North Carolina Lemon Pie

North Carolina Lemon Pie- easy to make and you'll never guess what the crust is made from!
Lemon lovers unite! This simple North Carolina Lemon Pie is going to surprise and delight you, and I can’t wait for you to make it so that I can hear how much you enjoyed it! This recipe comes from the May 2015 issue of Cook’s Country magazine. It’s the magazine version of my favorite cookbooks (produced by America’s Test Kitchen!) and it is always fabulous. If you aren’t currently subscribing, I’d pick up a few copies from the library because they are not only full of great new recipes, but they have a tons of information, tips, and tricks. You get smarter and hungrier every time you read this magazine.

This North Caroline Lemon Pie is super simple to make. The crust is as easy to put together as a graham cracker crust, but here’s the secret, it’s made from Saltines! How neat is that? It’s crisp and delicious! The filling is just beat together and then baked (no stove top cooking first) and then it’s topped with a bit of whipped cream. Easy!

It’s a sour, sweet, salty perfect pie combo that’s easy with no traditional crust to roll out. North Carolina Lemon Pie is my kind of dessert!

North Carolina Lemon Pie- easy to make and you'll never guess what the crust is made from!

If you try this North Carolina Lemon Pie, let me know what you think! Leave a comment, pin it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #blessthismesseat on Instagram. I love to see your kitchen skills in action!


North Carolina Lemon Pie


For the Crust

  • 6 ounces saltine crackers (about 1 sleeve)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

For the Filling:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14-ounce)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest plus ½ cup juice (3 lemons)

For the Topping

  • ½ cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add the saltines and salt to the food processor and pulse until you have coarse crumbs (about 15 pulses). Add the melted butter and corn syrup and pulse until the crumbs are about the size of oatmeal (another 15 pulses).
  2. Add the cracker mixture to a greased 9-inch pie plate. Use the bottom of a dry measuring cup or glass and press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the dish.
  3. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake until light golden brown, 17 to 19 minutes.
  4. To make the filling – whisk the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, cream, and lemon zest together in a bowl, add the lemon juice and whisk until well combined.
  5. With the pie plate on the baking sheet still, remove it from the oven and pour in the filling (the crust does not need to be cooled) and place it back in the hot oven. Bake until the edges of the pie are set but the center still giggles, 15 to 17 minutes. Place the pie on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Refrigerate the pie until completely chilled.
  6. For the topping, use a stand mixer fitted with a whisk and whipped the cream, sugar, and vanilla on medium low until foamy (about a minute). Increase the mixer speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie and serve cold.


For this recipe, I recommend:

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In the picture my bottom crust is a bit thick. I should have pressed more of it up the sides to make a taller crust… next time.

If you are a lemon lover, you might also like these recipes:
Blueberry Lemon Muffins
Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade
Fresh Lemonade
Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Vinaigrette
Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken from One Lovely Life
Lemon Orzo with Shrimp and Tomatoes from Wholefully

Enjoy and have a great day! I have 16 pounds of strawberries to turn into freezer jam to use this coming year. Wish me luck.

North Carolina Lemon Pie
38 Recipes for Busy Moms
12 Responses
  1. Vivian

    My husband loves lemon pie so I tried this recipe–it was delicious!! It turned out excellently!! I was concerned that I had a regular 9″ glass pie plate (not with high sides) but it fit into it perfectly! Thank you!

  2. Robin Rasch

    I enjoyed watching the cooks on Cooks Country doing this recipe on TV. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. It looks absolutely delicious.

  3. Robert Welton

    I ha e not yet made this, but I will. But, do you know if anyone has tried to adapt this recipe into a lime pie by using lime zest and lime juice?

  4. Erin

    Hi, question: if I bring this to a party, how long can it sit out without being refrigerated (i have a feeling they won’t have room with all the thanksgiving dishes). Thanks!

  5. Stephanie

    Thank you for posting this recipe so I don’t have to have a subscription to ATK or Cooks Country!

    PS – My pie filling didn’t giggle. 😉

    1. Melissa

      LOL, you’re welcome! And I’m glad your pie filling didn’t giggle. I actually have quite a few ATK recipes on here (I LOVE THEM) so take a look around!

  6. Betsy

    I made this before and the filing was plentiful, so this time I multiplied the crust by 1.5 because I love this crust. There was a little crust left over so I put it in the bottom of a cast iron Le Creuset dish and topped it with a thin layer of the filling for my own personal lemon bars, and it worked great.

    I wonder how whole wheat crackers would taste?

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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