Frozen Lemon Icebox Dessert


I don’t quite know what sparked the memory of this particular dessert, the last time I remember making it dates back a few decades.

Unfortunately, the recollection of this recipe didn’t come with the memory of which recipe book or binder it was hiding in.

Eventually the image of a typewritten sheet came to mind so it wasn’t necessary to check any cookbooks. That made the recipe a little easier to find but there was still a substantial number of older binders and files to go through.

I’m not sure if by chance I first reached for the right binder or somehow instinctively knew it was there all along.  Just as I had pictured, typewritten and the evident ingredient stains on the sheet showed the recipe had been well used.

It’s interesting to note the transition from typewriter to computer key board to share this recipe but even over the span of time this dessert remains as delicious as the first time I made it.

Refreshingly light and lemony,  the perfect ending to any summer meal and a great make ahead dessert for any surprise visitors that may drop in.

Now if I could only remember who was nice enough to pass this recipe on to me… that would complete this sweet memory!

Frozen Lemon Icebox Dessert

¾ cups graham wafer crumbs

¼ cup butter, measure then melt

3 eggs separated

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup sugar (for the egg whites)

1 cup whipping cream (35%)

  1. Place graham crumbs and melted butter into a bowl.
  2. Toss around with a fork until butter is well mixed into the crumbs.
  3. Remove about 2 to 3 tablespoons of crumbs and set aside to use for the topping.
  4. Place remaining crumbs into an 8×8 square baking dish and spread evenly to cover bottom then pat crumbs down gently.  Set aside.
  5. Into a saucepan combine egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt.
  6. Cook over medium heat constantly stirring until slightly thickened, this will only take a few minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and cool while beating the egg whites.
  8. Beat egg whites until foamy then gradually add in the remaining ¼ cup sugar until stiff peaks.
  9. Fold lemon yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites until no yellow streaks remain.
  10. In a separate bowl beat whipping cream to stiff peaks then fold into egg mixture.
  11. Pour mixture into pan and spread out evenly.
  12. Sprinkle reserved graham crumbs over the top, cover with plastic wrap then place into freezer for at least 4 hours.
  13. When ready, remove from freezer, cut and serve.

In a bowlcombine graham crumbs and melted butter.


Stir with a fork until well combined.


Reserve 2 to 3 tablespoons for top then gently press the remaining crumbs on the bottom of an 8×8 baking pan.  Set aside.


Combine egg yolks, sugar, salt, lemon juice and zest in a saucepan on medium heat.


Stir constantly until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool while beating the egg whites.


Beat egg whites until foamy then add remaining 1/4 cup of sugar gradually beating to stiff peaks.


Fold yolk mixture into beaten egg whites until no yellow streaks remain.


In a separate bowl beat whipping cream to stiff peaks.


Fold whipping cream into egg mixture.


Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread evenly then sprinkle reserved crumbs on top.  Cover and place in freezer for at least 4 hours.


Serve frozen.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • This mixture can also be poured into an 8 inch graham cracker pie shell however if making your own pie shell the amount used in this recipe will not be enough.   Either use your favourite recipe or buy a ready made one.
  • Lemon thyme is flourishing in the garden, couldn’t help but use it as part of the garnish!




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