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Serve this irresistible No-Bake County Fair Lemon Pie on special occasions like Mother’s Day or a birthday or anytime you need an easy lemon dessert. This one will be the blue ribbon winner for sure…
This crudely constructed County Fair Lemon Pie recipe starts with freshly squeezed lemons and sugar. The light and creamy lemon filling gets a custard-like texture from the addition of sour cream and pairs well with a simple cookie crust. The fact that this recipe is no-bake is just a huge plus. The custard thickens up on the stove-top, so there’s no turning on the oven. It comes together quickly and easily, is bursting with pungent lemon flavor, and has a wonderfully creamy texture. I love that it’s chilled, as it makes the ideal finishing touch to a hot meal served off the grill. Serve this irresistible County Fair Lemon Pie on special occasions like Mother’s Day or a birthday or anytime you need an easy lemon dessert. This one will be the blue ribbon winner for sure…
The crust combines ground biscotti, brown sugar, and a little melted butter to bring it all together. Again, no baking required.
Homemade pie is a treat for everyone who gets to enjoy a slice. My family can’t get enough of this unbelievably delicious no-bake pie. Once the ingredients are prepped, the recipe itself comes together in under 15 minutes. The cruelty comes after it’s assembled when it must first cool down, then chill completely in the refrigerator. You’ll have this County Fair Lemon Pie on your mind until the moment you are able to slice into it.
The key to making the filling thicken properly is cornstarch and heat. This old-fashioned County Fair Lemon Pie is a legitimate ‘lemon lovers’ dessert.
Let’s talk crust for a minute. I use a traditional biscotti, whirled up in my food processor. Any hard cookie will work. If you like it on the sweeter side, Walkers Shortbread are a favorite of mine that I have used on the blog before, most recently in A Pear Tart with Shortbread Crust. And in a pinch, you can always fall back on a graham cracker crust. What I prefer about the biscotti is that it's a hard cookie that makes for a hard crumb that stands up without being too sweet. It’s a fantastic compliment to the conspicuously tart lemon. I prefer to leave my edges rough. My Grandmother almost always left her edges rough and un-prettied, so I do it, too. I am using her old pie dish to prepare this in today, and snapped a picture of it rustic charm, missing paint and all...
This pie is easily made ahead and topped with dollops of homemade whipped cream a few hours before serving. County Fair Lemon Pie holds up well in the refrigerator, but is best eaten within a day or two.
I ONLY advise using freshly squeezed lemon juice and the zest of those lemons in this recipe. Yes, it takes some time to prep the ingredients, and I get that. Good things in life take time. I have given this recipe out in the past and received feedback that “bottled lemon juice just didn’t do it.” I assure you that I would never give a recipe out knowing that somebody would immediately start substituting. Certainly not the main ingredient, anyway. I am sure to point out that the fresh lemons are not substitutable. Take the time, gather your fresh ingredients, buy a super yummy biscotti, and make this County Fair Lemon Pie with lots of love!
For the Biscotti Crust
- 2 3/4 cups biscotti, put through food processor to fine crumbs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
For the Lemon Custard Filling
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 5 egg yolks, beaten
- zest and juice of 5 lemons
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup freshly whipped and sweetened cream
- slices of fresh lemon
Prepare the Biscotti Crust
- Pulse the biscotti in a food processor until they are fine crumbs
- In a large bowl, mix together the biscotti crumbs, 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar. At this step, you may save 1/3 cup of the crust mixture aside if you plan to use them atop the finished pie later on. See my photo.
- Using a straight-edge measure cup or a drinking glass, press the biscotti mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 1/2 inch pie plate. Set aside.
Prepare the Lemon Custard Filling
- In a medium non-stick sauce pan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch.
- Turn heat on to medium and immediately whisk in milk, eggs, zest, juice and 1/2 cup butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir constantly being sure to 'scrape' the bottom of the sauce pan with each stir so that the liquid custard is not able to idle and scorch.
- Stir and scrape over medium heat until liquid custard thickens significantly, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Once custard is thickened, remove from heat and pour into a medium sized bowl to stop cooking process.
- Whisk in sour cream and continue to whisk until smooth.
- Pour lemon custard into prepared biscotti crust and refrigerate. The pie does not need to be covered with plastic wrap.
- Allow pie to chill at least 1 hour.
To Garnish and Serve
- If you have heavy whipping cream and can beat your own fresh whipped cream, do so. This rustic pie is gorgeous with a few stiff dolops of whipped cream and deserves fresh. If you saved aside some of the biscotti crust crumbles, sprinkle atop. I also like to garnish with a couple slices of fresh lemon, then cut into quarters. Sweet candied lemon peels would be an equally beautiful accompaniment.