Sarah Lange’s Lemon Ice Box Pie from The Hart and The Hunter has a lemon semifreddo filling topped with an Italian meringue.
Find the recipe below, and click here to enter YOUR delicious pie (or pies) in the 5th Annual Good Food Pie Contest on Saturday, September 7th at LACMA.
Lemon Ice Box Pie photo courtesy Cathy Chaplin at gastronomyblog.com.
I have to admit, I had little experience with lemon ice box pie before The Hart and The Hunter chefs Kris and Brian brought the idea to my attention. I had made lemon meringue pie with lemon curd and flaky pie crust but never this close cousin with sweetened condensed milk and graham cracker crust. I also had no idea if “ice box” referred to a fridge or freezer, so I was up in the air between a chilled custard or a frozen mousse. I tested a few variations, and we finally decided to go with a lemon semifreddo filling topped with Italian meringue that we brulée to order. It’s the perfect cool and tangy finale to butter biscuits and shrimp and grits.
Lemon Ice Box Pie
(From Sarah Lange of The Hart and The Hunter)
Graham Cracker Crust
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine all the ingredients and evenly press the mixture into the sides and bottom of a 10” spring form pan. Chill.
Lemon Semifreddo Filling
¾ cups heavy cream, chilled
2/3 cups sweetened condensed milk
Zest of 2 lemons
5 egg yolks
½ cups sugar
¾ cups lemon juice
Pinch of salt
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly pour in the condensed milk. Mix until firm peaks form. Fold in the lemon zest, and transfer the cream to another bowl to chill. Wash the mixer bowl for the next step.
Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk in the sugar, lemon juice, and salt by hand. Set bowl over large saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until yolk mixture is thick and fluffy and instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 170°F, about 4 minutes. Remove bowl from over simmering water and transfer to stand mixer. Beat mixture until cool, thick, and doubled in volume, about 6 minutes. Fold lemon mixture into chilled whipped cream mixture and pour into the graham crust. Freeze for at least 2-3 hours before adding meringue topping.
Italian Meringue Topping
4 egg whites (120 g)
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
Pinch of cream of tarter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup and cook over moderately high heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 240 degrees, or soft ball stage.
Immediately start whipping the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add the pinches of salt and cream of tarter and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and pour the sugar syrup down the side of the mixer bowl into the meringue in a slow, steady stream.
Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip until the meringue cools to room temperature and holds a stiff peak, about 10 minutes. (Meringue must be completely cool or it will shrink in the freezer.) Add vanilla and whip to incorporate. Spread meringue over frozen lemon pie in a decorative pattern. Chill pie for at least 6 more hours or overnight.
Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue before serving.