Grammy’s Lemon Cream Pie

When I called my Grammy to ask for the recipe for the fabulous Lemon Cream Pie she bakes every Easter, I expected her to reach for a classic cookbook or a magazine article she’d clipped. Little did I suspect that the source of this luscious, citrusy lemon-lover’s dream was a 1960s cream cheese package.

To be specific, this Lemon Cream Pie recipe (or rather, my Grammy’s inspiration for it—as with any experienced baker, she’s made her own changes over the years) hails from a 1960s cream cheese cookbook pamphlet my Grammy received by mailing in a coupon clipped from the back of her cream cheese package. Decades later, her family still sits down to devour Lemon Cream Pie.

The pamphlet, titled Philly Pies, contained about 10 cream cheese pie recipes total, and while I’m not sure which other ones my Grammy may have sampled over the years, today’s no bake lemon cream cheese pie is the one that has earned a place in our Easter tradition.

  • 1/2 recipe Darn Good Whole Wheat Pie Crust (enough for 1 deep, 9-inch pie)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
  • 12 ounces reduced fat cream cheese*, softened to room temperature

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Prepare the crust according to recipe directions, either halving the recipe (it yields enough for 2 crusts) or freezing the second crust for a later time. (I recommend making the recipe as written and freezing the second crust. It will be great to have on hand and your are going to the effort anyway, so you might as well enjoy twice the crust!)
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out the pie crust, then fit into a 9-inch wide pie plate that is 1 1/2 to 2-inches deep. Trim any overhang, then crimp the crust edges as desired. Line the crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper so that the foil/paper comes all the way up the sides of the dish and fits against the sides and bottom snugly. Fill the dish with dried beans or pie weights.
  3. Place in the preheated oven and bake until the edges are barely beginning to turn golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the foil/paper and weights, then return the crust to the oven and continue baking until the bottom looks dry and lightly golden and the edges have browned, about 5 to 8 additional minutes. The bottom of the crust will puff a little as it bakes, but it will deflate again once removed from the oven. Let cool completely.
  4. ................................

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