Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
4 Hours
8 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

This lightened cream pie classic is sweet-tart perfection and a delicious lemon ending to any meal. You'll love the make-ahead convenience. Brush edges of crust with egg wash for nice browning.

How to Make It

Step 1

Roll dough into a 12-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under, and flute. Bake piecrust according to package directions. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 2

Combine sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons rind, and the next 4 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl, stirring well. Combine milk and cheese in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until mixture reaches 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Gradually add the hot milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan, and cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in butter.

Step 3

Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 10 minutes or until the mixture cools to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Spoon filling into prepared crust, and cover surface of filling with plastic wrap. Chill for 3 hours or until set, and remove plastic wrap. Spread the whipped topping evenly over chilled pie, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind.

Ratings & Reviews

Worst dessert Ive ever cooked

May 02, 2015
Neither lemony nor sweet (as in resembling dessert). If I make a dessert, I want it to at least make me feel like I'm eating dessert even if it is light. Which it didn't. Didn't make enough filling to fill pie crust. Wimpy in that respect. I didn't have a graham cracker crumb crust, which is why I cooked this recipe. Now I know why all the other recipes use graham crackers! Last piece went into trash...Don't waste the time or effort. Yuck! 

ErinBarthel's Review

January 06, 2014
I couldn't get enough rind out of my lemon so I was a little worried. Then, it tasted a little bland when it was at room temperature, so i worried even more. I also thought maybe a graham cracker crust would be better than pillsbury. But everyone at the party loved it and asked for the recipe! The lemon flavor came out really nice once it was chilled.

portland's Review

September 02, 2013
taste was good, texture nice, but it didn't have the lemony taste that i prefer. i know this is a lightened pie, but the fat-free whipped topping did not seem to do the filling justice.

MaryEliz's Review

October 22, 2012
This doesn't taste like a CL recipe, according to my teenagers. The only tweak I made was to add a few drops of yellow food coloring as it looked a bit anemic, ie not lemony enough, but the flavor is terrific. I rarely give 5 stars, so this is a great review for me.

Tinkerbell0914's Review

July 22, 2013

bubbas1127's Review

June 17, 2012

ccarnes14's Review

January 10, 2012

cookfromsocal's Review

July 07, 2011
This pie was fantastic. Next time I'll put in 3 teaspoons of the rind as it wasn't as lemony as I like. I don't know what I did wrong with the piecrust as it shrank but I covered the sides with the pie filling. I used the whipped topping in a can and sprayed the filling until it looked good. A definite repeat.

Prakash's Review

June 24, 2011
Good one

mjbee256427's Review

June 22, 2011
This pie was simple to make and delicious to eat. Definitley a keeper!