This easy Lemon Pie features a homemade graham cracker crust, a creamy lemon filling, and homemade whipped cream on top. The perfect dessert for lemon lovers!
Have you ever tried a lemon pie? If not, you’re in for a real treat today! This pie is very similar in taste and texture to a key lime pie with one exception – it uses fresh lemon juice instead!
One of the things that I really love about this pie is that it uses minimal ingredients. There’s only three ingredients in the graham cracker crust and three ingredients in the filling. I also topped this pie with my homemade whipped cream, but if you want to keep things easy feel free to use store-bought whipped topping or leave it off.
This pie also needs to chill for several hours, so it’s a wonderful recipe that you can make the day before and not have to worry about the next day!
Ingredients For This Recipe
To make this lemon pie recipe, you will be preparing the crust, filling, and the whipped cream. It seems like a lot, but it’s fairly easy to throw together! I wanted to share just a few notes on some of the ingredients to make sure this pie turns out perfect for you.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: To get 1 and 1/2 cups of crumbs you will need about 11 to 12 full sheets of graham crackers. If you want to make this recipe even easier, just use store-bought graham cracker crumbs – no one will ever know!
- Lemon Juice: Fresh is best here! One medium lemon will usually yield 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and one large lemon will yield 3 to 4 tablespoons.
- Egg Yolks: This recipe only uses egg yolks so that the filling is rich, thick, and easy to slice. You can use the leftover egg whites in my white cake recipe or save them and use them for an omelette!
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: You don’t want to confuse this ingredient with evaporated milk, otherwise your pie won’t set up! Sweetened condensed milk is super thick and sweet. It helps create a thick filling and balances out the tartness of the lemon juice.
How To Make Lemon Pie
First things first, you want to start out by making the graham cracker crust. I wrote a full post on how to make a graham cracker crust here, so if you haven’t made one before then I recommend reading through that post first.
For the crust, you will need crushed graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter. Simply combine them together in a mixing bowl, scoop it into a 9-inch pie dish, and firmly press it on the bottom and up around the sides. Pro-tip: Use the bottom of a measuring cup to help firmly press the crust into your pie dish.
Place the prepared crust into the oven and pre-bake it for 8 to 10 minutes, then let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes. This will ensure that your pie crust is sturdy and can hold up to the weight of the lemon filling.
As the crust is cooling, you can prepare the filling. For the filling, you’ll be using fresh lemon juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk.
Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk them together until they’re well combined. The mixture will be nice, thick, and creamy like the picture above. Then, pour the filling into the pre-baked graham cracker crust and bake it for about 20 more minutes.
Once the pie is finished baking, the top should look set but it will still be jiggly. As the pie cools the residual heat will continue to cook the pie and it will set up properly. Don’t worry!
Once the pie has cooled and been refrigerated, I like to top it off with some homemade whipped cream. If you want to make this recipe a little easier, then you can just use a tub of whipped topping. But I’ll be honest, the homemade version is SO much better!
I have a simple tutorial showing you how I make my homemade whipped cream here – I promise, it’s easy too! Once the pie is done, you can store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it.
- Once you bake the graham cracker crust, let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes before you add the pie filling. This will ensure a sturdier crust that will hold up well.
- I suggest using fresh lemon juice for this pie instead of bottled juice. You will need about 8 medium lemons or 5 to 6 large lemons to get 1 cup of fresh lemon juice.
- To get the most juice out of your lemons, firmly roll them on the counter with your hand before cutting into them.
- When you cover the pie, make sure that the plastic wrap (or whatever you use to cover it) is not directly touching the top. I find that plastic wrap tends to stick to the pie and can pull some of it up with it when you remove it.
More Pie Recipes To Try!
For the graham cracker crust:
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180 grams) graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
For the lemon pie filling:
- 1 cup (240 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 5 large egg yolks
- Whipped topping or homemade whipped cream
To make the graham cracker crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Add the melted butter and stir until fully combined and all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Scoop the mixture into a 9 to 9.5 inch pie plate and firmly press it down into an even layer on the bottom and up around the sides of the dish.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the filling.
- Keep oven temperature at 350°F (177°C).
To make the lemon pie filling:
- Combine the lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and whisk until fully combined.
- Pour the filling into the slightly cooled graham cracker crust and spread it around into one even layer.
