Blackberry-Lemon Icebox Pie

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    6 to 8


Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Grasshopper pie, black-bottom pie, butterscotch pie—all are basically what used to be commonly called “icebox” pies, meaning those that require no rolling of pastry dough, no exotic fillings, and no final baking. I’m not saying that icebox pies are exclusively Southern today, only that I haven’t encountered a single one (not even in roadside diners) outside the South for decades. And, I declare, these clever pies deserve renewed attention, not only because they’re so delicious but because they lend themselves to endless experimentation with multiple ingredients. And talk about quick and easy to prepare: you simply come up with a good crumb crust and tasty filling and refrigerate the pie till it’s set.


For the Crust

  • cups finely ground graham crackers
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Filling

  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 5 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, butter, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir till the crumbs are moistened. Press the mixture tightly onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate, bake till crisp, about 8 minutes, and cool the crust on a rack.

To make the filling, combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir till smooth. In a saucepan, combine 3 cups of the berries, the lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the cornstarch mixture, and stir constantly till the mixture thickens. Continue cooking 2 minutes longer, then remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and remaining blackberries, and stir till the filling is well blended.

Scrape the filling into the cooled pie crust, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 5 to 6 hours or till the filling is completely set. Serve chilled.