Is it just me, or has it been a really long winter this year? How many days has it been gloomy and overcast? How many days has the wind been whipping through the trees, across your cheeks, and into your bones? How many times has it snowed this year?!
I've been praying for relief since the end of January. But then the groundhog saw his shadow. And I almost wept bitterly.
But you know what? It's all ok because...
SPRING IS ALMOST HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's almost time for taking long walks on sunny days, picking fresh flowers, feeling the green grass under my toes. My friends, it's almost time for the earth to come alive again! I can't tell you how excited I am for longer days and trees with green leaves on them!
This has been the theme of my thoughts lately. On Friday afternoon, I spotted a beautiful pink pie pan in my lovely friend Ms. Kenna's office. And like any mature person, I rhapsodized over the beauty of the dish and begged her to tell me where she got it. She coyly smiled at me and told me that she'd make a bet with me: if I could put something wonderful and worthy of her affections into that pie pan, I would get to keep the dish.
Folks, this is a no-brainer: I am a college student. I'm all about the free stuff.
Ms. Kenna loves the warm weather more than I do, so I knew I had to put something in that dish to remind her of the beautiful sunshine she loves so much. And what says sunshine more than the taste of fresh lemons?
I think you know where this is going--I made a lemon icebox pie.
Have you heard of the wonder that is lemon icebox? I think it might be more of a Southern thing. I've lived in the South all my life, so sometimes I just assume that everybody has heard of things like lemon icebox. But as I was making this pie, all of my friends from the North kept asking me what on earth lemon icebox pie was. I was astounded!
If you've never had lemon icebox, this is going to rock your world! It's super easy, and even more delicious. The fresh lemon flavor reminds me of the fun times to be had in the warmer weather. This pie will be a staple for all of your cookouts and potlucks this summer! Add a homemade graham cracker crust, and people will grovel at your feet.
Lemon Icebox Pie (serves 8-10)
*Click here for a printer-friendly version of this recipe*
For the crust:
- 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, or juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and the sugar. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a saucepan and add to the crumb mixture, stirring until everything is moist (if you need to add butter or graham cracker crumbs to achieve your desired consistency, that's fine--these numbers are a starting point for you). Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a pie pan with your palm or the back of a spoon. Set aside, and make pie filling.
Whip up the filling:
Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat at a medium speed until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the crust, and smooth the surface. Place the pie into a refrigerator (this the where the "icebox"comes in!), and let it sit overnight or at least 8 hours. Keep the pie chilled until ready to serve.
My friends, give this recipe a try. Like I said, it's SUPER simple, and it's just so flavorful! You'll wonder how you lived life without it.
As for the pie pan? I got to keep it. Life is good.
Not-so-patiently awaiting warmer temperatures,
P.S. Here's a fun trick: if you heat your lemons in the microwave for about 15 seconds, they'll give you a little more juice. Try it out!