Citrusy condensed milk lemon pie is sweet, tangy, and unbelievably creamy. Made with 6 simple ingredients and a classic graham cracker crust, the lemon pie recipe uses fresh lemon juice and zest for the ultimate lemon flavor. A true delight!
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Easy lemon pie with condensed milk
This sunny citrus treat combines 2 of my favorite things, tangy lemons and yummy condensed milk. The result is a creamy lemon pie that features the lush texture of key lime pie and the bright aroma of lemons.
Condensed milk lemon pie is a refreshing summer dessert and a wonderful addition to any holiday pie spread. Baked in a crunchy crust and topped with puffs of fluffy whipped cream, your family will devour it!
The recipe is super easy and straightforward, and you only need 6 ingredients! Still, I must warn you: The pie needs to cool and firm up before you can dig in, and the waiting time is torturous. It’s worth it, though, as you’ll be rewarded with the most delicious slice of lemon pie!
And for a version with fluffy meringue, try my easy lemon meringue pie.
In this post, I’m sharing lots of tips and tricks to make the best baked lemon pie. If you just want the recipe, click here for the recipe card or tap the Jump-To-Recipe button atop this page.
For other amazing lemon treats, be sure to check out our lemon chocolate chip cookies, lemon donuts, and lemon banana bread.
The ingredients in this lovely condensed milk lemon pie are super easy to find and come together most deliciously. Scroll to the printable recipe card for ingredient amounts.
Frist up is the crunchy graham cracker crust, which is the perfect sweet-salty base for the creamy lemon pie filling.
- Graham crackers: You’ll need 11 full-sheet graham crackers. Place the crackers into a large zip-top bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Or process the graham crackers in a food processor into fine crumbs.
- Sugar: 1/4 cup granulated (white) sugar adds a touch of sweetness.
- Butter: I like to use 6 tablespoons salted butter, but unsalted butter + 1/4 tsp salt works, too.
- Tip: While I love making my own graham cracker crust from scratch, please feel free to buy a pre-made pie crust to save time.
Lemon pie filling
The lemon filling is silky smooth and reminds me of lemon curd and my creamy lemon bars. It consists of these 3 ingredients:
- Sweetened condensed milk provides sweetness and makes the filling extra creamy and smooth. You need two 14-oz cans.
- Lemon juice + zest: This condensed milk lemon pie gets its intense citrus flavor from 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 tbsp lemon zest.
- Egg yolks The recipe calls for 6 large egg yolks. They stabilize the filling and create a bright yellow color. Save the whites for meringue cookies.
Although creamy lemon pie is undoubtedly delicious on its own, try to dress it up. Pipe swirls of whipped cream onto your pie and garnish it with lemon slices and a sprinkle of lemon zest. Or cover the pie under a fluffy blanket of meringue topping.
- 9 in / 23 cm deep-dish pie pan (The filling is enough to fill 2 regular 9 in pie dishes as well.)
- citrus zester, cheese grater, or microplane
- citrus juicer or lemon reamer
- measuring cups + spoons or digital kitchen scale
- 3 mixing bowls (2 large, 1 medium)
- electric mixer or whisk to mix by hand
Prepare your lemons
The taste of this condensed milk lemon pie begins with good-quality lemons. Look for organic lemons that are yellow and firm but give slightly under pressure. The fruits should be free of soft spots and blemishes.
Tip: Store your lemons in the refrigerator, not the counter, and they will last longer and taste better.
How to zest lemons
To make your life easier, be sure to zest the lemons before squeezing the juice. It’s almost impossible to zest squeezed-out lemons.
- Tool: Use a citrus zester, microplane, of the smallest hole of a cheese grater.
- Zest: Frist, wash your lemons thoroughly. Then position your garter or zester over a plate and run the lemon up and down over the surface to scrape off the yellow skin. Lastly, flip your grater over and clean out the lemon rind on the backside.
- Pith: Stop zesting when you get to the white part of the lemon, the pith, because it tastes bitter.
How to juice lemons
It takes a moment to juice the lemons, but it’s totally worth it. After zesting the lemons, follow my tips below to get as much juice out of your fruit as you can.
- Heat: Put the lemons in a microwave-friendly bowl and warm for 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave. Doing this helps to release juices from the membranes inside the fruit.
- Roll: Using the palm of your hand, roll each lemon firmly against the kitchen counter (or another flat, hard surface) for a few seconds.
- Juice: Cut each lemon in half. Use a citrus juicer to extract as much liquid as possible. If working with a lemon reamer, put a bowl underneath to catch the juices.
How to make condensed milk lemon pie
Condensed milk lemon pie is super quick and easy, with just 30 minutes hands-on time. The hardest part comes after baking when it has too cool and chill in the fridge. Here’s how to make creamy lemon pie step-by-step:
Step 1: Preheat oven
Adjust a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
Step 2: Mix the crust
Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter into a mixing bowl and stir until moistened and well combined.
Step 3: Fill the pan
Transfer the crumb mixture into a 9-in / 23 cm deep-dish pie pan. Press the crumbs tightly into the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish. Set aside.
