This no-bake lemon pie is a classic for a reason. It’s extra fluffy and nicely tart. The original recipe came from the back of a can of sweetened condensed milk. I swapped the bottled juice for fresh and replaced the whipped topping with whipped cream. The result is a creamy-dreamy lemon pie. You only need four ingredients to make it and about 15 minutes. (Remember: the pie needs to chill for at least four hours before serving.)
And if you love lemon pies, try my creamy lemon pie recipe. That recipe uses eggs and requires baking. It’s not fluffy like this one. Instead, it’s dense and creamy with a great lemon flavor.
Ingredients You Need to Make a No-Bake Lemon Pie
You need four ingredients for this pie filling: cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, condensed milk, and whipped cream. That’s it. (And, yes, I consider lemon juice and zest one ingredient.)
- Cream Cheese. For a smooth and creamy filling, use softened cream cheese. The softer the better. If the cream cheese is cold, the filling turns out lumpy. Regular (full-fat) cream cheese gives this pie the best texture.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk. The sweetness comes from condensed milk. Don’t confuse this with evaporated milk. Sweetened condensed milk contains sugar and has a creamy, almost caramel-like flavor.
- Lemon Zest and Juice. You need a teaspoon of lemon zest and half-cup of lemon juice for this recipe. That’s about the zest of one lemon and the juice of 6 medium lemons. If you don’t have fresh lemons, bottled juice works great.
- Whipped Cream. The original recipe called for whipped topping. I found that made the pie too sweet. Unsweetened whipped cream lends the pie a fluffy texture and a really lovely richness. Use cream labeled “heavy cream” or “whipping cream”. Fat-free cream does not work.
The Crust: graham cracker or pastry crust. It’s up to you!
To keep this pie easy, I like to use a store-bought graham cracker crust. If you prefer the texture and flavor of a pastry crust, use it. Bake the pastry crust and allow it to cool before filling. If the crust is warm, the filling will deflate. (Same goes for a homemade graham cracker crust. If you bake it, let it cool before making the filling.)
How to Make a No Bake Lemon Pie.
- Whip the Cream. Start by whipping the heavy cream. This way it’s ready to fold into the filling. To do this, place cold heavy cream into a small mixing bowl. Whip the cream on high speed until it’s thick and fluffy. This takes about a minute or so.
- Mix the Filling. Grab a large mixing bowl. Combine the softened cream cheese with the sweetened condensed milk and lemon zest. Mix until smooth and creamy. I like to use a handheld mixer for this. If you see lumps, press them out with a rubber spatula.
By the way, after you whip the cream, you don’t need to stop and wash the mixer blades. You can simply mix the filling, even if there’s a little cream clinging to them. (Of course, if you licked them, wash them before using. Heh.)
- Add the Whipped Cream. Don’t stress about folding in the cream. Use your mixer for this step. Simply add all the cream, turn your mixer to low, and mix until fluffy. That’s it!
- Chill the Pie. Spread the filling into the pie shell and then chill for at least four hours.
No-Bake Lemon Pie.
This no-bake lemon pie is a classic for a reason. It’s extra fluffy and nicely tart, The original recipe came from the back of a can. I simply swapped the bottled juice for fresh and replaced the whipped topping with whipped cream. The result is a creamy-dreamy lemon pie. To make it, you only need four ingredients and about 15 minutes. (Remember: the pie needs to chill for at least four hours before serving.)
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- zest of 1 lemon, about two teaspoons
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
Whip the heavy cream in a small bowl until thick and medium peaks form.
In a separate bowl, combine the soft cream cheese, lemon zest, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth. Add the lemon juice. Mix until creamy. Stop the mixer. Add the whipped heavy cream. Blend on low speed to combine.
Spread filling into crust. Chill for 4 hours or overnight.
Cream cheese: To avoid lumps in the filling, use softened cream cheese. I