Creamy Lemon Pie

Unbelievably creamy lemon pie is just like key lime pie with a lemon twist and toasty almond graham cracker crust. Made with 7 simple ingredients, you’ll appreciate the ease and simplicity of this refreshing dessert.

lemon pie in a glass pie dish with a slice removed

I wasn’t going to share my sunshine-sweet lemon pie recipe because it’s extremely similar to my key lime pie. It’s the same recipe but with lemon flavor, though I did alter it slightly to make up for the different juice. And the crust is made with toasty almonds instead of macadamia nuts. It’s pretty! And creamy! This chilled dessert will surely keep you cool. One slice certainly doesn’t compare to cooling off in actual pool– but is this a summertime sweet or what?

This is my favorite lemon pie recipe, no questions asked. You’ll love the delicious contrast between a salty sweet crunchy crust and smooth and tangy filling. Let’s dive in!

slice of lemon pie topped with whipped cream on a white plate with a fork

Video Tutorial

This is EASY Creamy Lemon Pie

  • 7 ingredients total
  • Filling is only 3 simple ingredients
  • You don’t need a mixer
  • From mixing bowl to oven in 20 minutes

3 Parts to Creamy Lemon Pie

  • 4 ingredient toasty almond graham cracker crust
  • 3 ingredient creamy lemon filling
  • fun toppings like whipped cream, meringue, almonds, and lemon slices

Graham Cracker Crust with an Upgrade

We’re not using our typical classic graham cracker crust– instead, we add almonds which take this dessert from good to out of this world delicious! We combine whole salty almonds, graham crackers, sugar, and a little melted butter to create the perfect sweet salty base for our creamy lemon filling.

I recommend using salted almonds to pair with the sweet/tangy lemon filling. You can even toast them in the oven before incorporating for another level of flavor. The crust won’t taste overly salty because there’s sugar in there as well, but it’ll have a super faint salted flavor. I guarantee you’ll only want to make graham cracker crust this way from now on. And I love how buttery and thick it is.

Use a food processor to process the nuts and graham crackers together, then add the sugar and butter to combine. You’ll pre-bake the crust for about 8 minutes, then pour the filling right in. No need to let it cool down. It’s quick and easy!

2 images of graham cracker crumbs in a food processor and crust mixture in a food processor

2 images of graham cracker crust in a glass pie dish and lemon pie filling in pie dish before baking

overhead image of lemon pie with whipped cream piping and lemon slices

Creamy Lemon Pie Filling

The flavor of today’s lemon filling reminds me of lemon curd and the filling for my lemon meringue pie and lemon bars, but it’s much creamier. We have the sweetened condensed milk to thank for that. We also add egg yolks for structure and fresh lemon juice for flavor. That’s it– only 3 basic ingredients that have big jobs to do. You won’t believe how silky smooth this filling is!

You’ll notice this recipe calls for 3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (as opposed to 1 cup of fresh lime juice used in key lime pie). This boggles my mind as you would think it’d be an easy swap from lime to lemon. The pie wouldn’t set up with 1 whole cup.


Made with only 7 ingredients, this pie is super quick– only 20 minutes of hands on time! The real waiting game (torture) comes afterwards when it has to cool down and then chill in the refrigerator. I like to serve this pie when it’s super cold, so I make it a day ahead of time and chill it overnight. If short on time, you can get away with only 1 hour in the refrigerator after it has completely cooled at room temperature.


Optional Garnishes

While delicious on it’s own, try garnishing your lemon pie! I used a star tip to pipe homemade whipped cream on top. Or try adding marshmallow meringue topping from my s’mores tartlets, a sprinkle of almonds, lemon zest, or slices of fresh lemons.

slice of lemon pie topped with whipped cream on a white plate

slice of lemon pie topped with whipped cream on a white plate with a fork

Print
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slice of lemon pie topped with whipped cream on a white plate

Creamy Lemon Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Deliciously cool and creamy lemon pie is the perfect summer dessert made with only 7 simple ingredients.


