Lemon Butter Pie

lemon butter pie, with bite taken

Lemon butter pie just might be the sweetest discovery of summer ~ an easy almost-no-bake icebox pie with big lemon flavor and a texture you just have to taste to believe!

lemon butter pie in a glass pie dish with fork

lemon butter pie is a winning combination of flavors

Go ahead, find a better combo than creamy lemon and crumbly graham cracker crumbs, I dare you! Take it from me when I tell you this pie is the best! I should have some credibility here, I’ve created hundreds of lemon recipes and I know my citrus! I rarely pressure you to make something, but I’m pressuring now ~ this is one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten.

Lemon Butter Pie sliced on a napkin with fork

why’s it called lemon butter pie?

Well, it contains a lot of butter, for sure. And the texture is dense and rich ~ unlike any lemon pie you’ve had before, I’m guessing. The whole thing is served super cold, even frozen if you like, so lemon butter is an apt name. If you think you might like a lighter lemon pie, try my Lemon Icebox Pie instead.

lemon butta pie

I was inspired by the Lemon Butta Pie from the small Detroit based company Lush Yummies Pie Co. Their pies have caught the eye of both Oprah and Martha and as far as I can tell they are always sold out! I thought I’d try my hand at recreating one and I’ve nailed it.

Make it, stash it in the fridge and forget about it for several hours (as if that were possible!) Then slice into the cool silky lemony perfection and serve a slice to yourself, or maybe share with your very very very best buddies. Alternatively you can freeze the pie and serve it straight from frozen. This is special, y’all.

making a graham cracker crust

5 pantry ingredients for the perfect lemon butter pie

My creamy lemon filling is based on a classic French lemon pastry cream that my friends at food52 slightly adapted from Tartine. Dorie Greenspan shares a similar recipe from Pierre Herme in her Baking from My Home to Yours. I’ve adjusted the recipe a bit to be more user friendly for a casual summer pie.

  • lemon juice
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • butter
  • graham crackers
Pouring lemon butter filling into a graham cracker crumb crust

how is lemon cream different from lemon curd?

Lemon cream takes basic lemon curd and makes it lighter, fluffier, and, yes, more buttery. But the intense lemon flavor remains, which is a huge win win. Butter is blended into slightly cooled curd, bit by bit. The butter never fully melts, and so when it chills in the pie crust the resulting texture is like…lemon butter!

temperature is important for making lemon cream

You will need an instant read thermometer for this recipe. You’ll want to know when the hot lemon curd cools just enough: to 140F. This temp is the magic spot where the butter will incorporate into the curd perfectly, without melting too much, or too little.

Lemon butter pie, with fork, in pie plate

how to store and serve your lemon butter pie

You’ll store your pie in the refrigerator or in the freezer. It will last a week refrigerated, and 3 months (well wrapped) in the freezer.

This pie is unusual in that it tastes equally great straight from the fridge or from the freezer, it just depends on your taste. I like it both ways, but I think the freezer wins by a nose. The texture is like ice cream! Note: you may want to let the pie sit at room temperature for a bit before serving from the freezer if it has been in more than a couple of hours. 10 minutes should do it.

lemon butter pie with graham cracker crust, sliced

lemon desserts rule!

lemon butter pie, with bite taken
Print
5 from 15 votes

Lemon Butter Pie

Lemon butter pie just might be the best discovery of the summer ~ an easy (almost) no-bake icebox pie with huge lemon flavor and a texture you just have to taste to believe!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
chilling 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Calories 344kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • shallow 9 1/2 inch pyrex or metal pie plate, you want something that can go in the freezer if you plan to freeze your pie.
  • instant read thermometer
  • silicone whisk and spoonula are very handy but optional

Ingredients

crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted

lemon butter filling

  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut in 1 tablespoon sized pieces. The butter should be firm but not cold. Room temperature is good.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a shallow 9 inch pie dish.
  • Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter. I find this works best if I use my fingers. Once it's all combined and evenly moistened, gently press it into your pie dish. Don't worry about messy edges, one of the charms of this lemon pie is the ragged crumb crust.
  • Bake the pie crust for 8 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  • To make the lemon butter filling put the lemon juice, eggs and yolk, and sugar into a medium sized heavy saucepan. Whisk everything together well.
  • Heat, whisking or stirring constantly, over medium to medium high heat until the mixture thickens and reaches 180F. I like to use a silicone whisk and spoonula for this job because it makes it easy to scrape the pan completely as the curd cooks. Note: if you haven't made curd or egg thickened sauces or puddings before you may want to stick to medium heat.
  • Push the lemon curd through a strainer to remove any stray lumps of egg. Stir to cool the curd to 140F (this won't take long.)
  • Transfer to a food processor and turn the machine on. Add the pieces of butter, one at a time, letting each incorporate before adding the next.
  • Turn the creamy lemon into your pie crust and spread out evenly. Refrigerate the pie for at least several hours before serving. If you would like a firmer consistency you can pop the pie in the freezer.
  • Serve the pie cold, or even frozen. If serving straight from the freezer you may want to let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes or so to soften a bit.

