If you REALLY love lemon, this Arizona sunshine lemon pie recipe is for you. Bursting with fresh lemon flavor, it’s a sweet slice of sunshine in a graham cracker crust.
Other lemon recipes might use a bit of fresh lemon juice or a touch of lemon zest. But those recipes are for amateurs, and you are not an amateur.
We’re serious about our lemony goodness around here. So, this recipe uses the whole lemon - peel and all - to get the freshest, tangiest, lemoniest, most delicious pie ever.
The fresh lemons are blended with sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks to form a rich custard. Pour it into a graham cracker crust, bake, and top with your favorite garnish.
Incredibly easy yet impressively delicious. This is the perfect dessert to serve at your next dinner party.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick and Easy. It doesn’t get much easier than a five-minute prep time. A little blending, a little mixing, and your pie filling is ready to bake before you know it.
- Great Way to Use Extra Lemons. If you’re lucky enough to have your own lemon trees, make this pie. It is one of the tastiest ways to use up some of the surplus lemons from your harvest.
Lemonade is great and all, but this is a much more creative and impressive use for your extra lemons.
- Terrific Spring/Summer Dessert. There’s something about the tangy, fresh taste of lemon that’s just perfect for the warm weather.
Serve this as a wonderful ending to an outdoor meal on a beautiful spring or summer day. Better yet, serve it on the rainiest summer day to lift your spirits.
- Holiday Pie Favorite. Lemons are in season during fall and winter, right when all the holidays come around. Nothing is better than an easy Thanksgiving pie to keep the season stress-free.
Or serve it for Christmas dinner. Santa-approved!
Check out the best pie crusts for berry pie. You will love the hints on what each crust is best for.
Tips & Tricks
- Be careful not to overbeat the eggs. This can produce air pockets in your filling, which will detract from the lovely and smooth appearance of the pie.
- Lemons vary widely in size. Be sure to weigh yours with a kitchen scale to ensure that you have the correct amount for the perfect lemon flavor.
- Look for lemons that have thinner skin. The thicker ones don’t have as much lemon flavor and tend to be more bitter, so they may not work well in this pie.
- Make sure you remove all the seeds before blending the lemons. The seeds will add bitterness to the filling.
You may also be interested in the best fillings for lemon cupcakes. Lots of options for endless variations.
Arizona Blender Lemon Pie Ingredients
This simple dessert has only a few basic ingredients. But the result is the best lemon pie your kitchen will ever see.
Large Lemon (or 2 mediums)
You will use the entire lemon in the pie – lemon peel and all. You wanted a vitamin C boost, didn’t you?
A Meyer lemon is the best lemon for this pie. Meyer lemons are a mix between a lemon and a mandarin orange. With thin skins and a sweeter taste, they are also larger than a regular lemon. One lemon per pie is usually enough.
If you grow them in your Arizona backyard, perfect. If you don’t have access to these fresh Arizona lemons, buy them in grocery stores (seasonally) or online.
Can you use a different lemon variety for blender pie? Any lemon will work in this pie.
However, the thicker the white peel is on a lemon, the more bitter the pie will be. If your lemon has thick skin, peel it off before blending the rest of the lemon.
In addition, regular lemons are sourer than Meyer lemons. You may end up with a more tart lemon pie. But there is nothing wrong with that. Tart is good!
You need 4 to 6 ounces of whole lemon for this recipe. Use a kitchen scale to weigh the lemon. If you don't have a scale use 1 large lemon or 2 medium lemons.
I recommend investing in a kitchen scale. They are not expensive, but are worth their weight in gold. Using a kitchen scale and calibrating your oven are the best two ways to improve your baking.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Skip the cup of sugar and use sweetened condensed milk instead. Using the condensed milk in place of the sugar gives the lemons the perfect level of sweetness. The milk and the eggs yolks make the perfect custard.
Plus, the milk helps puree the small chunks of lemon easily.