Ingredients

Graham Cracker Almond Crust

  • 9 (135g) full-sheet graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup (62g) salted almonds (I used roasted)
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, melted

Filling + Topping

  • 2 (14 ounce weight) cans full-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 4 large egg yolks*
  • garnish: lemon zest, lemon slices, almonds, whipped cream, or meringue topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers and almonds together into crumbs. A few larger pieces of nuts is OK! Pour into a medium bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter until combined. Press tightly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Pre-bake crust for 8 minutes. Leave oven on.
  3. Make the filling: Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and egg yolks together– or use an electric mixer. Pour into warm crust.
  4. Bake the pie for 18-21 minutes or until only *slightly* jiggly in the center. You want it mostly set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, cover and chill for at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days) before serving.
  5. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can prepare and pre-bake the crust up to 2-3 days in advance. Cover and store at room temperature. Likewise, you can mix up the filling up to 2-3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate, then assemble and bake. Freezes well up to 3 months– thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Graham Cracker Crust: If you purchase graham cracker crumbs, you need 1 and 1/4 cups in this recipe. Even though they are already crumbs, you can still pulse with the almonds. If you want to skip the almonds, use this graham cracker crust recipe instead.
  3. Leftover Egg Whites: Here are of my recipes with egg whites or you can make a meringue topping for the pie.

Keywords: creamy lemon pie, lemon pie

Here’s the recipe for key lime pie!

slices of key lime pie on silver plates with forks

156 Comments

  1. Hi Sally,

    I don’t have a regular sized pie pan. Can I use a springform pan instead? Also, if I wanted to make these in 4 mini pie pans, how long should I bake the crust for and how long should I continue baking with the filling inside?

    1. You can try a 9-inch springform pan instead. I’m unsure of the mini pie bake time and crust bake time without knowing the measurement or testing myself, so sorry!

  2. Yummy!!! This recipe is a keeper. So creamy and boy do we love lemon! Thank You. Can’t wait to make it for company! 

  3. Hi there Sally – I’ve never responded before today, but I HAD to tell you that I made this pie for a potluck at work, and the raves were amazing. Every person who ate said it was the best pie they had ever tasted! I had to agree. There is something about the tart lemon with the condensed milk that is simply a marriage of two ingredients. And the combination of graham crackers and almonds for the crust was such a delicious change to a regular graham cracker crust. Thank you, this was the best 🙂

  4. Ok- I’ve been wanting to make this since I saw the post and today it finally happened. OH. MY. CREAMY GOODNESS!!!!! So simple, so quick, and so lemony perfect!!! Move over key lime, there’s a new favourite citrus in town!

  5. Hi! Can I substitute the almonds with additional graham crackers instead?

    1. Hi Kate! You can use my graham cracker crust recipe instead.

  6. Becky Jumps says:

    HI, I only have 1 sweetened condensed and 1 evaporated can (far from a store) and want to make this tomorrow. Do you think that will work? Can I add some sugar?
    thanks
    Becky

    1. Hi Becky! Evaporated milk is not a suitable sub for the sweetened condensed milk. You’ll need an additional can of SCM.

  7. I’m curious to know how well this recipe would set up if made in bar form, instead of a pie??

    1. I think it would work well as bars!

  8. Can you make this recipe with low fat sweetened condensed milk?

    1. Hi Jude! The filling doesn’t set up as nicely using low fat.

  9. Beata Demczuk says:

    Perfect Filling and super easy! I had leftover crumbs from a different recipe so I didn’t make this crust only the filling. It was tart and not overly sweet and did I mention easy!

  10. I followed the recipe exactly, except I added a lot of lemon zest because I couldn’t really taste the lemon flavor using just the juice. Turned out really good!

  11. Hi Sally,
    How can you make this crust gluten-free? Would you advise gluten-free graham crackers or using almond flour instead?

    1. You can absolutely use gluten free graham crackers! Enjoy!

  12. Hi Sally, I saw on your key lime version of this pie today that you sometimes add a little cream cheese. Can I do that with this lemon pie, and if so how much? I want to try to recreate this creamy lemon pie with a hazelnut crust I had in Greece!

    1. Hey Lizzy! For extra stabilization, sometimes I add cream cheese to key lime pie, but that depends on the recipe. You could try adding 4 ounces of softened cream cheese to this lemon pie mixture. Beat it until smooth first, then beat in the remaining filling ingredients.

  13. This is a very easy recipe and very tasty. I’ve made it twice and gotten rave reviews. I’m about to make it again for a 4th of July picnic. I’ve been serving it with a blueberry compote and may add a strawberry garnish this time. Unsweetened whipped cream on the side. The almond graham crust is delicious and I will try it with other fillings. Thank you for making my friends and family happy and making me look like a star!!!

  14. This recipe is so creamy and delicious! Not too tart and not too sweet, it’s simply refreshing! I used Nilla wafers for the crust, as my kids are not fans of graham crackers, and it turned out great!