Cook’s notes

Why do I recommend using a silicone whisk and spoonula? Silicone is flexible, and so gets to every nook and cranny of your pan when you’re thickening sauces, puddings, curds, and custards.

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 287mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 813IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
lemon butter pie pin 2

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24 Comments

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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    CathyAnn
    July 29, 2022 at 10:12 am

    This looks delicious! Any suggestions on using another flavor besides lemon? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 29, 2022 at 11:46 am

      You can theoretically use anything that can be made into a curd, so yes, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lime, rhubarb or even cranberry. I would use this recipe and substitute the appropriate juice. Keep in mind oranges and other sweet fruit won’t give you that wonderful tang.

  • Reply
    Andrea D.
    July 29, 2022 at 10:11 am

    I can’t wait to make this pie! I’m also going to make some individual ones, too. My daughter has a summer bridal shower, and these would be perfect to serve.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 29, 2022 at 11:48 am

      Sounds like a fun idea. I saw the Lemon Butta Pie lady on a news show making it as little parfait cups. That would be cute and easy to serve.

  • Reply
    Terry
    July 29, 2022 at 8:38 am

    Hi Sue! Lemons are prohibitively expensive here- $ 1+ each. Do you think I could bottled juice, or substitute oranges instead? Thanks, and have a great weekend!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 29, 2022 at 9:01 am

      To be honest I wouldn’t use it, I don’t think it would be worth the trouble to make the pie with bottled juice. I think I used 2 lemons for my pie, fyi. And why are lemons so expensive??

      • Reply
        Terry
        July 29, 2022 at 11:11 am

        Thanks for the quick reply! I believe they’re so costly due to transportation costs. Limes & avocados same price as lemons.
        About using oranges…?
        Thanks again!

        • Reply
          Sue Moran
          July 29, 2022 at 11:49 am

          You can use oranges but you won’t get the tangy aspect of this pie, which you kid of need to offset the richness of all that butter. You might add a bit of lemon to perk it up.

          • Terry
            July 29, 2022 at 2:31 pm

            Great idea! Thanks so much (again), & have a wondrous weekend. Me? I’m staying in, windows closed. My small city just doubled + for one of Canada’s premiere country music festivals. The beer garden sound stage is aimed towards town so we’re hearing that music noon-2:30 am. Too bad it’s not the main stage. I’d gladly open my windows for the evening performances ?

  • Reply
    Jess
    July 29, 2022 at 8:36 am

    5 stars
    Perfect dessert for summertime! Immediately defrosting the lemon juice I have in my freezer to make this!

    • Reply
      Terry
      July 29, 2022 at 8:41 am

      Oops! Should read… USE bottled juice. Some days ?

  • Reply
    Patricia
    July 29, 2022 at 8:35 am

    5 stars
    Oh my! This looks amazing! Based on some of your other pie recipes I’ve tried (your cranberry pie is the bomb!) I cannot wait to try this!

  • Reply
    Vicky
    July 29, 2022 at 8:26 am

    5 stars
    You had me at no bake and had me again at lemon. There is nothing like the flavor of lemon in a cool dessert for a hot summer day! Yum!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 29, 2022 at 9:04 am

      You’re gonna thank me for this one Vicky.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    July 29, 2022 at 8:10 am

    This lemon butter pie looks incredibly smooth and delicious! I happen to have a bunch of lemons to use — cannot wait to make it!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 29, 2022 at 8:14 am

      Lemon are so expensive these days, but I can’t think of a better use 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy
    July 29, 2022 at 8:06 am

    5 stars
    Oh wow. I always love lemon desserts (they just SCREAM summer) and this one looks so creamy and refreshing. And I will never say no to a graham cracker crust!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 29, 2022 at 8:08 am

      I thought about using a different kind of crumb but ultimately decided that graham crackers rule 🙂

  • Reply
    Andrea
    July 29, 2022 at 7:53 am

    5 stars
    I’ve never heard of this. It looks so creamy and delicious, I’m making one right away!

  • Reply
    Susan
    July 29, 2022 at 7:38 am

    Hi Sue,
    I made your microwave lemon curd (DELICIOUS) and want to know since I had a lot leftover and I froze it, can I defrost it and then proceed with your recipe to make this delicious-looking pie?
    Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.
    Susan

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 29, 2022 at 7:52 am

      Great question Susan, and I think that should work! You would want to heat it to 140F first, before blending in the butter.

      • Reply
        Susan
        August 4, 2022 at 5:19 am

        Many thanks, Sue! I’ll give it a try and let you know how it turns out.

        Have a great day and keep all those delicious recipes coming!!?

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