Creamy lemon filling topped with berries and nestled in a shortbread crust is the perfect pie for spring and summer. It is refreshing, delicious and fun!
This yummy lemon berry pie is creamy and bright. It is a perfect way to cool off when the weather starts to warm up.
The crust doesn’t require a rolling pin, which is a nice change. And the filling comes together in just a few minutes.
I created this recipe as an entry to a pie cook-off we hosted for our family and friends. It placed just behind the winning pecan pie which had been a family favorite for years.
So you know it has to be good for it to rank next to such a classic. And I would be so bold as to assert it might be even better for a spring or summer dessert.
These are the simple ingredients in this creamy lemon pie. For exact measurements and details, scroll down to our handy recipe card.
- Flour: use all purpose for the best results. Measure for measure flour would also work if you want to make the recipe gluten free.
- Butter: I have used both salted and unsalted butter with success. Use whichever you prefer.
- Powdered sugar: using confectioners sugar allows it to easily incorporate into the crust without a gritty feel.
- Vanilla: either vanilla extract or paste works well here.
- Cream cheese: use a standard full fat cream cheese. The reduced fat versions run the risk of not setting as firm. Make sure the cream cheese is good and softened for the smoothest filling.
- Sweetened condensed milk: I love how adding a can of sweetened condensed milk to a dessert adds instant sweet richness. Because the sugar is already dissolved, there is no risk of a grainy sugary texture.
- Lemon juice: using fresh squeezed lemon is the best, but the bottle of juice works in a pinch. It not only adds flavor, but the natural acidity helps the filling to set firm enough to slice and serve.
- Lemon zest or extract: adding a little bit of either or both helps to boost the lemon flavor. Take a taste and add some as necessary.
- Mixed berries: Fresh or frozen berries work here. By a mix of berries or use your favorite berry.
- Sugar: adding a bit of sugar enhances the natural sweetness of the fruit while also thickening the juices.
- Cornstarch: the cornstarch makes the fruit topping thick enough to hold itself on top of the pie. Make sure the liquid is really bubbling before removing the saucepan from the heat to ensure you get the right consistency.
This pie includes a perfect mix of flavors and textures. The buttery cookie style crust is pressed into the pan rather than rolled and fitted.
The mixture will look like it needs something after you are done mixing it. It doesn’t really come together into a dough on its own.
However if you squeeze a bit between your fingers it should stick together. So the pressure of your fingertips in the pie plate will be enough to hold it together.
This creates a more crumbly than flaky mouthfeel in the best kind of way. My husband is not usually a pie crust fan, so he kept mentioning how much he liked this crust.
If you don’t want to try this crust, feel free to use a traditional pie pastry. Just dock it by pricking a few holes in the bottom and bake it with pie weights until it is golden brown brown.
Or use a graham cracker crust if that sounds better to you. It will give it more of a no-bake lemon cheesecake feeling which would also be delicious.
Tips for Getting a Perfect Creamy Filling
Making sure the cream cheese is good and softened before you get started. That is key to getting the smoothest filling.
Then beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape the beaters and the side of the bowl a few times along the way.
Now slowly add a can of sweetened condensed milk, beating well after each addition. Again, make sure to stop and scrape the bowl and beater a couple of times.
Adding lemon juice adds the acid you need to set the cheesecake and of course adds lemon flavor. So beat that in and scoop into your crust.
Taste the filling and add some lemon extract or zest if it needs it. This is your chance to punch up the lemon as much as you would like.
Now chill your pie for several hours. It will take at least three or four hours to cut a decent slice. Overnight is even better if you have the chance to make the pie ahead of time.
Feel free to experiment with other fruit toppings. Blackberry sauce would be great.
You could also use a can of cherry or strawberry pie filling in a pinch. Though making the berry topping is really pretty easy.
I have made the berry topping using half blueberries and half strawberries. I have also used frozen mixed berries. You really can do whatever tickles your fancy.
If you aren’t in the mood for berries, you can leave them off entirely and still have a great lemon pie. You could leave it as is or decorate the top with whipped cream.
Of course a fresh fruit garnish would be pretty too.
How to Store and Serve:
Store your pie in the refrigerator until it is time to serve. It is easiest to cut and serve slices when it is good and cold.
For the prettiest slices, wipe your knife off between cuts.
Store any leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to three or four days. You can freeze slices of leftover pie, but the texture may change a bit when it is defrosted.
Frequently asked questions
Can I make this pie in a graham cracker crust?
Yes! That would be delicious. Make your own or grab a premade one. Then you can have a completely no bake lemon berry pie.
More Great Pie Recipes
Peach rhubarb pie combines the tart taste of spring with summer’s sweet fruit. Peach and rhubarb come together under a golden streusel in this perfect fruity pie.
If you want to make pumpkin pie without evaporated milk, I have a recipe for that too. This one uses sweetened condensed milk making the filling easier than ever to make.
Or for another no bake filling, try making peanut butter pie with a chocolate covered pretzel crust. It is a fun twist of fluffy no-bake peanut butter pie that is extra sweet, salty and chocolaty.
Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups mixed berries*
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons water
Creamy Lemon Filling
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Optional: lemon extract or lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Beat butter until it is smooth and fluffy.
- Add the flour, powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until crumbly, but should come together when squeezed between your fingers.
- Turn into a deep dish 9-inch pie plate and push against the bottom and edges to form a crust. Flute edges if desired.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and set aside until cooled completely.
- In a large sauce pan toss berries with sugar and cornstarch.
- Stir in lemon juice and water.
- Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens to the texture of pudding.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Beat cream cheese until smooth.
- Add condensed milk a little bit at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue to whip until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in lemon juice. Add some lemon zest or a teaspoon of lemon extract if you would like a stronger lemon flavor.
- Spoon into cooled pie crust and chill.
- When the berry mixture is at room temperature, spread over chilled lemon filling. Put back in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, a longer chill time will help the filling set up. Serve cold.
*I used frozen mixed berries this time, I have also used half blueberries and half strawberries. You can also use fresh fruit if you have it on hand. Feel free to mix your favorite berries to get about 3 cups.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 484Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 241mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 36gProtein: 7g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.