  15. this looks delicious! i can’t wait to make it. Also, are there any alternatives for gram crackers?

    1. Are you outside of the US? I hear digestive biscuits are the best alternative!

  16. Just made these into mini pies. Ok, they were more like your key lime mini pie recipe, but with this crust and with lemon juice. They were a big hit! Thank you!

  17. I just tried this pie for the first time and it is fantastic! I love the almonds in the crust. Recipe idea: If a thin layer of this lemon filling could be baked on top of a plain cheesecake that would be amazing!!! Thanks so much for a trusted place to find recipes for all my baking adventures!

  18. Brad Drewen says:

    This pie was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Can’t wait to try the key lime version.
    Is it possible to use pistachios in the crust? Just curious, not looking to change your recipe around, I – and my company – found it perfect. I just really like pistachios and I figure I’ll be making this recipe enough this summer to experiment a little.

    1. Yum! Yes, pistachios (salted or unsalted, your preference) would be great instead of the almonds in this crust.

      1. I actually used the pistachios in the crust for the Key Lime Pie. People loved the pie, but they RAVED about the crust. FYI – Didn’t immediately find the lime juice so I found out JUST how long it takes to juice an entire bag of key limes… About 45 minutes – and I STILL only had 2/3 cup. My wife found the key lime juice you recommended at the store and brought it home so we did a taste test between that and the fresh squeezed. We used the bottled juice as the fresh squeezed almost tasted a little more like grapefruit… Not just bitter but sour somehow.

  19. Regina Young says:

    My family new favorite

  20. This pie is amazing! Will definitely make again. It was fairly easy to do, and my 4 year old helped mix. I only had unsalted almonds so I added 1/4 teaspoon salt to the crust, and it came out perfect. I liked the addition of almonds to make the crust texture more interesting. Lemon filling was smooth and creamy. I topped with Sally’s whipped cream. Whole family loved this.

  21. Victoria Ginsburg says:

    Hi Sally,
    I want to make this pie for a party but unfortunately some of my friends are allergic to almonds. Would it be ok to substitute them for salted peanuts?

    1. Hi Victoria! Use my regular graham cracker crust recipe instead of this crust recipe with the almonds.

  22. So easy to make and so creamy and tasty. Second time I made it I topped it with whipped cream and fresh blueberries and it was a winner with the family.

  23. Hi Sally, can I bake this with the meringue topping like a lemon meringue pie, or should I put the topping on after baking? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sarah, For the meringue topping linked above you can spread or pipe it onto your baked and cooled pie and then if you wish you can toast it lightly with a kitchen torch.

  24. I tried this recipe for the first time last week. It’s amazing! I entered it in an amateur pie baking contest yesterday and won third place in the creme pie category! Thanks very much for the recipe!
    So easy too make and simply, purely delicious! Just the right amount of tart; great crust with added richness from the almonds. Didn’t make any alterations (well, I did add a little lemon zest to the filling); followed the recipe pretty much as shown. Awesome!
    I’ll be checking out more of your recipes. 🙂 Thanks again, Sally!

  25. Absolutely amazing, Sally!!! Everything I was hoping for and more…..definitely making this again…. And again, and again! So deliciously creamy and smooth, crazy easy, and delicious – my family LOVED it! Thank you!

  26. I only have a 10” pie dish, can I do this recipe without any alterations?

    1. Absolutely. The pie will be a little thinner in a larger pan. The bake time should still be about the same, maybe a minute or 2 shorter.

  27. Thank you for this incredible recipe. I am planning to make it for a dinner party this weekend. I live in Singapore and we do not have Graham Crackers over here, what can I use instead? Would digestive cookies work or do they have a completely different flavour?

    1. Hi Kay! From what I’ve heard, digestive biscuits/cookies work as an excellent substitute for graham crackers in crusts.

  28. How do you think the liquid conversion might go for using fresh squeezed orange juice instead of lemon juice?

    1. Yes! Same amount. You may want to add a small pinch of salt since you’ll lose the tartness from lemon.

  29. I have tried several of your lemon recipes and this one is by far the best one yet! Incredibly simple!!! I got many compliments and it hasn’t been 2 hours and the whole thing is gone! I am trying your key lime pie version next!

    1. My daughter made this and we really enjoyed it. She made a second pie using coffee instead of lemon juice & it was amazing!!! (But took longer to bake)

  30. After debating between this and the lemon meringue pie, I made this one. It’s very easy and the flavor is awesome!!! Great recipe.

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