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No Bake Lemon Pudding Pie
What is a lemon pudding pie?
This no bake lemon pie is a 3 layer dessert. On top of the graham cracker crust is the first layer which is lemon pudding. The second layer is a combination of the remaining lemon pudding and about half of the whipped cream. The third layer is the remaining whipped cream.
Together the whole pie is creamy & light, slightly tangy, and very refreshing! It reminds me of a lemon meringue pie!
How to make lemon pie
Layer #1 – combine the milk, lemon pudding and gelatin mixture until smooth. Pour half of this mixture into the pie crust.
Layer #2 – make the homemade whipped cream. Combine about half of the whipped cream with the remaining lemon pudding, smooth on top of the lemon pudding layer.
Layer #3 – pipe the remaining whipped cream onto the pie in whatever pattern you wish. I choose to pipe rosettes, but you could spread it on with a spatula.
How to use gelatin in a no bake lemon pudding pie
I’ll admit, I was afraid of gelatin for a while because I had one experience where it made my dessert all gummy. I didn’t know how to use it properly. But I want to give you some tips so you can use it confidently!
Gelatin needs to bloom. This is just a fancy way of saying you need to hydrate the gelatin. When you sprinkle gelatin over a liquid (water, lemon juice, etc) it kind of turns into the consistency of applesauce and eventually will become solid. ALSO, it’s important to note that you should do the best you can to evenly distribute the gelatin across the liquid, not just dumping it in a big heap.
How do you get your gelatin to become liquidy once it set? Put it in the microwave for 15-20 second intervals until it’s completely liquidy. Then drizzle it into the other ingredients – in this case the pudding and heavy whipping cream.
The reason I decided to add gelatin to this recipe is to help give the layers of the pie body and shape. The gelatin gives each layer stability because it thickens whatever it’s combined with. Gelatin is a helpful ingredient to use in no bake pies.
How long does jello lemon pudding pie keep?
I would recommend eating this pie within 2 days.
Can I freeze this no bake triple layer lemon pudding pie?
Yes, this pie can be frozen if you want more of a frozen chilled pie (think ice cream pie). However, I would not recommend freezing this pie and then thawing it. That process can change the texture of the dessert.
Can I substitute cool whip for the whipped cream?
Yes! Save yourself a step and use cool whip in place of the whipped cream. I would suggest using two 8 oz containers of cool whip – one for layer #2 (the creamy lemon layer) and one for the topping.
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- 1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 graham crackers)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 8 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 boxes (3.4 oz each) lemon instant pudding mix
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1 packet gelatin - divided into two 1 & 1/4 tsp portions
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp water
Graham Cracker Crust
- Place a metal mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes. This is used for the filling.
- In a mixing bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Stir together until a thick mixture forms.
- Press the crust into an un-greased pie pan. Use your fingers and the bottom of a flat cup to evenly distribute the mixture on the bottom and the sides of the pan. Make sure the crust mixture is really compacted.
- Place the pie pan in the freeze for 15 minutes before adding the filling. If you’re preparing the crust days or hours in advance, cover the pie pan with foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
- Place a metal mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes. (If you already placed the bowl in the freezer, remove it now!)
- Measure 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice into small bowl. Sprinkle 1 & 1/4 tsp of the gelatin over the lemon juice and let it bloom for 1-2 minutes. Place in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until the mixture becomes liquidy.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk and lemon pudding mix. Beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Pour in the gelatin lemon juice mixture and continue to beat the pudding for 1 minute. Set aside.
- Measure 2 tsp water into small bowl. Sprinkle 1 & 1/4 tsp of gelatin over the water and let it bloom for 1-2 minutes. Place in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until the mixture becomes liquidy.
- Remove the metal mixing and beaters from the freezer.
- Add the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add in the gelatin water mixture. Continue to beat until the whipping cream has stiff peaks, about 5-7 minutes.
- Measure out 1 & 1/4 cups of pudding and spoon it into the pie crust.
- Add half of the whipped cream to the remaining pudding, and gently fold the mixture together. Spoon that over the pudding in the pie crust.
- Transfer the remaining whipped cream to a piping bag fit with a 1M piping tip. Pipe rosettes in whatever pattern you wish onto the pie.
- Tent loosely with aluminum foil or cover with a domed lid (that doesn’t touch the top of the pie). Refrigerate overnight.
- Add garnishes before serving if desired. Cut with a sharp knife, wiping the blade off in between each slice to help create clean slices.