Summer = Pie!

My husband and I went out to Perkin's for dinner a few weeks back - exciting date nights around here, let me tell you! ;)  Their promotion at the time was "Lemon Days" and it included this wonderfully, scrumptious looking Lemon Ice Box Pie!  If my computer wasn't so cranky, I'd have a picture from Perkin's themselves of the pie.(to compare, of course!)  Alas, my computer is cranky and Perkin's is onto another promotion.  I ate every last morsel and then decided I had to recreate it in my kitchen.  Oh and is it ever wonderful!  This recipe could easily be simplified by buying a can of lemon filling for the middle layer and using cool whip for the top - essentially the only thing you would be making by hand would be the first layer.  Because the fillings I made were recipes for one pie all by themselves, this recipe makes two pies with the multiple fillings.  FYI: If you go the fresh squeezed route, you're going to need about 6 lemons for these beauties!


Lemon Ice Box Pie

2 Graham Cracker Crusts (I'm lazy, I buy the pre-made crusts - for under $2 a piece this saves lot of my sanity!)

Layer 1:
1 - 8 oz Package Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 - 14 oz Can Sweet-Condensed Milk
1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 Tsp Vanilla

Mix all ingredients on medium speed until smooth.  Pour half into each pie crust and put in refrigerator.

Layer 2:
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
5 Egg Yolks, beaten
1/4 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 Tsp Vanilla

Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan.  Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes.  Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together.  Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.  Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.  The mixture will be very thick (almost instantaneously).  Add about a cup of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth.  Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in butter until incorporated.  Add lemon juice, zest, and vanilla - stirring until combined.  Cool filling for 15-20 minutes or more - cover with plastic wrap to keep skin from forming.  Once almost room temperature or only slightly warm, spoon half over first layer and smooth out. 

Put in refrigerator overnight to completely set.

Layer 3:
1 Pint Whipping Cream, very cold

Whip cream, adding sugar and vanilla to taste, until semi-hard peaks form.  Spoon over pies generously!

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