“I remember early on in my marriage a friend of mine shared this simple recipe with me, and I couldn’t believe how delicious it was for the little amount of work it required. There’s something about the blend of a graham cracker crust, lemon filling, and fresh whipped cream that makes for a perfect dessert. Plus, it’s really beautiful!” – Joanna Gaines
Joanna Gaines' Lemon Pie
PREP: 20 minutes COOK: under 20 minutes COOL: 1½ hours
- Lemon Pie:
- Vegetable oil spray
- 1½ cups crushed graham crackers (from about 27 squares)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 3 cups sweetened condensed milk
- 3 egg yolks
- ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)
- Pinch of sea salt
- Whipped Cream Topping:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Lemon slices
- Grated lemon zest
- Mint sprigs
- To make the lemon pie: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with vegetable oil.
- In a large bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers and ⅓ cup of the sugar and stir to blend. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press the cracker mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie plate. Bake until firm, about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer), beat the condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt on medium speed for 4 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the baked pie crust. Return to the oven and bake until the center is set when the pan is gently nudged, about 10 minutes.
- Cool the pie on a rack for 30 minutes. Place in the refrigerator until set, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Photos and recipes from Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines. Copyright © 2018 by Joanna Gaines. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. *This recipe has not been tested by Taste of the South.
This was way too sweet for me. Do you have a suggestion on how to cut back on the sweetness since it is mostly condenses milk? I already omitted the sugar from the graham cracker crust. Would it make sense to add more lemon juice? The consistency was good.
Hi Annie! Thanks for reaching out, and we’re sorry about the delay getting back to you. The majority of the sweetness is definitely coming mainly from the condensed milk. If you can find unsweetened condensed milk, try using 2 cups sweetened and 1 cup unsweetened – that would definitely take the sugar level down. You could also omit the sugar from the whipped cream. Let us know if that helps!
Easy recipe. I followed the recipe. Turned out good, a bit too sweet. I will make it again but reduce the sweetness by using one cup of unsweetened condensed milk and two sweetened condensed milk. The recipe says to use three sweetened condensed milk, but that leaves it too sweet for my taste. I Love sweet desserts but I don’t like a dessert where the sweetness overpowers the true flavors of the dessert. This is a lemon pie so the wow factor should be the lemon not the lingering taste of the sweetness. It should be a balanced between the lemon and the sugar. I will definitely make it again but make a few changes. That is what is great about this recipe, you can add your own touches.
Ok… I made this 5 times already since Dec. of 2018. And this is what works best for me:
• 2 ½ cups crushed graham crackers
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (Same)
• 1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk ( Way Less than 2 cans of condensed milk). I cut this by 50%! The original recipe says 3 cups! Way too sweet!
• 3 egg yolks (use 4 egg yolks if you want a denser filling) I made it with both and it doesn’t change the taste, just the consistency.
• 3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (from 4 – 5 lemons). This is perfect for me. I’ve used 1 cup too, but it is more on the tart side. I stick to the 3/4 cups of lemon juice. Original recipe lacks lemon flavor in my opinion.
• 1 tbsp of Vanilla (I added this)
• 1 tbsp of Lemon Zest (I added this)
• 1/8 tsp of sea salt or kosher salt (this sound about a pinch to me)
I’m going to follow this! Thanks for the detail. I can tell this is way too much sweet versus the star that is the lemon!
With your adjustments to the original recipe, how long do you bake it and at what temperature?
I made this yesterday, very good! And the whipped topping the Best! It is sweet, you only need one piece.
It IS sweet but delicious! I’ve made this pie several times and have had a request for the recipe each time I’ve given it to others. YUMMY! Plus super easy to make.
Everyone loved it! The lemon flavor was amazing and refreshing! We put a few blueberries on top of the whipped cream, it was delicious! We followed the recipe with 27 squares of graham cracker, I wonder if they mean to say 27 of the small rectangles, we had a lot of crust so we took some out, we even used the 9 inch pie plate like it said. We will definitely make it again!!!
I’m wondering if anyone has made it in the mini pie pans and if so, how long to bake for? I thought it would be nice to make some smaller sized.
Also, I’ve made this several times and love it but now I’m wondering if I should try it with less sweetened condensed milk- does it throw off the proportion of filing with less milk or not really? I want to serve for thanksgiving so do t want to fuss with it too much!
How many days in advance can I make this pie? Another words how many days is it good.
Hi Jana, this pie can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator.
Easy recipe to follow however I think it was almost too sweet to enjoy. I love the lemon flavor but it gets almost lost due to the sweetness being too overpowering. I will attempt to make this again soon without as much sweetened condensed milk.