Welcome, Summer!! Today is the first day of summer and what better way to celebrate than with a cool and refreshing pie. And you don't even have to turn on the oven to make this pie! When I was growing up, my mother used to make my grandmother's Icebox Pie in the summertime. It was such a refreshing treat on hot summer nights. I wanted to make the recipe for my own family this summer but I wanted to tweak it to make it a little healthier than the original, at least as healthy as a dessert can be. :) The original recipe calls for lemon jello but I wanted to replace that artificial ingredient with real lemon and lime juice. I also reduced the sugar that the recipe called for from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup. And lastly, like any good southern cook, my grandmother's recipe called for plenty of butter for the graham cracker crust. I chose to use 6 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of water in place of the 8 tablespoons of butter that were called for. I was really happy with how this recipe turned out. So light and refreshing! I made it for my Dad on Father's Day and he loved it! And since the original recipe was his mom's, I'd say that the redesign of this one was a success.
Lemon Lime Icebox Pie
Graham cracker crust:
2 packages of low-fat Graham crackers, crushed
6 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. water
8 oz. Neufchâtel cheese (1/3 less fat than cream cheese), softened
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice, 1 large lemon
1/4 c. lime juice, 3 small limes
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 12 oz. can fat-free evaporated milk
Before making the pie, shake the can of evaporated milk well and put in the freezer for 2 hours.
To make the crust:
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, then stir in 2 tablespoons of water. Crush the graham crackers. Stir in the melted butter and water into the crush crackers until throughly combined. Immediately pour the cracker and butter mixture into a lightly sprayed 9x13 pan. Press the crust firmly into the bottom of the pan. Set aside until the filling is prepared.
To make the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Next, juice the lemon and limes into a measuring cup. Pour the 1/2 cup of fresh citrus juice into a small saucepan. Add the cornstarch and stir together. Heat the mixture over a medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Just as the mixture starts to bubble, it will quickly thicken up. That is why it is important to stir it constantly, otherwise you might get lumps. Once the mixture starts to thicken, remove it from the heat, still stirring. Continue to stir for another minute or so, off the heat, allowing the mixture to cool slightly. Then drop spoonfuls of the thickened juice to the cream cheese mixture in the mixing bowl. Blend the thickened juice into the cream cheese, spoonful at a time at a medium speed. Once all the juice and cream cheese is blended together completely, scrape it out of the mixing bowl and transfer to another bowl.
Wash the mixing bowl well, rinse it with cold water to chill the bowl, then dry it completely. Take the time to wash the bowl because like beating egg whites, you want to have a clean and dry bowl to whip the milk in. Whip up the milk just before added the cream cheese mixture. If the whipped milk sits for too long before incorporating the other ingredients, then it will lose the air and the peaks will fall. Remove the evaporated milk from the freezer, shake it well and pour into the mixing bowl. Beat the milk at high speed for about 2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Reduce the speed to medium and continue mixing. Add the cream cheese and juice mixture spoonful at a time, until all of it is added to the whipped milk. Beat a little longer until the mixtures are combined well. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.
The pie is delicious served as it is or you can add some fresh blueberries on top of each piece for another delicious way to enjoy it!
A piece of pie with blueberries and beautiful roses that my children picked for me today. :)
Nutritional information per serving:
5 g. fat
2 g. saturated fat
14 mg. cholesterol
130 mg. sodium
22 g. carbohydrates
1 g. fiber
13 g. sugar
2 g. protein