Step 4: Mix filling
Mix filling. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a large mixing bowl and add the egg yolks and lemon zest. Whisk to combine. Add the lemon juice and whisk vigorously until well combined and you no longer see any juice. The lemon juice will thicken the condensed milk.
Step 5: Bake
Pour the lemon filling into the prepared pie crust. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. The lemon pie is done when the edges are set and only slightly jiggly in the center.
Step 6: Cool & refrigerate
Remove the pie from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Once cool, cover the pan and refrigerate until firm for at least 3 hours before serving. 5 to 6 hours or overnight is ideal, and you can chill the pie for up to 3 days.
Step 7: Garnish (optional)
Decorate the pie as desired. I dressed up my pie with puffs of whipped cream, lemon slices, a sprinkle of lemon zest, and sliced almonds.
Step 8: Serve
Slice the pie into 10 to 12 pieces and serve cold. Enjoy!
Tips for the best lemon pie
Zingy, creamy, fresh, and delicious, lemon pie with condensed milk delivers big flavor! Check out my tips and tricks for the best lemon pie. Each will help to make your pie a success!
- Pan size: The recipe makes a lot of filling, and you need a deep-dish 9-in / 23 cm pie pan. A 10-in / 25 cm pie dish is fine as well.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice: Squeeze your own lemon juice for the best flavor. Bottled lemon juice just doesn’t taste as genuine and bright.
- Full-fat condensed milk: You defiantly need thick, full fat condensed milk for the creamiest filling. Low fat sweetened condensed milk is too liquid and not suitable for this recipe.
- Room temperature ingredients: To ensure the lemon filling mixes up well, have your egg yolks at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before making the pie.
- Refrigerate the pie: It’s hard, I know, but condensed milk lemon pie must be refrigerated for the filling to set properly. Unless you serve it right away, store it in the fridge.
Whether you want to serve your lemon pie made with condensed milk with a topping or tweak the recipe to better fit your preferences, I have some tasty suggestions:
- Meyer lemons: Got a basket full of Meyer lemons? Go ahead and use them! The softer, fruitier lemon aroma is absolutely perfect for this lemon pie using condensed milk.
- Stronger lemon flavor: Replace 1/4 cup condensed milk with an additional 1/4 cup lemon juice for an even stronger lemon aroma.
- Lime pie: Replace some or all of the lemon juice + zest with the same amount of lime juice + zest.
- Other citrus: In fact, you can swap in any citrus fruit of your choice. Blood oranges and grapefruits are really delicious options.
- Different crust: If you’re not a fan of graham crackers, substitute any other cookie crumbs you have, like digestive biscuits, nilla wafers, shortbread cookies, or golden Oreos.
How to store condensed milk lemon pie
Keep the lemon pie well-covered in the refrigerator. It’s best to enjoy it within 5 to 7 days of making. I like to cover my pie dish loosely with tented foil to not squish the whipped cream. Avoid plastic wrap as water condenses more with plastic wrap than aluminum foil.
Can you freeze condensed milk lemon pie?
Yes, you can freeze lemon pie with sweetened condensed milk. The filling firms up, but still isn’t too hard. Frozen lemon pie is especially nice on hot, stuffy days. Once the pie has cooled to room temperature, cover it with foil and freeze it for up to 3 months.
Ideally, freeze the pie right in the baking pan and omit the whipped cream topping. When you’re ready to eat, let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes before cutting and serving it. Alternatively, thaw overnight in the fridge.
Making condensed milk lemon pie ahead of time
This lemon pie recipe with condensed milk is perfect for making 1 day in advance as it needs time to chill and set up anyway. You can also prepare the crumb crust up to 3 days ahead of time. Likewise, the lemon filling can be made 2 to 3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate both, then assemble the pie and bake.
My Mom used to make this pie! I’ve made as an adult and it’s very easy to make! I prefer it to key lime pie.
Thank you so much, James! Mom’s pies are the best, aren’t they? So glad you enjoyed this recipe.
Could you make two smaller pies with this recipe? My husband is lactose intolerant and I could split the recipe using one reg cons milk and one lactose free?
Hi Julie! Yes, you can make 2 smaller pies with this recipe. The filling is designed for a deep-dish pie, and should be enough for 2 regular pie pans. Happy baking!
This ad blocked much of the recipe I wanted to save. Not happy about that at all!
Hi Patricia! Sorry to hear you didn’t have a great experience on our site. We will look into this and hope you try the pie!
A bit too sweet. Id half the amount of sugar or forgo it all together. Could be that my lemons were sweeter than intended.
Thank you for trying our recipe and sharing your feedback! The 1/4 cup sugar in the crust helps to stabilize the crust, but you can omit it if you find it too sweet.
I think yourcwhipped cream recipe may have a tyoe-o. Should it be 3 Tablespoons of sugar rather than cups? Seems just…a bit sweet.
It’s 1/3 cup. Thank you so much for catching that, Becky!