An Easy Summer Icebox Dessert.

By: Jen Shoop

Mr. Magpie is impressively disciplined about avoiding food waste — he will eat leftovers for days, freeze excess using his beloved vac pac system, nearly shave off his fingers on the mandolin to avoid discarding the heel of a clove of garlic, and prioritize wilting produce in the week’s menu. This is one of the many ways in which he expresses his passion for food, which, as I wrote elsewhere, reflects his attractive openness to joy.

Last week, he was humming around the house looking for a good use for the better part of a pint of really fancy heavy cream — the kind that comes in a thick glass bottle from a local creamery and costs about $10 — that had gone unused. “Whipped cream?” I suggested, unhelpfully. He turned more practically to Serious Eats and found a simple recipe for an icebox pie with only a handful of ingredients and enlisted the aid of my children in making it.

This is the perfect dessert for a hot summer gathering. It feeds a crowd, can be prepared well in advance, and calls for only four ingredients. Your children will delight in helping you make it, and it strikes me as something difficult to mess up. Oh, and it’s delicious. Tangy and custard-like, it’s as though key lime pie and pudding had a baby. And I love a chilled dessert. Keeps beautifully and feels so refreshing during these full-humidity D.C. days.

You might even have all of these items on hand — try it this weekend!

Serious Eats’ Lime Cracker Pie.

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

1 pint heavy cream

1/2 cup lime juice plus 1 tablespoon zest from 8 limes

10 ounces (about 2 1/2 sleeves) Ritz crackers

Combine milk and heavy cream in a large bowl. Add lime juice and whisk until thickened, about 1 minute. Spread 1 cup filling on bottom of deep-dish pie plate or 11-inch oval casserole. Top with single layer of Ritz crackers. Repeat, alternating layers of filling and crackers until pie plate is full (finish with a layer of filling). Sprinkle with grated lime zest. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Serve.

Source here.


+What would your last meal be?

+What do you eat when your fridge is bare? (You will be hungry reading the comments.)

+Some of our favorite places to eat and things to do in D.C. — I need to update this soon with more recent finds!

+Another great summer recipe.

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Shopping Break.

+Some of our favorite kitchen gear here and here.

+Drooling over these wide-leg paisley trousers. Imagine with a turtleneck (<<this one looks perfect) or chunky knit for fall. SO good. My sister and I had a Barbie doll that came with a pair of pink paisley wide leg silk trousers and we always associated them with the height of fashion — we called them “Midge pants.” I’m going to need these Midge pants!

+This Tuckernuck dress is SO cute for a semi-formal summer wedding! It reminds me of the Rosa style from Damaris Bailey.

+YOWZA this Zara top is giving major Kika Vargas vibes for $69. Also love this embroidered maxi!

+Drooling over the bags from new-to-me label Savette. How absurdly elegant is this pochette bag?!

+Drawn to this “inside out” fleece sweatshirt.

+I can’t believe these woven dining chairs are only $84 apiece.

+Love the silhouette of these ankle jeans from Gap.

+While you’re there — you might also like this cute eyelet top (I saw it and immediately imagined wearing it to a concert, but when was the last time I attended a concert?) and this white eyelet button-down (!!!)

+I’ve mentioned this a lot in the past, but I have great luck with Gap’s toddler boy pants. Their sweats and especially denim fit so well — not too slim/skinny, but not bulky either.

+Two great new arrivals at H&M: this structured knit top and this long denim skirt!

+Fun splurge.

+Blaze Milano blazers are a major lust list item for me…SO good.

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12 thoughts on “An Easy Summer Icebox Dessert.

  1. Oooh I am intrigued by this recipe — I love key lime pie, and this sounds like a more heat-wave friendly version! Thank you for sharing this, it reminds me of something similar I used to make, but with graham crackers, cream + condensed milk filling, and sliced mangoes! SO delicious, you must try it! But please use the sweet Alphonso mangoes or Manila mangoes, if you can find them — not those really firm and tart ones that you would use for salsa/pickles/other savory preparations.

      1. It’s one of those no-recipe desserts! I never really measured, and adjusted the quantity of condensed milk according to the sweetness level I prefer (which is not so sweet, especially if you have peak-of-summer sweet mangoes). I’d say make it the way you would make the lime pie you shared here, just swap graham crackers and mangoes.

  2. Yum! Will have to remember this next time I have leftover cream. gotta love a soup or pasta recipe that calls for “2T of heavy cream” or something equally unreasonable!

    My go-to for using up heavy cream is Dorie Greenspan’s cream scones. Super easy to mix up! I throw in whatever dried fruit or chocolate chips I have, and freeze the unbaked scones on the baking sheet before sealing them in a bag to keep in the freezer. Then I can bake however many I need for breakfast without having to make from scratch! Just brush with milk or cream, sprinkle with sanding sugar, and add a few minutes to the baking time since the scones are frozen. Delish! I have done this so much that I now joke to my husband that I feel anxious if there are no scones in the freezer, ha.

  3. So intrigued by this salty/sweet/tart combo and how would it taste with graham crackers or vanilla wafers in lieu of ritz crackers?! Also reminded me of Bill Smith’s Atlantic Beach pie made with a saltine crust. My favorite summer dessert to make (and share) is key lime pie so I’ll be trying this out ASAP, thanks!

    1. Hi Cortney! We read elsewhere that you can absolutely swap in vanilla wafers, graham crackers, chocolate graham crackers, and even saltines! Would be fun to play around with that, or just remember to make use of whatever you have on hand!


      1. Update- tried it with ginger snaps and refrigerated overnight and it was divine! Also delicious frozen and can easily halve the recipe to make smaller portion as you may be tempted to grab a decadent spoonful every time you open the fridge!

  4. This (“Whipped cream?” I suggested, unhelpfully.) literally made me LOL.

    I am going to try this recipe out this weekend! Perfect for these hot DC summer weekends, as you said. It also reminded me that I have been wanting to try out the “Salted Margarita Bars” recipe on NYT Cooking, so lots of lime desserts in my future.

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