Small Batch Recipes For Baked Goods And Desserts

Lime Cracker Icebox Custard Pie

Lime Cracker Icebox Custard Pie is a cross between a key lime pie and lime custard.  Thick and creamy sweet and tart lime custard is set between alternating layers of salty and sweet crackers to create a delicious no-bake dessert.     

Spoonfuls of citrus custard pie

Lime Cracker Icebox Custard Pie

This is a recipe I adapted from my Genius Desserts cookbook.  I flipped past it a few times before I decided I would give it a try.  Up until now, I did not have a real opinion on limes, but after making (and eating) this pie, I love them.  Serious love.  Like what else can I make with limes and will it taste this good?

This is the easiest dessert that has been prepared in my kitchen (as of this post :)).  And the most popular.  I’m not sure if I should be offended considering it took me 10 minutes to prepare this vs. the hours I spent on my Berry Mousse Cake which I thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Nonetheless, this will now be a go-to whenever I need to whip up something for a party, brunch, pot-luck, or just because I need dessert.

Fashioned after a traditional Ice Box Pie, this is a slightly elevated take on the classic.  What is an Ice Box Pie?  Glad you asked.  An Ice Box Pie hails from the south and got its name from the icebox that it was kept in to keep it cool (the old iceboxes that had an insulated compartment where ice blocks were stored that cooled the rest of the ‘refrigerator’).  They are easy to make desserts, often prepared in pie dishes with a cookie crust, and do not require any heat or ovens to make – making them a traditional dessert during hot summer months.

Lime cracker icebox pie in a dish

Lime Icebox Pie Summer Dessert

I know, it’s not summer.  This little gem should not be hidden away until summer.  It deserves to show off at any time of the year!

Rather than the traditional pie dish and cookie crust, this one is made in a shallow casserole dish with the cookie ‘crust’ layered inside the custard filling.  To add a little salt to balance the sweetness, buttery Club® crackers are alternated in as well. 

Sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream are used to carry the lime juice and zest, and the most magical thing happens when you add lime juice to the condensed milk and cream.  It almost instantly thickens. 

What is happening is the acid from the lime juice interacts with the proteins in the dairy pushing the dairy proteins together to become a thick mixture.  Even though the custard is already thick, I whisk it for about a minute more to get a super thick and creamy mixture.  I’m crazy like that.

Bowl full of lime cracker icebox pie

Tips For Making Lime Icebox Pie

  1. You can use whatever shallow baking dish you like.  I like to use a casserole dish because it quite simply holds the volume of this recipe.  You could use a pie dish, and I would recommend a deeper one to hold all the goodness.
  2. Just like the type of dish you use, you can also substitute any type of crunchy cracker or cookie you like.  This is a sweet dessert, so I do recommend having at least one salty cracker to balance the sweetness.  I would also recommend that whatever you choose, make sure it is crunchy so when it blends with the custard, it retains texture.
  3. When you are adding your cracker/cookie layers, lay them snuggly next to one another to give you a tight layer of texture.
  4. I love the lime in this dessert and I was a little heavy-handed with the lime juice to make sure the sweet tartness of the lime carried throughout.  You can start by adding 1/2 cup of lime juice then add more to taste if you like.  
  5. If you use your stand mixer with whisk attachment, double check the whisk loops to make sure the lime zest didn’t decide to cling to them.  No zest left behind!
  6. I did whisk my mixture for about a minute more after I added the lime juice to add more volume to the mixture. 
Full pan of lime cracker pie

Lime Cracker Icebox Custard Pie

Lime Cracker Icebox Custard Pie is like Key Lime Pie, but easier. Thick and creamy lime custard is filled with alternating layers of salty and sweet crackers. The result is a smooth, creamy, and zesty no-bake dessert!
Prep10 mins
Cooling Time2 hrs
Total2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss

Equipment

  • 9×13-Inch Casserole/Baking Dish

Ingredients

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (plus a little more for topping garnish)
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (8-10 limes, depending on size)
  • 42-45 Club Crackers
  • 16-20 Biscoff Cookies

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, or the mixing bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream until combined. 
  • Add the lime zest and lime juice and whisk until the mixture thickens – about 1-2 minutes.  The acidity of the lime juice thickens the milk and cream.
  • Spread 1 cup of the custard into the bottom of your baking dish (I used a 9×13-Inch casserole dish). 
  • Layer half of the crackers or cookies on top of the custard, and top with more custard. Repeat, alternating cracker and cookie layers, ending with a layer of custard. Sprinkle the top with grated lime zest.
  • Cover the icebox pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.  The longer it chills, the more the crackers and cookies will soften and blend with the custard.
  • Serve cold and grate more lime zest on individual servings if you like. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Baking Dish – You can use whatever baking dish you like – just make sure it is large enough to hold the dessert.  I like to use a casserole dish because it quite simply holds the volume of this recipe.  
  • Crackers/Cookies – Substitute any type of crunchy cracker or cookie you like.  This is a sweet dessert, so I do recommend having at least one salty cracker to balance the sweetness.  I would also recommend that whatever you choose, make sure it is crunchy so when it blends with the custard, it retains texture.
  • Cracker/Cookie Layers – When you are adding your cracker/cookie layers, lay them snuggly next to one another to give you a tight layer of texture.
  • Lime – I like a lot of lime and was heavy-handed with the lime juice to make sure the sweet tartness of the lime carried throughout.  You can start by adding 1/2 cup of lime juice then add more to taste if you like.  
  • Mixing – If you use your stand mixer with whisk attachment, double check the whisk loops to make sure the lime zest didn’t decide to cling to them.  No zest left behind!
Keywords Custard, Icebox Cake, Lime, No Bake, Pie, Summer Dessert
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