Adding melted butter to the pie gives it just the flavor it needs. And the butterfat helps the smooth texture.
You need ¼ cup butter, melted.
Always use large eggs. Separate the yolks from the whites. Use the egg whites in another recipe, like Trader Joe's sweet and spicy pecans recipe.
Lemon and vanilla flavor pairs beautifully, so don’t forget your teaspoon vanilla.
Pinch of Salt
I forgot the salt one time with making Arizona blender lemon pie. And I noticed it. A little bit of salt enhances the lemon and vanilla flavors in the pie.
9-inch (6-Ounce) Graham Cracker Pie Crust
The graham cracker pie crust won the taste test challenge over a regular pie shell. I baked two pies following this blender recipe.
One was baked in a graham cracker crust. The other in a regular unbaked pie crust. My husband took the pies to one of his Dungeons and Dragons game nights. And the taste test began.
Everyone liked the creamy lemon pie in the graham cracker crust the best.
However, you can make your own homemade pie crust, or use frozen pie crust if you prefer. Don’t prebake. Use a regular unbaked pie crust (not a deep dish pie crust).
Make your own graham quick pie crust or use a premade crust. Get all your graham crust questions answered in this post on premade graham cracker crust.
Garnishes add that little extra touch to an already perfect pie.
- Whipping cream. Whip heavy cream with a bit of sugar to make your own whipped cream.
- Powdered sugar. Dust powdered sugar over the top of the cool pie. Want to keep the pie from absorbing the powdered sugar too quickly? Whisk cornstarch into the sugar before using it.
- Lemon sugar. Make your own lemon sugar and sprinkle it on the cold pie.
- Fresh berries. Raspberries or blueberries are fresh, delicious garnishes for this easy pie.
- Candied lemon slices. Fancy lemon desserts always have candied lemons, either peels or slices. They are easy to make and will be ready after the pie chills.
The worst part is refraining from snacking on them, so you have enough to decorate the pie.
You need power to puree the entire lemon. So, use a powerful blender, like the Vitamix. Or use a food processor if you have one.
Electric Hand Mixer
Some blender pie recipes throw the egg yolks into the blender along with the lemon. However, this is not the best technique. It makes too many air bubbles, and your pie won’t look as pretty.
Instead, use a hand mixer and blend the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Even a stand mixer adds too much air into the pie. If you want a pretty pie, use a hand mixer after the lemon is pureed.
Directions for Arizona Sunshine Lemon Pie Recipe
You will love this recipe. The total time to prep is only 5 minutes.
STEP 1: HEAT OVEN
Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
STEP 2: PREP LEMON
- Select a fresh lemon with healthy-looking skin.
- Scrub the lemon(s) with a vegetable scrubber. Cut off the end of the lemon with the pedicel (the nub where the lemon used to connect with the tree). Cut off the other end of the lemon if the peel seems especially thick and pointed.
- Weigh the lemon. You need 4 to 6 ounces. If the lemon weighs less than this, use an additional lemon.
- Cut the lemon in quarters and remove all the seeds. This is sometimes the hardest part of the recipe if the seeds are deep in the lemon. But if you cut the lemon into smallish chunks, you can usually get them all.
STEP 3: MAKE FILLING
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk and the lemon pieces into a heavy-duty blender (like the Vitamix) or a food processor.
- Start on low speed to pull everything together. Increase the speed to high, and blender puree lemon chunks and milk for 30 seconds, or until it is completely smooth.
- Melt the butter in the microwave. About 20 seconds on full power should melt it. Add additional time if needed. Cool for a minute or two.
- Pour the lemon puree into a medium bowl. Add the eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 to 45 seconds until the eggs are incorporated into the puree and the lemon cream batter is smooth.
STEP 4: BAKE THE PIE
- Pour the pie filling into the premade graham cracker crust. The full recipe will fill a 6 ounce (9-inch) pie crust. Place the pie tin on a cookie sheet to catch any spills as it bakes.
- Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. The edges will be solid when the pie is done, although the center will still look slightly jiggly.
- Remove the pie from the oven. Cool it on a cooling rack for 1 hour until it reaches room temperature.
STEP 5: CHILL & SERVE THE PIE
- Cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Before serving, garnish with fresh berries, dust with powdered sugar, or serve with whipped cream. Slice pie and serve on a small cake plate.
You will have such great success with this Arizona Sunshine lemon pie recipe, you will want to make it a second time.
Frequently Asked Questions
This Arizona sunshine lemon pie recipe is a custard pie. A custard usually contains sweetened milk and other ingredients, which are cooked with egg yolks to thicken it.
This pie fits the description. It’s rich and creamy like most custards, but with a zesty lemon twist and a hint of sunshine.
I recommend graham cracker. In my taste test, it beat out regular crust as the preferred type. The sweet graham flavor goes really well with the tangy lemon.
It sure is. We use egg yolks in this recipe, so baking is necessary. It is also a crucial step to thicken the filling.
Don’t worry if the filling still looks a little runny when you remove the pie from the oven. It will hold its shape and continue to thicken as it cools, similar to a pumpkin pie (which is also a custard pie).
Your pie should not get soggy if you follow the instructions to ensure you have the correct amount of lemon and bake it until completely done.
For best results, keep the pie refrigerated. Chilling it will help the filling hold its shape, and it also tastes best when chilled.
You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you are making this for a special occasion and want to get it ready the day before, go right ahead. It is wonderful to bring to summer picnics.
How to Store Leftover Arizona Sunshine Lemon Pie Recipe
The best part of making a pie is the leftovers the next day. Snack on a slice a little ahead of dinner. I won’t tell.
Store leftover pie covered in the refrigerator for up to five days.
It is not the best pie to freeze because the consistency will change when it thaws. However, the taste will be fine, so freeze if you must.
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Arizona Sunshine Lemon Pie (Blender Pie)
- 4-6 ounces of whole lemons with thin peel, 1 to 2 lemons
- 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter melted
- 3 egg yolks room temperature
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 6 ounce 9-inch premade graham cracker crust
- Powdered sugar for dusting or whipped cream for garnishing
- PREHEAT the oven to 350° F (175° C).
- SELECT a fresh lemon with healthy-looking skin. Scrub the lemon(s) with a vegetable scrubber. Cut off the end of the lemon with the pedicel (the nub where the lemon used to connect with the tree). Cut off the other end of the lemon if the peel seems especially thick and pointed.
- WEIGH the lemon with a kitchen scale. You need 4 to 6 ounces. If the lemon weighs less than this, use an additional lemon. If you don't have a kitchen scale, use 1 large or 2 medium-sized lemons. Cut the lemon in quarters and remove all the seeds.
- POUR the sweetened condensed milk and the lemon pieces into a heavy-duty blender (like the Vitamix) or a food processor.
- START on low speed to pull everything together. Increase the speed to high, and puree lemon chunks and milk for 30 seconds, or until it is completely smooth.
- MELT the butter in the microwave. About 20 seconds on full power should melt it. Add additional time if needed. Cool for a minute or two. Separate the egg yolks.
- EMPTY the lemon puree into a medium bowl. Add the eggs yolks, melted butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 to 45 seconds. Blend until the eggs are incorporated into the puree and the lemon cream batter is smooth.
- POUR the pie filling into the premade graham cracker crust. Place the pie tin on a cookie sheet to catch any spills as it bakes.
- BAKE in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. The edges will be solid when the pie is done, although the center will still look slightly jiggly.
- REMOVE the pie from the oven. Cool it on a cooling rack for 1 hour until it reaches room temperature.
- COVER the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- GARNISH with fresh berries, dust with powdered sugar, or serve with whipped cream.
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