Creme Brulee Lemon Pie Recipe

4.84 from 6 votes

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This Creme Brulee Lemon Pie Recipe has a buttery graham cracker crust, a tangy and sweet lemon filling with a crackly burnt sugar topping.

Lemon Pie

Is there anything better than lemon pie? Not usually, but today I’m making an exception because I’ve added a graham cracker crust and turned the top into that crackly sugar that everyone loves on a creme brulee. I submit there is nothing better than a cold slice of tangy creme brulee lemon pie on a hot summer night.

I first had something similar at Trattoria Dell’Arte in Midtown that was amazing and just had to re-create it at home because it seemed to be an easy recipe to redo. Turns out I was right! This is a simple one to throw together, even though it seems super fancy.

If you couldn’t tell from my last post, I like lemon. Sort of a lot. It’s a problem? I feel like lemon is the quintessential, unofficial flavor of summer and I am not ashamed in the least that I am fully embracing it. Come, jump on this bandwagon.

The best way I could describe this recipe is like a key lime pie, only made with lemon and with a melted sugar crispy coating overtop. Of course, the sugar topping is optional, so don’t let that stop you from making this. BUT, I will say, you can melt the sugar under the broiler or using a kitchen torch. I would highly highly recommend this one, mainly because it’s a pretty high-quality piece of kitchen equipment that happens to be on sale and when fire and butane is involved, you don’t want to go cheap…in my opinion. Also, do own this exact one and can tell you it works really well. Perfect for late-night-parents-only-s’mores if you know what I mean. Or crackling sugar on a pie. Whatever. AND! Before I forget, this recipe calls for 5 tablespoons of lemon zest. FIVE! Do yourself a favor and use a microplane. It is the best zester on the planet and you’ll zest those lemons in no time. And only $15! I own this one in black.

Below are a few photos of the process, and be sure to read my recipe directions thoroughly!

That’s it for now. Have a great day, friends!

Lemon Pie

You really have to look carefully at this photo to see what is in focus where. I realize this is 99% unhelpful and almost didn’t include it. BUT! I wanted to show just how full this pie gets with this lemon filling. It’s a lot and it’s ok to not use it all. I ended up with 1/4 cup extra in the bowl just because I didn’t want to jinx my pie filling skills…and the obviously bulging pie.

Lemon Pie

After it comes out of the oven and it gets chilled, it looks normal and you can breathe a sigh of relief. The nice thing about this pie is the filling ALWAYS sets in the oven because sweetened condensed milk + lemon juice (acid)= thick as thieves. Always reliable and sets beautifully (with no cracks ever) in the oven!

Lemon Pie Recipe

When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle on an even layer of granulated sugar and melt that stuff under the broiler or using a kitchen torch.

Kitchen Torch

Here is the link again for the kitchen torch I use and love! I’ve had it for a while and find it so helpful to have around. Also, don’t forget the butane 🙂

Lemon Pie Recipe

Whipped cream is also optional, though why would you leave it out if you’ve made it this far? Trust me on this one! Make some barely sweet whipped cream to go with the very sweet pie and your tastebuds will be singing!! SINGING!

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4.84 from 6 votes

Creme Brulee Lemon pie Recipe

This Creme Brulee Lemon Pie Recipe has a buttery graham cracker crust, a tangy and sweet lemon filling with a crackly burnt sugar topping.
servings 8 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes


for the crust-

  • 1 sleeve graham crackers ground finely (1 1/3 cups of crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter melted

for the filling-

for the toppings-


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter together until well coated and moist. Pour into a glass pie plate and press into an even layer across the bottom and up the sides as high as they can possibly go. Press well. Bake 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • As the pie crust bakes, make the filling: whisk sweetened condensed milk together with the egg yolks, lemon zest, and lemon juice until smooth. Set aside to thicken, about 3 minutes.
  • Pour as much filling as possible into crust without going over the edges. You may have some filling left over. This is normal! But the thickening of the filling should help get nearly all of it. I had 1/4 cup remaining.
  • Carefully transfer to the oven and bake 25 minutes or until center is set and doesn’t jiggle.
  • Remove from oven, cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
  • When you are ready to serve, remove pie from fridge and cut into 8 or 10 slices. Sprinkle each slice with a thin layer of granulated sugar. Using a kitchen torch or broiler, melt the sugar over top each slice of pie. Cool 1-2 minutes before topping with whipped cream and serving.


Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 202mg | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 720IU | Vitamin C: 23.2mg | Calcium: 321mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Creme Brulee Lemon Pie
4.84 from 6 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

15 Responses
  1. Charlene

    Can I make this without lemon? I’ve done it with the lemon and it’s delicious but unfortunately some members of my family are allergic to lemon.

  2. Chelsea

    So I tried your recipe and did everything the way you said, although I did add some vanilla bean, but mine never stopped being jiggly. Was I taking your “till it’s not jiggly” comment too seriously and eventually after cooling it would set? I cooked it WAY past the 25 minutes and the sides got burned but it was still molten lemon lava in the middle. Any idea what happened? Thanks for your help.

  3. Darlene

    Can we do point #7 on the whole pie once it is finished. I thought it would be okay to do this.
    ie:: Sprinkle the sugar and torch it so that the whole pie is done or will the sugar melt into the pie after it sits awhile. ??

  4. Kristin

    I am so trying this recipe this weekend. I actually bought CD a kitchen torch because I had creme brulee for the first time recently and was hooked. I can’t wait to try it with lemon! Yum!

  5. Deb Showalter

    5 stars
    Oh Lauren….I made this pie and it was glorious!!! Now it was 98 degrees with 90% humidity up here in Michigan, so I did pass on the brulee and whipped cream part, which I’m sure would have made it even more amazing. I just called it lemon custard pie and it was gone in minutes with everyone asking for the recipe. Thank you!!!!