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the top of the pie is set, the pie will still be jiggly.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature for about 2 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 5 to 6 hours or overnight. Once chilled, top with whipped cream, serve and enjoy!
Hi. Can I make this filling in my homemade pie dough instead of Graham cracker crust?
Yes, that would be fine. I would just make sure to pre-bake the pie crust before adding the filling.
Oh my goodness, this pie is amazing! It was so simple to make! The only downside, was waiting all those hours, before eating a slice!
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!
I would like to make this lemon pie filling, but only have one can of condensed milk on hand. Can I substitute heavy cream or milk
for the other one?
Hi, Wendy! I wouldn’t recommend it for this recipe. You can cut the filling in half though and reduce the baking time.
I loved this recipe! Was wondering if I could substitute the lemon juice for lime or orange juice?
I’ve used lime juice and it works fine, I think orange juice would be okay too!
Can this lemon pie be frozen?
Yes, it should be fine to freeze it without the whipped cream on top. You can thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
Can I use meringue as topping? Will the lemon giant the meringue separate when I bake the pie to brown the meringue?
You can top this pie with meringue! I’d recommend using a Swiss meringue, where you fully cook the egg whites in a double boiler first. Then you can just use a torch or broil it for 1 to 2 minutes to brown the meringue. This Swiss meringue recipe from Martha Stewart would be a good option.
I have guests coming over tmw night for dinner, can I make it this evening and refrigerate? Will the crust still remain crunchy or does it become soft and soggy?
It will be fine to make it this evening and serve tomorrow. The crust will hold up just fine as long as you pre-bake it.
Hi Danielle! Can I make this into tarts?
Yes, absolutely! You may need to reduce the baking time some though depending on the size of your tart pans.
I made the lemon pie love it. Gonna add more lemons. For more tangy taste. My spouse is diabetes. Do you have any of the sugar ,fat, total carbs. Crust was store bought. And no topping over lemon.
Hi, Holly! I’m not sure on the nutritional information and it will vary some based on the different ingredients that you use too. I recommend using an online calculator like My Fitness Pal to get an estimate.
Is this lemon pie very tart ? I want to make it for my dad but he doesn’t like his lemon pie to be too tart, just good lemon flavor ?
Hi, Kim! This pie is kind of tart, similar to key lime pie. If you want something that’s not very tart, my lemon cheesecake recipe here is another great option.
Easy, delicious, and a hit among my friends. Thank you.
My husband is a lemon lover, and this pie has quickly become his favorite. I’ve since tried other recipes of yours, Danielle,, and they have all been terrific!
Thank you, Robin! I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes!
I didn’t have enough lemon juice but added some lemon zest. It still came out amazing! I added a little splash of pineapple juice (because I had it in the fridge and was the best replacement for the missing 1/2 cup of lemon juice). Lol. But it worked. Very forgiving recipe and super easy to make!
This is the best lemon dessert I’ve ever had. It is lemony creamy sweet and rich in every mouth full. Small bites makes it last longer. Highly recommended from a lemon dessert lover.
Could I make this without the 1/3 cup of sugar since condensed milk has quite a bit of sugar?
It would be fine to omit the sugar from the crust.
So it’s basically a key lime pie but with lemon juice instead! I wonder what other juices this concept could work with. You could probably even mix lemon juice and lime juice if you’re feeling adventurous!
I bought a graham cracker crust at the store. Do I have to bake it, or not? I’m not sure from your instructions.
Yes, I still recommend baking it before adding the filling.
Absolutely DELICIOUS! I made this for a birthday, and it went over BIG! You can make two pies out of this recipe, if you increase the crust ingredients. Do 2 C. of graham cracker crumbs, 1 C. of sugar and a stick of butter. There is plenty of crust for two pies this way. The filling is just fine as is for doing two pies out of it. Top it off with whipped cream. I baked the filling for 22 mins.–perfect.
Thank you so much for stating the exact amount of lemon juice required in this recipe. So many authors will say, “use juice form two lemons” etc. etc. If you could see the different sized lemons that I have on my tree, you’d understand my problem determining which ones to use. With your recipe, there is no question.
I just wanted to say thank you and also I used a cup of lemonade 3 yolks and one can of condensed milk with the same heat and everything and it turned out well