until sugar is incorporated. Switch to high and whip until you have stiff peaks. Take cake out of its sleeve, and put on a platter.  Slice and serve with a dollop of the cream.  Alternately, you can put the chantilly into a piping bag with a decorative tip and go to town!  Garnish with mint and a candied lemon slice!

6.  Meringue:  heat some water to simmering in a shallow saucepan.  Put the egg whites and sugar into the bowl of your mixer and put this over the simmering water.  Whisk by hand until the mixture reaches 165 degrees. Transfer the bowl to your mixer, and with the whisk attachment, beat at medium-high until the whites hold stiff peaks and have cooled.  Transfer to a pastry bag with a plain or decorative tip and pipe over the just-from-the-freezer pie.  Run under the broiler until meringue is brown - alternately, if you have a cooking torch, brown the top of the meringue and serve immediately. 

7.  Just Naked:  if you just like your pie plain, forget the toppings.  Portion as you wish, garnish with mint, and perhaps some fresh berries, and enjoy this slice of lemony lusciousness!